If Dan Cox is a "QAnon whack job", where is Q?
A descent into darkness to find out
“Dan Cox is a QAnon whack job” — said Governor Larry Hogan, and virtually every other insider who’s wanted to dismiss his gubernatorial candidacy out of hand instead of engaging with it on merit.
Yup, Cox is nutty. All those kids. That Christianity. Was at the Capitol on January 6th. Thinks the election was unfair. Says there is a shadow government. Talks about freedom. Likes guns. Has Trump’s endorsement…
A big time QAnon conspiracy theorist he must be. Probably even knows Q personally.
But then, where exactly does one find this dastardly Q?
To find out I invite you back to 2013 with me, when, while I was still slurring my way through college at Salisbury, I used a research assignment as an excuse to fire up an onion router browser with the intention of navigating my way through the Dark Web to find the ultra-libertarian ecommerce oasis called Silk Road, which was run by the bit-swashbuckling Dread Pirate Roberts and his lethal sidekick Variety Jones.
I never did find it, but in my attempt nonetheless came across Bitcoin and drugs and hitmen and hookers and hellraisers of every kind, including some Middle Eastern jihadists looking to leverage their anonymized connection to the West to fundraise for their allahu akbarian cause.
When I returned to the Surface Web I washed ashore onto Youtube, and was algorithmically suggested one of Ben Shapiro’s earlier viral videos — the myth of the tiny radical muslim minority — which set me on a filter bubbled trajectory towards Joe Rogan and Sam Harris and Jordan Peterson, a collection of commentators the New York Times would later dub the Intellectual Dark Web.
I naturally became a regular reader of Breitbart and PJ Media and The Daily Wire, even InfoWars every now and again when my brain palette jonesed for some junk food.
And for a couple years there, I’m a little reluctant to admit that after a mass shooting or an especially grizzly massacre, I would descend down into the depths of 4chan and 8chan to read the ugly manifestos of those feeble and cowardly murderers, and to catch glimpses of the video captured atrocities that rarely bubbled their way up to the Surface Web.
You might think that is deranged, it probably is a little, but my curiosity compelled me and I honestly think it had the effect of maturing my soul.
One time while down there I happened upon the writings of the unabomber Ted Kaczynski, and was shocked to find after reading him end to end, that his notion of how technology would disempower the individual was especially prescient considering how long ago he clacked the thesis onto paper from a typewriter way out in the sticks.
Still today I seek out content that is different and daring and dissenting. It is after all on the margins where the new ideas that are soon to be mainstream are first brought into life.
Just last week I lost myself for hours on the Substack of Mencius Moldbug, the slick Silicon Valley neo-monarchist who the Peter Thiel funded America First senatorial candidates JD Vance and Blake Masters count as an influence.
And through it all I’ve made it a point to consume plenty of progressive content too, regularly checking in with Gawker and The Daily Beast and Jacobin and Salon and The Young Turks, not to mention liberal mainstream news and local journalism outlets like CNN and The Baltimore Sun.
I’ve frolicked about on Reddit plenty as well, which always seems to teem with the pretentious who create nothing but criticize everything.
And yet, for all my forays into the deepest and darkest corners of the internet over the course of the last decade, never once have I encountered the elusive Q and his supposedly sprawling army of co-conspirators.
I’ve imagined the moment, seeing it in my head as something like how Captain Willard floats into discovering Colonel Kurtz and his cultish community in the jungles of Laos at the heart of darkness.
But nope. Despite my appetite for the digital melodrama — nothing.
So when Larry Hogan or whoever else tries to dismiss Cox as a “QAnon whack job”, I don’t have the first fucking clue what they are talking about.
And if ever there was a type of person who would know, seems like it would be me.
As for Cox's views on kids and religion and the election and the deep state and freedom and guns — seems like he pretty much has it pegged.
Now I’ll keep looking for Q for the same reason I used to wind up on 4chan: curiosity.
Maybe I’ll finally find him in the same place as the evidence that Trump colluded with Russia.
Maryland Muckraker is a completely independent and fearlessly conservative blog covering local issues by me, Ethan Reese. After spending nearly a decade in corporate Baltimore in marketing technology, figured I’d have a go at writing. Since then I’ve contributed articles to FOX’s OutKick, PJ Media, and Rare Politics, as well as being named a Writing Fellow with the America’s Future Foundation.
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