But even this was just part of the buildup to what ended up being a full QAnon passion game, as the rally culminated in Trump glaring, rattling off a series of complaints about swollen strings. His followers, who were instructed to raise their fingers in salute, did so, resulting in a scene that looked like it was straight out of Leni Riefenstahl’s catalogue. The bloated music he was ranting about was eerily similar to the QAnon anthem “Wwg1wga,” a reference to the conspiracy theory catchphrase “Where we go one, we go all”. The one finger salute was also a nod to the title of that song. Two other speakers at the rally, including marjorie taylor greene, have promoted QAnon in recent years. Trump himself has recently published o reposted several images linked to QAnon on its “Truth Social” platform.
“Now we are a nation in decline. We are a failed nation,” Trump said, referring to what has become a familiar theme in his speeches, referencing high inflation and energy costs and the need for more domestic energy production. It was much like traditional fascist mythmaking: only one man can restore the glory, wealth and prestige of the motherland and that person is a real estate developer/swindler turned insurrectionist.
That Trump’s eventual embrace of QAnon was preordained remains unsettling. The conspiracy theory is held by his most devoted supporters, who believe, among other things, that he will be reinstated as president of the United States and that the Democratic Party is run by a cabal of child sex traffickers. That combination of extreme loyalty to himself and extraordinary dislike for his rivals is what he has always fostered among his followers. As Trump becomes more and more obsessed with the investigations that engulf him — in the attempt to nullify the 2020 election, in his apparent theft of hundreds of classified documents, in his corrupt dealings — it only becomes more necessary to play more directly with those most willing to believe their claims of victimhood.