Local Con/MAGA posters and why they seem unhinged

2lion70

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The distrust and hatred of 'others' is a common trait. Believing in conspiracies and 'off the wall' concepts is very common. Add in the worship of an authoritarian known liar is a must. Reality is unknown to them.


Have you noticed specific traits in people that become QAnon believers?

First of all, about half the population believes in at least one conspiracy theory, so conspiracy theory beliefs are "normal." That said, psychology research has shown greater degrees of certain cognitive quirks among those who believe in conspiracy theories—like need for uniqueness; needs for certainty, closure, and control; and lack of analytical thinking. But the best predictor of conspiracy theory belief may be mistrust, and more specifically, mistrust of authoritative sources of information. Which means that those most likely to become QAnon believers mistrust mainstream sources of information, spend a lot of time on the internet and social media looking for alternative answers, and are devotees of President Trump.


QAnon also includes other facets that are appealing to some that can serve as "hooks" that lure people into the world of QAnon. There's obviously a central pro-Trump/anti-liberal component, but there's also considerable overlap with evangelical Christianity and its looming apocalyptic battle between good and evil. And now there's overlap with people who are concerned about child sex trafficking, with QAnon highjacking #SaveTheChildren. Curiously, however, those who are "hooked" from this angle are able to turn a blind eye to President Trump's own friendship with Jeffrey Epstein or the several charges made against him about sexual assault of minors, which amounts to a classic case of cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias.


In what ways does this conspiracy theory impact relationships?

In order to maintain fringe beliefs, it's often necessary to turn away from the mainstream, including any family and friends who disagree with you. In "falling down the rabbit hole," QAnon followers have often found a new world, and to some extent a new "family" of like-minded believers that make previous relationships less rewarding and more fraught. Similar to differences in political beliefs, arguments about QAnon can definitely break up marriages or cause significant strain on other relationships.


Immersing oneself in the internet world of QAnon can also resemble a behavioral addiction to pursuits like video games or gambling. QAnon is a complex world of interrelated conspiracy theories; it takes significant effort to follow. And so, devotees often end up spending more and more time on it, at the expense of in-person relationships, work, or more traditional recreational activities.


How should someone approach speaking to a loved one about their belief of QAnon?

Before you try, think about what your goals are: Are you just trying to make small talk over Thanksgiving dinner? Are you really trying to understand what they believe and why? Or are you trying to change their minds?

Depending on the circumstances, it might be best not to bring up QAnon at all. If you are going to ask about it, try to start by listening in an effort to understand. See if there's any common ground. Understand that belief in QAnon requires a rejection of mainstream sources of information, so that bringing those up isn't going to change anyone's mind. If you are hoping to challenge their beliefs, read up on QAnon: Arguing from a place of ignorance isn't likely to get you very far. Neither is ridicule, if your loved one is a "true believer."

Is that different from clashing political or religious beliefs? How scared should someone be of an aunt who believes in QAnon come Thanksgiving?

I wouldn't use the word "scared." If you're not looking for a fight, don't argue and don't engage. If they bring it up, try saying something like, "I know this is really important to you, but I'd prefer to not talk about this... can we talk about something else tonight?"
 

Obliviax

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Aug 21, 2001
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If a "conspiracy theory" is 1) that covid possibly originated in a lab in China 2) the medical industry lied about this possibility 3) people under the age of 50 who don't have comorbidity is no better having taken the vaccine 4) that we shouldn't have shut down schools and businesses for more than six months 5) that the FBI corrupted the "Russia!" campaign and 6) that a "stolen election" can include the media suppressing Hunter Biden's laptop...then I guess I qualify. But, in my defense, all of these have become demonstrably true.
 

LionDeNittany

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May 29, 2001
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DFW, TX
If a "conspiracy theory" is 1) that covid possibly originated in a lab in China 2) the medical industry lied about this possibility 3) people under the age of 50 who don't have comorbidity is no better having taken the vaccine 4) that we shouldn't have shut down schools and businesses for more than six months 5) that the FBI corrupted the "Russia!" campaign and 6) that a "stolen election" can include the media suppressing Hunter Biden's laptop...then I guess I qualify. But, in my defense, all of these have become demonstrably true.

2lyin is just spreading his usual lies this morning.

LdN
 
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psuted

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Nov 26, 2010
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The distrust and hatred of 'others' is a common trait. Believing in conspiracies and 'off the wall' concepts is very common. Add in the worship of an authoritarian known liar is a must. Reality is unknown to them.


Have you noticed specific traits in people that become QAnon believers?

First of all, about half the population believes in at least one conspiracy theory, so conspiracy theory beliefs are "normal." That said, psychology research has shown greater degrees of certain cognitive quirks among those who believe in conspiracy theories—like need for uniqueness; needs for certainty, closure, and control; and lack of analytical thinking. But the best predictor of conspiracy theory belief may be mistrust, and more specifically, mistrust of authoritative sources of information. Which means that those most likely to become QAnon believers mistrust mainstream sources of information, spend a lot of time on the internet and social media looking for alternative answers, and are devotees of President Trump.


QAnon also includes other facets that are appealing to some that can serve as "hooks" that lure people into the world of QAnon. There's obviously a central pro-Trump/anti-liberal component, but there's also considerable overlap with evangelical Christianity and its looming apocalyptic battle between good and evil. And now there's overlap with people who are concerned about child sex trafficking, with QAnon highjacking #SaveTheChildren. Curiously, however, those who are "hooked" from this angle are able to turn a blind eye to President Trump's own friendship with Jeffrey Epstein or the several charges made against him about sexual assault of minors, which amounts to a classic case of cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias.


In what ways does this conspiracy theory impact relationships?

In order to maintain fringe beliefs, it's often necessary to turn away from the mainstream, including any family and friends who disagree with you. In "falling down the rabbit hole," QAnon followers have often found a new world, and to some extent a new "family" of like-minded believers that make previous relationships less rewarding and more fraught. Similar to differences in political beliefs, arguments about QAnon can definitely break up marriages or cause significant strain on other relationships.


Immersing oneself in the internet world of QAnon can also resemble a behavioral addiction to pursuits like video games or gambling. QAnon is a complex world of interrelated conspiracy theories; it takes significant effort to follow. And so, devotees often end up spending more and more time on it, at the expense of in-person relationships, work, or more traditional recreational activities.


How should someone approach speaking to a loved one about their belief of QAnon?

Before you try, think about what your goals are: Are you just trying to make small talk over Thanksgiving dinner? Are you really trying to understand what they believe and why? Or are you trying to change their minds?

Depending on the circumstances, it might be best not to bring up QAnon at all. If you are going to ask about it, try to start by listening in an effort to understand. See if there's any common ground. Understand that belief in QAnon requires a rejection of mainstream sources of information, so that bringing those up isn't going to change anyone's mind. If you are hoping to challenge their beliefs, read up on QAnon: Arguing from a place of ignorance isn't likely to get you very far. Neither is ridicule, if your loved one is a "true believer."

Is that different from clashing political or religious beliefs? How scared should someone be of an aunt who believes in QAnon come Thanksgiving?

I wouldn't use the word "scared." If you're not looking for a fight, don't argue and don't engage. If they bring it up, try saying something like, "I know this is really important to you, but I'd prefer to not talk about this... can we talk about something else tonight?"
Blah, blah, blah

Russia, Russia, Russia

Fake Insurrection. Fake Insurrection, Fake Insurrection
 

2lion70

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If a "conspiracy theory" is 1) that covid possibly originated in a lab in China 2) the medical industry lied about this possibility 3) people under the age of 50 who don't have comorbidity is no better having taken the vaccine 4) that we shouldn't have shut down schools and businesses for more than six months 5) that the FBI corrupted the "Russia!" campaign and 6) that a "stolen election" can include the media suppressing Hunter Biden's laptop...then I guess I qualify. But, in my defense, all of these have become demonstrably true.
If you buy into the conspiracy you are too blind to see reality.
 

Obliviax

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Aug 21, 2001
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If you buy into the conspiracy you are too blind to see reality.
I see you didn't even try to refute anything I said so I have to ask why. But I know why; they are all validated truth. So what you've been calling 'conspiracy theories' in many cases, have become true.

Today, I see this. Why an Amnesty Program? Because of all the ways your party ****ed up the USA for almost three years

FgaYSkPXEAI6oED
 

2lion70

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Jul 1, 2004
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I see you didn't even try to refute anything I said so I have to ask why. But I know why; they are all validated truth. So what you've been calling 'conspiracy theories' in many cases, have become true.

Today, I see this. Why an Amnesty Program? Because of all the ways your party ****ed up the USA for almost three years

FgaYSkPXEAI6oED
As usual your post was nonsense, not worthy of a reply.
 
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m.knox

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Denying reality is a sign of being out of touch with reality. You fit that description. Never having facts to support your posts. Just wild claims showing your belief in nonsense.

LOL........ You still believe the russia hoax, and you want to talk about denial? Good Lord man........
 
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m.knox

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Pretty much. I love their use of the words "demonstrably true" to justify their mis-guided belief in baseless conspiracy theories ... I don't think those words mean what these folks think they mean.

Democrats are the party of abortion. You vote for them.

It's DEMONSTRABLY TRUE.....
 

dailybuck777

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Jan 2, 2018
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To answer your question of "why do MAGA posters appear unhinged?"
They are.
Might want to look at the people attacking the overruling of Roe v Wade if you want to find unhinged people. Also, Joe Biden stating that Georgia's election reforms were Jim Crow on steroids.
 

pioneerlion83

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May 29, 2001
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SouthernMD, by way of NJ and PSU
Democrats are the party of abortion. You vote for them.

It's DEMONSTRABLY TRUE.....
goal-post-moving.gif

And the Republican Party is the party that is pro-killing mothers and locking them up for having traumatic miscarriages and still-births, pro-indentured servitude, and pro-locking up small children and separating them from their parents. And you vote for them. All demonstrably true. See, mindless, easy game to play...
And no chart...you're definitely off YOUR game there, Knoxy.
 
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m.knox

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goal-post-moving.gif

And the Republican Party is the party that is pro-killing mothers and locking them up for having traumatic miscarriages and still-births, pro-indentured servitude, and pro-locking up small children and separating them from their parents. And you vote for them. All demonstrably true. See, mindless, easy game to play...
And no chart...you're definitely off YOUR game there, Knoxy.

I'm for a federal policy more like that of France or Germany.

Yes, I know, you are mindless. Anyone who believes abortion is an abomination (your words) and votes D has to be mindless.
 

2lion70

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@2lion70 posts a piece about QAnon followers and generalizes it to:

"Local Con/MAGA posters and why they seem unhinged"​


What a dishonest way to trash legitimate points of view by painting them with a blanket accusation.
The shoe fits. Deal with it.
 

Jason1743

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Might want to look at the people attacking the overruling of Roe v Wade if you want to find unhinged people. Also, Joe Biden stating that Georgia's election reforms were Jim Crow on steroids.
give me a freaking break. Verbally attacking a bad SC decision or a bad law is not the same as attacking Paul Pelosi with a hammer to the head.
 
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m.knox

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give me a freaking break. Verbally attacking a bad SC decision or a bad law is not the same as attacking Paul Pelosi with a hammer to the head.

Democrats are trying to destroy our constitutional republic.
 

pioneerlion83

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SouthernMD, by way of NJ and PSU
I'm for a federal policy more like that of France or Germany.

Yes, I know, you are mindless. Anyone who believes abortion is an abomination (your words) and votes D has to be mindless.
Well, then, you should have one of your patented CHARTS describing what the policy is in France or Germany!

Like I told you many times Knoxy, Abortion on demand is an abomination, and I am not a single issue voter.
 

junior1

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May 29, 2001
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goal-post-moving.gif

And the Republican Party is the party that is pro-killing mothers and locking them up for having traumatic miscarriages and still-births, pro-indentured servitude, and pro-locking up small children and separating them from their parents. And you vote for them. All demonstrably true. See, mindless, easy game to play...
And no chart...you're definitely off YOUR game there, Knoxy.
not sure you're not stretching things here 83, and I'm not a republican
 
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junior1

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give me a freaking break. Verbally attacking a bad SC decision or a bad law is not the same as attacking Paul Pelosi with a hammer to the head.
ok, how about arriving at a sc justice home with weapon and intention to kill a SC justice.

Let's face it, there are a sufficent number of less than totally hinged people on both sides of the aisle. The game of your guy is crazier than my guy is really kind of fruitless. With only a small effort you can find equal and opposite instances of those on left or right acting unhinged.
 
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Jason1743

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ok, how about arriving at a sc justice home with weapon and intention to kill a SC justice.

Let's face it, there are a sufficent number of less than totally hinged people on both sides of the aisle. The game of your guy is crazier than my guy is really kind of fruitless. With only a small effort you can find equal and opposite instances of those on left or right acting unhinged.
Junior, you don't get my point. The attempted assassination of Brett Kavanaugh is totally unacceptable. Thankfully it was stopped before anything actually happened. Both Democrats and Republicans denounced the perpetrator.
Paul Pelosi had his skull fractured by a hammer. He easily could have been killed. Some Republicans denounced the attack, many including the former President have been silent. Others have either denied the facts of the incident or created a disgusting false narrative about Pelosi and the perpetrator being gay lovers.
The Jan 6 rioters didn't stop until they were asked to stop by Donald Trump. Is it too much to ask for Trump to denounce this sort of political violence ahead of the mid term elections? I don't think so.
 

junior1

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Junior, you don't get my point. The attempted assassination of Brett Kavanaugh is totally unacceptable. Thankfully it was stopped before anything actually happened. Both Democrats and Republicans denounced the perpetrator.
Paul Pelosi had his skull fractured by a hammer. He easily could have been killed. Some Republicans denounced the attack, many including the former President have been silent. Others have either denied the facts of the incident or created a disgusting false narrative about Pelosi and the perpetrator being gay lovers.
The Jan 6 rioters didn't stop until they were asked to stop by Donald Trump. Is it too much to ask for Trump to denounce this sort of political violence ahead of the mid term elections? I don't think so.
well, I just read an article that says Trump spoke out denouncing the violence toward Pelosi. So, I don't think you're accurate.
I posted once before on this Pelosi thing.....when there is a void of information from the authorities, others will come up with factoids that fill that void, whether accurate or not.
Just read an article that quoted one of Pelosi's neighbors. This person said that everybody in the neighborhood had alarms, and that there were always black cars parked around pelosi's house, whether or not anyone was home. Now I don't know if this guy's statements are true, but, since we've heard nothing about security during the night that Pelosi was attacked, who's to say that what he says is false.
Regardless of what political hay both sides want to make of the incident - illegal immigrnt, MAGA nut, crime, crazy......things like this attack - whether or some recognizeable person or some middle class guy thrown on the subway tracks - the violence has to stop.
You guys just seem so hung up on Trump, that, like the little boy who cried wolf, nobody pays attention anymore. Personally, I wish Trump would fade into the sunset...retire, put him in jail, prohibit him from holding elective office, make him a silent elder statesman, whatever. My world does not revolve around Trump. I really don't care what he has to say about P Pelosi. I have my own opinions and nothing Trump says will defer another attack on either republican, democrat , SC justice or FED governor by a crazy person. To me, we, as a society, are at fault for having mentally challenged people on the streets awaiting someone else to say "we all knew something like this would happen" as was said in this case. When we learn??
 

Jason1743

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Jan 23, 2006
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well, I just read an article that says Trump spoke out denouncing the violence toward Pelosi. So, I don't think you're accurate.
I posted once before on this Pelosi thing.....when there is a void of information from the authorities, others will come up with factoids that fill that void, whether accurate or not.
Just read an article that quoted one of Pelosi's neighbors. This person said that everybody in the neighborhood had alarms, and that there were always black cars parked around pelosi's house, whether or not anyone was home. Now I don't know if this guy's statements are true, but, since we've heard nothing about security during the night that Pelosi was attacked, who's to say that what he says is false.
Regardless of what political hay both sides want to make of the incident - illegal immigrnt, MAGA nut, crime, crazy......things like this attack - whether or some recognizeable person or some middle class guy thrown on the subway tracks - the violence has to stop.
You guys just seem so hung up on Trump, that, like the little boy who cried wolf, nobody pays attention anymore. Personally, I wish Trump would fade into the sunset...retire, put him in jail, prohibit him from holding elective office, make him a silent elder statesman, whatever. My world does not revolve around Trump. I really don't care what he has to say about P Pelosi. I have my own opinions and nothing Trump says will defer another attack on either republican, democrat , SC justice or FED governor by a crazy person. To me, we, as a society, are at fault for having mentally challenged people on the streets awaiting someone else to say "we all knew something like this would happen" as was said in this case. When we

Junior, I agree with much of you said. The temperature needs to come down and Trump needs to go away. Trump called the Pelosi situation “sad”, but both he and Junior are stoking conspiracy theories about what happened.
I agree that we as a society are collectively at fault for our rhetoric. We need to watch what we say and hold those who use incendiary rhetoric to account.
 

junior1

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Junior, I agree with much of you said. The temperature needs to come down and Trump needs to go away. Trump called the Pelosi situation “sad”, but both he and Junior are stoking conspiracy theories about what happened.
I agree that we as a society are collectively at fault for our rhetoric. We need to watch what we say and hold those who use incendiary rhetoric to account.
And we need to find a way to get the mentally challenged the help they need
 
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