Well, rats! Instead, Biden is now president, and America’s legal system is getting ready to rain down comeuppance on Donald Trump. But the meltdown that ensued in QAnon forums was epic.
“I don’t think this is supposed to happen?” wrote one follower. “How long does it take the fed to run up the stairs and arrest him?” Apparently, a very very long time—otherwise known as never.
No emergency announcement from Trump. No mass arrests. Just the continuation of democracy as regularly scheduled every four years at 12:01 PM on Jan. 20.
“I’m about to puke,” wrote another conspirator. Okay, finally getting to where the rest of us here in reality have been for the past four years.
Many followers cycled through the classic stages of grief (documented here): denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
Some rather infamous purveyors of the QAnon nonsense even suggested they might have reached the end of the line with the conspiracy theory. “We gave it our all,” wrote Ron Watkins, the former 8kun administrator, under the handle CodeMoneyZ. “Now we need to keep our chins up and go back to our lives as best we are able.”
At the end of the day, a conspiracy theory that was so certain of its ability to predict the future, left its followers deeply disillusioned.
“It’s like being a kid and seeing the big gift under the tree thinking it is exactly what you want only to open it and realize it was a lump of coal,” observed one.
Sorry, not sorry!