In 1964, Harper's Magazine published an essay titled "The Paranoid Style in American Politics," which traced America's long and sordid history of political conspiracy theories.
The essay became a classic, and has been regarded as a touchstone of American political analysis as the nation evolved from Birchers to Birthers.
Today Vice published a worthy successor, "What I Learned Inside the Lonely, Sad World of QAnon Facebook Groups" in which writer K.T. Nelson embeds with 'Heartbreakingly lonely’ QAnon diehards.
The conspiracy holds that basically every powerful person in the United States besides Donald Trump is part of a pedophile cult and that Trump and Robert Mueller are working together to dismantle it.
As Nelson learned, most people who believe this wild and debunked conspiracy madness are "elderly and unemployed."
"What I found was a frothing cauldron of insanity, where people asserted that the Santa at Trump rallies was the not-actually-dead JFK Jr, biding his time until he could come back and arrest Michelle Obama, and where no admission of belief was too embarrassing," the article reads. "It got much, much worse around the holidays."
Many QAnon types also are estranged from their families, "a sad collective of individuals who seem to think the world has passed them by, and whose breathless devotion to this particular cause has cost them their friendships, families, marriages, and jobs."
The writer observed several believers attempting to share a communal holiday experience by posting pictures of their meals.
In one image that was screenshotted, there was a cold bologna sandwich on white bread topped with flavored tortilla chips.
"Normally I would find these things too sad to be funny," the article says. "But Q followers (almost all self-described deplorables) blur the line between being tragic and hilariously gullible. And these posts, far from being the exception to the rule, are actually the norm in the Q-niverse."
Read the post here.