DISINFORMATION AND CONSPIRACY “THEORIES”
American politics historically has been marked by a “paranoid style” according to historian Richard Hofstadter. The reprehensible “pizzagate” narrative spread the lie that Hillary Clinton and other Democrats were running an international satanic pedophile ring and abusing children in the basement of a popular gay-owned Washington D.C. pizza restaurant. This led to real violence, when Edgar Maddison Welch, bearing an assault rifle, invaded the restaurant hoping to save children and fired several shots. He found no abused children, no basement and is now in jail. A spin-off of the “pizzagate” story now takes form in “QAnon,” identified by the FBI as “anti-government, identity based, and fringe political conspiracy theories” that have motivated violent activity. “QAnon” adherents anticipate a coming “storm” and hold that Trump (known as Q+) is a messianic figure fighting the “deep state” made up of a cabal of international leaders, including, once again, Hillary Clinton, who are Satan-worshiping pedophiles and child-eaters. Related items suggest that Joe Biden is a pedophile. Such lies cover up and divert attention from the terrible reality that 93% of child sexual abusers are known to the child; they are family members, coaches, club leaders, ministers, priests, friends and acquaintances. The fabrication about an international cabal of demon-worshipping, blood collecting, and cannibalistic pedophiles is the basis of longstanding anti-Semitic, as well as misogynist and homophobic propaganda.