QAnon arisen in the United States as a prominent conspiracy theory, with important supporters, that ranges from celebrities to political leaders.
This meta-narrative has as its central core the introduction and promotion of political, economic, and smaller occult-based theories such as New World Order Theory, Deep State Theory and Global Oligarchy Theory. Consequently, it is triggering a general paradigm shift in the country. Not only that, this phenomenon already heavily influenced Trump’s well-succeeded election campaign in 2016.
But how is possible that such narratives are now mainstream? And more, how they can affect, once more, the electoral race already taking place in the United States?
To answer this, it is necessary to look at the emergence of other narratives, such as those from the #metoo and the Black Lives Matter movement. Both made it possible that marginalized communities had their demands more visible. The first one used participatory civic media to report sexual harassment in the backstage of the Hollywood cinema industry. In the second case, participatory media was fundamental in reporting police violence against protesters, as a violation of civil rights.
As so, they demonstrate the emergence of spaces where individuals can report stories in their own communities. This draws attention to subdued narratives, that otherwise, would not have attracted so much attention. This is great for open societies, but the same is also true to enhance QAnon stories, for example. In other words, to improve narratives based on disruption, with no juxtaposition within social and political reality.
More specifically, it describes America in a “Deep State War” being carried by the U.S. Army to dismantle a globalist criminal organization, associated with the New World Order and the Deep State, which has pierced into the highest levels of government. Urging popular support, it emphasizes a new form of nationalism based on Christianity.
Now, the country is experiencing a situation where alternative and new participatory media narrates the collapse of old establishment paradigm’s reality, while a new one is not yet formed.
These theories can also help to erode the public trust in government and elected officials, which, in turn, can be harmful to the political and electoral system. About elections, media as a pillar of democracies, is causing greater polarization, specially with the advent of the fake news phenomenon, and more recently, intensified by the spread of conspiracy theories.
Differently from years ago, conspiracy theories today have a top-down pattern, with mainstream individuals, above all, government officials, responsible for disseminating them. This is concerning because in liberal democracies, the government is supposed to be entrusted with publicizing credible information to the public, to enhance public trust. This in turn is breaking the fourth wall and making the public doubt and question the legitimacy of the government, weakening democratic values and institutions.
To sum up, the electoral scenario for the 2020’s electoral race in the United States is more complex than ever. In this ‘post-truth’ framework, political mainstream narratives compete with an evolving meta-conspiracy theory, political paradigm shift, and a vigorous disinformation media. All this poses new challenges for a long-trusted democracy.