Let’s take a walk on the crazy side.

Courtesy of CBS News:

In the lead-up to the 2020 election, a Yahoo News/YouGov poll found that nearly half of Trump supporters had heard of QAnon, and of those, more than a third said they believe at least some of it is true. When asked about the baseless claim that “top Democrats” are involved in child sex-trafficking, half of all Trump supporters agreed.

Mr. Trump himself has refused to condemn QAnon, claiming at a televised town hall in October that he knows “nothing about it” but has heard “they’re very strong against pedophilia, and I agree with that.”

“There’s a big obsession among the right wing, this idea that people are out there trying to get your children,” Eliot Borenstein, a professor at NYU who studies conspiracy theories, told CBSN Originals. “I think it’s quite dangerous. I mean, if you see what happened with the Tea Party, which started out as this fringe that people could make fun of very easily, it basically took over most of the Republican Party. But QAnon is much further on the fringe than the Tea Party was or is.”

According to Borenstein, QAnon’s spread from the dark corners of the internet into mainstream American culture and politics is primarily disturbing because, at its core, it signals a deep societal grievance.

“A conspiracy theory is implicitly trying to address grievance, suffering, pain that people are feeling and they feel that are being neglected by the mainstream,” he said.

“I think anytime you have a popular conspiracy theory the question you should be asking is, What is going on in our country that makes anything like this appealing? What is wrong?”

An America strained by bitterly divisive politics, economic insecurity and the coronavirus pandemic has proven to be fertile ground for QAnon.

“I think this is a very chaotic time, there’s a lot of people who are very afraid. It seems like the world is ending at points and [QAnon] offers an organization to the chaos,” said Alyssa Kann, a researcher at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab.

“2020 has been an outstanding year for the Q movement,” said John. “We’ve never had more support as we have this year. I think it’s been at a fever pitch. You see what’s going on with the COVID and being forced to do things that are unconstitutional, like wearing masks, and they’re talking about mandatory vaccines in a lot of blue states, and that scares a lot of people.”

I am a born skeptic, as anybody will tell you, so I have no capacity to understand how people believe ridiculous shit like this. 

I try to put myself in their shoes, and I simply cannot do it. 

I understand being angry, afraid, confused, abandoned, all of that.

I just don’t understand how you make the leap from “I think the world sucks,” to “I think Liberals are eating our babies.” 

I remember mocking the Tea Party because they were clearly ridiculous, but I could at least kinda, sorta understand what caused them to feel disenfranchised and inspired them to protest. 

But this QAnon lunacy is simply a non-starter for me. 

However, clearly, we cannot just ignore them in the hopes they will go away.

Cause apparently that ain’t happening.