Eighteen congressmen refuse to condemn QAnon in vote on conspiracy theories

At least two argue that resolution against conspiracy theorists is a threat to free speech

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Saturday 03 October 2020 01:11
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House passes resolution condemning Qanon

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to condemn QAnon on Friday, but the online movement’s identification as a potential terrorist threat by the FBI failed to sway 18 members.

Seventeen Republicans and one Independent voted against the resolution which was introduced by Democrat representative Tom Malinowski of New Jersey, and GOP lawmaker Denver Riggleman of Virginia.

The pro-Trump movement promotes a wide range of conspiracy theories about the “deep state” in the US government involving Satan worship, child sex trafficking, and many other baseless accusations.

President Donald Trump called its followers “people that love our country” and they are often a vocal presence at his campaign events.

QAnon is a “collective delusion,” said House Rules Chairman Jim McGovers, “We all must call it what it is: a sick cult.”

Mr Malinowski introduced the resolution after repeated Republican attack ads accused him of lobbying on behalf of sexual predators, which then led to death threats from QAnon followers.

A total of 371 lawmakers voted Yea for the resolution "Condemning QAnon and rejecting the conspiracy theories it promotes". In addition to the 18 Nay votes, one member voted present and 40 were listed as not voting.

“Conspiracy theories, just like this one, have fuelled prejudice, terrorism, even genocide, and today, social media is fanning the flames,” said Mr Malinowski on the floor of the House.

The resolution encourages law enforcement agencies to concentrate on preventing violence and harassment by fringe conspiracy theorists.

The House will soon have its first member who is a QAnon believer. Majorie Taylor Greene won a Republican primary run-off in Georgia’s 14th congressional district which leans heavily towards the GOP making it almost certain that she will win the seat. Her Democrat opponent has dropped out citing personal reasons.

Greene endorsed QAnon theories and has made a number of racist remarks on video. She also posted shocking images involving the Democratic “squad” of representatives to her Facebook page.

Among those members of the House who voted against the resolution was Steve King of Iowa, who will be leaving the House soon having lost his primary in the summer, and who was removed from committee assignments after questioning why the terms “white supremacist” and “white nationalist” are deemed offensive in an interview.

Buzzfeed reports that two politicians, Jodey Arrington of Texas and Libertarian Justin Amash, argued that they voted Nay out of concern for free speech.

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