For some perverse reason, Tucker Carlson has an interest in driving QAnon conspiracy kooks deeper into their psychotic delusions. Carlson spent an entire segment of his show on Fox News Monday night fueling QAnon cultists’ paranoia by trying to convince them that they’re in danger of being subject to thought control.
“If they succeed in controlling what you believe, you are no longer a citizen,” Tucker said, as if he were channeling Patrick Henry. “You are not a free man, you are a slave.”
This is clearly not the message to send to people who already believe that there is a global conspiracy to enslave them, and who hang their hopes on the words of a mysterious fictitious character named Q, who is supposedly embedded deep within the U.S. government and sends them coded messages.
It is particularly sinister for a TV personality like Carlson to send this kind of message, considering the havoc QAnon has already wreaked on society. For example:
QAnon fanatics have made unsuspecting people’s lives a living hell by stalking and harassing them online after slanderously accusing them of being pedophiles and child traffickers. Among these victims are Chrissy Teigen, Tom Hanks, Hilary Duff, and Oprah Winfrey.
They’ve also cheered for the arrest and execution of innocent people in government and entertainment whom they believe belong to a powerful worldwide satanic cabal whose rituals include sacrificing and eating children.
Gullible disciples of Q were in the lynch mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol, calling for the arrest and execution of elected U.S. officials. They took part in this insurrection because they believed the lie that their votes had been stolen by Democrats.
“We’re watching a profound change taking place in American society, and it’s happening fast,” Carlson warned. “The stakes could not be higher.” The stakes are high indeed, but they’re not the stakes of democracy vs. tyranny, as Carlson was trying to tell the QAnon supporters in his audience. The true stakes are sanity vs. descent into utter madness.
It is the responsibility of those among us who are sane to warn our fellow human beings when their delusions become a danger to themselves and to others, not to encourage them. We’ve seen cults like QAnon before and they never end well.
Followers end up putting on matching sneakers and overdosing on phenobarbital so they can go join the 33 alien space ships trailing the Hale-Bopp comet. Or they follow their guru to some god-forsaken corner of the earth, only to one day obey his command to commit mass suicide by drinking Kool-Aid laced with poison.
People who are caught in deceptive, dangerous cults are not well and need professional help. But celebrities with a national platform like Carlson who reinforce their pathology are truly diabolical.