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Response to IcyPeas (Reply #50)

Fri Jul 23, 2021, 03:41 PM

68. at the very least

they (meaning QAnon and insurrectionists) are very lonely and the loneliness affected/s their mental health. This column by Michelle Goldberg of the NY Times tells about how the loneliness and Covid played into the insurrection.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/19/opinion/trump-covid-extremism-loneliness.html

Michelle has written several other pieces on why they idolize trump and the appeal of QAnon. They are linked at the bottom of her piece.

I hesitate to post this because one of the sources for her opinion piece is the American Enterprise Insitute, (A.E.I.) a source I never used to let students doing research papers use. I consider it a r-w propaganda house. However, you view it, the very least we can say about this source is that it's interesting that the traditional rw has been studying the psychology of their base for years now. (Lynne Cheney sits on their board.)

Also I hesitate to quote it because of the paywall. However, here are four paragraphs that some of you may find very interesting.

Also, not all her sources are AEI. She quotes others.

snip

Polling data from A.E.I.’s Survey Center on American Life found that 17 percent of Americans said they had not a single person in their “core social network.” These “socially disconnected voters were far more likely to view Trump positively and support his re-election than those with more robust personal networks,” wrote Cox.

It’s not just Trumpism that feeds on isolation. Consider QAnon, which has morphed from an internet message board hoax into a quasi-religion. In his book “The Storm Is Upon Us: How QAnon Became a Movement, Cult, and Conspiracy Theory of Everything,” the journalist Mike Rothschild shows how central a sense of digital community is to QAnon’s appeal. “It’s one of the reasons why baby boomers have fallen in with Q to such a surprising degree — many are empty nesters, on their own, or retired,” he writes.

It’s also likely a reason that QAnon started expanding in tandem with Covid lockdowns, finding new life among Instagram influencers, yoga practitioners and suburban moms. Suddenly people all over America had their social lives obliterated, and many mothers found themselves trapped in domestic isolation beyond anything imagined by Betty Friedan. Stuck at home, they had more time to get sucked into internet rabbit holes. QAnon, which came to merge with Covid-trutherism, gave them an explanation for their misery and villains to blame.

A cruel paradox of Covid is that the social distancing required to control it nurtured pathologies that are now prolonging it. Isolated, atomized people turned to movements that turned them against vaccines. Here, too, Arendt was prescient. She described people shaken loose from any definite place in the world as being at once deeply selfish and indifferent to their own well-being: “Self-centeredness, therefore, went hand in hand with a decisive weakening of the instinct for self-preservation.”


snip

A conundrum for me about the TFG voters and QAnon is where the hell did all these people come from? This column explains to me that they were not all nuts to start with (a little shaky, most likely). There is a convergence of events and psyche that comes together here.

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