If you’re unfamiliar with the QAnon hoax, it’s essentially an insane group of conspiracy theorists who believe pedophile Democrats are eating babies and Trump is somehow working with then-special counsel Robert Mueller to take down the “deep state.”
If all of this sounds idiotic, it's because it is. But as dumb as it all sounds, this hasn’t stopped Florida congressional candidates from sharing this unsupported trash. The progressive nonprofit site Media Matters recently released a handy guide outlining all the candidates across the country who have either endorsed or promoted QAnon content.
Here are all the two QAnon-peddling candidates from the Sunshine State, via Media Matters:
Matthew Lusk is a Republican candidate currently running unopposed in the primary for Florida’s 5th Congressional District. Lusk has tweeted multiple QAnon videos and has an “issue” page on his campaign site specifically called “Q” featuring the text “who is Q.” Lusk also appeared in a video on NBC News about his support for QAnon, which he demonstrates partly by including a “Q” on the back of his campaign signs.
Lusk has expanded upon his belief in QAnon in multiple interviews. He told the Florida Politics blog, “Q is one of my issues because it’s definitely a leak from high places.” In an interview with The Daily Beast, Lusk said that posts from “Q” are a “legitimate something” and that they are a “very articulate screening of past events, a very articulate screening of present conditions, and a somewhat prophetic divination of where the political and geopolitical ball will be bouncing next.” And in an interview with NBC News, Lusk said “Q” is “like an advanced news warning,” adding that “it might come out in the mainstream media a week or two weeks later. So I think there's a lot of inside sources, whoever this person is.”
Michael Bluemling is a Republican candidate running in Florida’s 21st Congressional District. The candidate has tweeted the hashtag “#Q” and other hashtags associated with “TheStorm,” another reference to the QAnon conspiracy theory. He has also endorsed the Pizzagate conspiracy theory.
The problem with QAnon is while it can certainly be written off as stupid online trolling, it has seeped its way into dangerous real-life situations. Last month, two QAnon believers were charged with murders that were reportedly motivated by their beliefs in the conspiracy theory. Also, believers in the wildly debunked Pizzagate conspiracy theory, which has now been adopted by QAnon, have literally shot up and tried to burn down a Washington pizzeria.
On top of all this, last year the FBI labeled the movement as an official domestic terror threat. Of course, it’s hard to blame these candidates for spreading this kind of crap when our own president has retweeted it in the past.
Read the full list of candidates over at Media Matters.