A Republican lawmaker in Minnesota is calling on his party to rescind its endorsements of those who have shared posts or support of the QAnon conspiracy movement.
Rep. Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington) posted a tweet that was shared almost 300 times Tuesday, describing QAnon as a "crackpot conspiracy group that has zero legitimacy."
It came after a Star Tribune reported that there are six endorsed Republican candidates for state elections this November who have promoted the conspiracy theory, which is a false and extreme narrative that claims a shadowy cabal of Satanic pedophiles is running a global child sex trafficking ring and are plotting against President Donald Trump, with the movement led by an anonymous individual known only as "Q" who is apparently battling the "deep state" from within.
Candidates were identified as having shared or promoted QAnon conspiracy theories on social media, or even referenced them in campaign videos.
The six identified in the Star Tribune article, which you can read here, are Julie Dupre (running in Senate District 49, Edina), Melissa Moore (House District 46B, Hopkins and St. Louis Park), Gary Heyer (HD 50B, Bloomington), Julia Buria (HD 6B, Virginia and Eveleth), Elizabeth Bangert (SD 19, Mankato and St. Peter), and Joe Thalman (HD 49B, Bloomington).
"Any candidate for office who supports or advocates QAnon nonsense is unqualified to be an elected official," Garofalo said in his tweet. "The Republican party should rescind the endorsement of any candidate who supports QAnon poison."
A story published on Thursday by Wired delves into the reasons as to why QAnon has taken hold among a growing number of the population, capitalizing on a distrust of government and media institutions – making them less likely to believe debunking efforts – and the natural instinct to protect children.
This is further facilitated by social media algorithms via the likes of Facebook and YouTube that expose some people to conspiracy rabbit holes and increasingly extreme content.