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Tyler Cowen

What Does QAnon Stand For?

It’s tempting simply to dismiss conspiracy theories, but they have been influential in American history.

What do they really believe?

What do they really believe?

Photographer: Mario Tama/Getty Images North America

When asked about QAnon last month, President Donald Trump said: “I don’t know much about the movement, other than I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate. But I don’t know much about the movement.”

This has been mocked as a faux naïve response, but it has the ring of truth — the president doesn’t know about a lot of things, and it seems safe to say that a relatively obscure conspiracy theory is among them. With QAnon growing in size and visibility, however, it’s worth asking what the movement is really about.