“There is a violent anarchy to QAnon that is baked into it,” said Mike Rothschild, the author of a book examining and debunking some of the most prominent conspiracy theories.
How deep into the GOP’s infrastructure QAnon has penetrated is an open question. So too is how Trump’s departure from the presidency and banishment from most social media will affect the reach of conspiracy within the Republican Party.
“This stuff has always been part of the stew,” said Liam Donovan, a Republican strategist in Washington. “Trump just turned up the heat and brought it to the surface.
The value of courting QAnon, to the extent Republican leaders like Trump considered it, was in delivering votes from a disaffected, passionate base of support. The risk of doing so was that they’d get a seat at the table.