QAnon’s ‘Great Awakening’ failed to materialize. What’s next could be worse

Believers who were stymied by Trump’s exit could turn to white nationalism and other extremist beliefs, experts say

Shortly before Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, Dave Hayes – a longtime QAnon influencer who goes by the name Praying Medic – posted a photo of dark storm clouds gathering over the US Capitol on the rightwing social media platform Gab. “What a beautiful black sky,” he wrote to his 92,000 followers, appending a thunderclap emoji.

The message was clear to those well-versed in QAnon lore: “the Storm” – the day of reckoning when Donald Trump and his faithful allies in the military would declare martial law, round up all their many political enemies, and send them to Guantánamo Bay for execution by hanging – was finally here. 20 January 2021 wouldn’t mark the end of Trump’s presidency, but the beginning of “the Great Awakening”.

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