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Do Rep. Ferguson and Trump support the violent QAnon?

By Jack Bernard

Bernard is a retired corporate executive

On Aug. 19, Jeb Bush said, “Why in the world would the President not kick QAnon supporters’ butts? Nut jobs, [racists], haters have no place in either party.”

According to the Compating Terrorism Center at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, “QAnon is arguably no longer simply a fringe conspiracy theory but an ideology that has demonstrated its capacity to radicalize to violence individuals at an alarming speed.” 

When I was still an active Republican office holder a decade ago, I was a delegate to the GOP state convention in Savannah. I heard Jeb Bush speak. Believe me, he is a staunch conservative. I was glad he recently spoke out against Trump’s statement regarding QAnon, which promotes violence, ignorance, anti-Semitism and general bigotry. 

Trump, on the other hand, indicated that he does not “know much about the movement other than I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate.” This is the same sort of evasive statement Trump has made about other radical white supremacy groups and people that support him, including David Duke and the Proud Boys.

The FBI included QAnon in a 2019 statement about “conspiracy theory-driven domestic extremists.” For those of you unfamiliar with the conspiracy theories of QAnon, you are in for a real treat. Per QAnon theory, a Satan worshiping cabal, including the Democratic leadership and powerful global forces, are plotting against Trump who is bravely leading the international fight against them through QAnon. Elites, celebrities, Jewish financiers, government officials and politicians such as Hillary Clinton are child sex predators engaged in a criminal conspiracy, including child trafficking and murder. These elitists are being helped by the terrible “deep state.” 

I was very pleased that other GOP conservatives also had the courage to stand up and be counted, saying: “no place … for QAnon” (Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy); “dangerous lunacy” (Rep. Liz Chaney);  “group of nuts and kooks” (Karl Rove);  “nuts” (Sen. Ben Sasse); “a bunch of wackadoodles” (Ari Fleischer); and “they’re just crazy” (Rep. Tom Cole).

Further, in a rare case of bipartisanship, the House of Representatives recently voted 18 to 371 in favor of a resolution to condemn QAnon. In fact, all of Georgia’s delegation voted for it with two exceptions. Rep. Buddy Carter, who later said he got confused and meant to vote “yea,” a questionable excuse.

And our local Congressman, Drew Ferguson, who since the vote has refused to directly comment on his radical position. Backtracking, his office stated that he “in no way intended to lend credibility to conspiracy theorists or their outlandish ideas. He does, however, support the First Amendment and its protection of free speech.”

However, the bi-partisan House resolution was clearly not an attack on free speech.  It was simply a non-binding resolution condemning a horrible conspiracy theory and the violence it promotes.

The resolution did not just come out of thin air, but rather was based on a series of events. A number of QAnon followers have either committed reprehensible violent acts or been caught planning such acts. 

The resolution appropriately called for federal agencies like the FBI to “strengthen their focus on preventing violence, threats, harassment, and other criminal activity by extremists motivated by fringe political conspiracy theories.” 

The resolution also “encourages,” but does not require, our intelligence agencies to investigate any foreign ties that QAnon has to hostile foreign powers and extremist groups.

So, this is the violent theory that Representative Ferguson has determined he would not condemn via a bi-partisan House resolution. Think about it the next time he sends you a card asking you for your support.