The very idea of “cognitive dissonance” came from a study of true believers at a time when their cult’s prophecies failed. So it’s fair to say that followers of QAnon are trodding on well-worn ground as they watch their supposed deep state–cleanser and redeemer of the United States retreat to Florida. Some of the right-wing conspiracies’ most well-known believers are taking the inauguration of Joe Biden in stride, holding both their Q beliefs and the reality of today’s ceremony within their heads.
Ron Watkins, who ran the message board 8kun that hosted Q’s posts and discussion of them, has essentially told the true believers to move on. In a post on Telegram, the man who many suspect was the mysterious poster Q at the heart of the conspiracy said followers should hold on to the good times and return to their lives.
“We need to keep our chins up and go back to our lives as best we are able,” said Watkins. “We have a new president sworn in and it is our responsibility as citizens to respect the Constitution regardless of whether or not we agree with the specifics. As we enter into the next administration please remember all the friends and happy memories we made together over the past few years.”
One of the most prominent members of the QAnon conspiracy openly accepting the victory of Joe Biden stirred up many different corners of the internet, with several people expressing shock at how easily Watkins dusted his hands of the whole thing: