Trump’s Latest Twitter Meme Is Music To The Ears Of QAnon Adherents

Screenshot/Dan Scavino, Twitter
|
March 9, 2020 1:21 p.m.
EDITORS' NOTE: TPM is making our COVID-19 coverage free to all readers during this national health crisis. If you’d like to support TPM's reporters, editors and staff, the best way to do so is to become a member.

The supposedly satanic cabal of politicians, bureaucrats, intelligence officials, and other well-connected political players secretly plotting against the President got a warning from the man himself Sunday — “Nothing can stop what’s coming.”

At least, that’s how those in “QAnon” universe reacted when the President retweeted a meme featuring a favored catchphrase of the movement.

“My Next Piece Is Called… Nothing Can Stop What’s Coming,” reads a text caption superimposed on an image of Trump playing the fiddle.

Many of the president’s critics pointed to an obvious parallel — Nero fiddled while Rome burned.

But for QAnon followers, the second half of the caption speaks to a central narrative in the conspiracy theory, which is based on years of cryptic online posts from an anonymous self-purported insider whose legion of fans pore over the posts like Talmudic scholars.

Trump, the theory posits, is engaged in a behind-the-scenes war against evil forces intent on his destruction. The unknown “Q” has used the phrase in several unsigned, largely inscrutable missives.

The phrase is meant to convey that mass arrests and a “great awakening” are inevitable no matter what the “deep state” or mainstream media do, said Travis View, co-host of the “QAnon Anonymous” podcast.

“It’s very fatalist,” View said.

Trump’s personal meme master, the White House director of social media Dan Scavino, posted the image just past midnight Sunday morning. When Trump shared it, he added his own comment, “Who knows what this means, but it sounds good to me!”

As it happens, plenty of inhabitants of the QAnon fever swamps heard the President’s message loud and clear.

Scavino has a history of turning to the internet for material. In December, he posted a picture of Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) with a call for submissions: “Alright, let’s see some MEME’s for social media! Ya never know, one could end up on @realDonaldTrump’s Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.”

On Saturday, he posted a similar call on his Facebook page. At least one commenter responded with the meme that Scavino — and after him, the President — later posted on Twitter.

View traced the potential path of the meme on Twitter Sunday. The President sharing the slogan, he said, led to “elation and gloating” among QAnon believers.

“Whenever Trump or someone close to Trump gives QAnon any sense of validation, they feel very vindicated,” View said.

This is hardly the first time Trump has dipped into the QAnon well. He’s previously retweeted Twitter users who had references to the conspiracy theory in their usernames or profile photos. And in August, just after Yahoo News revealed that the FBI considered the fringe conspiracists a potential domestic terror threat, a speaker at a Trump rally made reference to another of the group’s obscure slogans, “Where we go one, we go all.”

Comments
advertisement
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Publishing Associate:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer: