Reflecting on Donald Trump's 103-minute speech in Youngstown, Ohio this past Saturday, conservative Daily Beast contributor Matt Lewis frantically waved the red flag on the turn the president's rhetoric has taken.
Bluntly stating the former president is "more dangerous than ever," the columnist claimed Trump is sinking deeper into the dangerous territory as he embraces QAnon and mainstreams it to his fans.
Noting the music played near the end that has been called "creepy" and the crowd holding up their hands in a manner that suggests cult-like behavior, Lewis wrote Trump "has long flirted with QAnon," and now it looks like he is immersed in it and all of its dangerous trappings.
"As we saw in the case of the Proud Boys (“Stand back and stand by!”), Trump will never criticize or alienate even the most-fringe elements of his loyal fan base. Still, something new is afoot, and it’s worth asking why Trump has suddenly ratcheted up his outreach to QAnon," he wrote before warning, "These two recent developments—Trump’s veiled threat of violence if he’s indicted, and his open embrace of QAnon—are not isolated."
As Lewis sees it, Trump is feeling cornered and desperately looking for anything that can save his skin -- which includes hinting at violence to come if he is indicted.
"Trump senses he’s in danger of losing his grip (and maybe his freedom). Like the coward who flexes and blusters to avoid an actual physical confrontation, Trump wants to remind everyone that he has a mob (both in person and online), and they’d be pissed if he is ever held accountable for his actions," Lewis wrote. "Mobs of blindly loyal supporters have always been a powerful weapon in the hands of a skilled demagogue, but Q fans are potentially more dangerous because of their willingness to embrace delusional conspiracy theories—and their resilience."
Asking fellow conservatives, "But are you capable of saying that what Trump is doing goes beyond politics and is essentially damaging our nation?" he answered his own question by writing, "I know there are numerous legitimate political policy issues and problems in America. For example, immigration is a political issue. Inflation is a political issue. CRT is a political issue. But threatening violence and embracing a conspiracy theory does not qualify as a political issue. Hell, this isn’t even just an issue. This is just crazy—and profoundly dangerous."
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