How right-wing Qanon activists won and lost control of a small town in Washington

Originally published at: How right-wing Qanon activists won and lost control of a small town in Washington | Boing Boing


Because apparently the fiasco that inevitably results from normal Libertarians taking over a town wasn’t quite chaotic and destructive enough for these lunatics.


showing how a minority of organized, enraged conservatives are winning big at the ground level simply by turning up for local politics,

“Gain political power with this one trick liberals don’t want you to know.”

Seriously though, that is going to continue to be a huge issue. The right gets super fired up and devoted to the cause and will do what ever it takes to get it done. Especially with local politics - school boards and such.

The left and moderates, in general, rarely approach politics with such fervor. Unfortunately, there is rarely a candidate that a lot of them get behind enthusiastically. It feels like just voting against the other side because they are terrible. And that won’t get some people out to vote who are like, “Meh, they aren’t that bad.” Then it is shown they ARE that bad, then they get out to show you the potential number of votes the left could get.


A reminder about this excellent podcast about white supremacists in Portland during the 1980s, and how activists, the immigrant community, and punks and anti-racist skins come together to drive those fuckers out.


It’s a gripping story.

My take away, don’t let it happen in your town.


This. There’s no doubt that the fascists will continue to attempt takeovers of town councils, school boards, etc. This is where most of us do have the ability (and I’d say the obligation) to join together and fight back.


this is why i keep saying over and over how important it is to get involved in politics at the local level. before my health issues began to consume all of my time and energy i had been an active member of my county democratic party. i went to meetings, gone to caucuses in whatever county i’ve been living in. by participating so actively and so consistently i have managed to get a few more people of like minds to do so also and have managed to help pull the county party to the left. by working so hard at it we have been able to get suggestions for the party platform up to the state level. i have twice been a delegate to the state nominating convention and once selected as an alternate to the national nominating convention. i was a jesse jackson delegate to the 1984 convention and an obama delegate to the 2008 convention.

without participation nothing can happen.


Sadly, the boring candidate is probably the best candidate.


Paying attention to local politics makes so much sense for a bunch of reasons: as an individual you have way more influence (both in votes and contributions of time and money), it’s generally more impactful on your day-to-day life, they’re more accessible to their constituents, they’re also feeders to higher office. I’ve moved around too much to be involved so far, but trying to pay attention to local politics also makes me appreciate local journalism. It’s way harder to read about and compare local candidates or their voting history. Few people want to sit through boring meetings and few places report on it.


Even when “the cause” is horrifically unjust. That’s the scary part.


When I was in my teens, my dad explained to me how the communists (*) were able to come close to taking over the union of which he was a member: “They turn up. And they vote. Every time. That’s all there is to it.”

Extremist fringes of whatever kind tend to be highly motivated and, at least when it comes to seizing power, highly disciplined. The moderates will miss a few meetings; the zealots will be there every time. And any time the zealots are in the majority, they will use it to advance their agenda.

So long as voting can still change anything, the non-lunatic fringe needs to vote with the same dedication as the Insane Grift Posse or their counterparts at the opposite end of the political spectrum. Nothing else will do.

(*) for clarity, the union in question was in the UK, so the communists were real communists, not communists as the term is understood in the US, i.e. “anyone left of Mitt Romney”.


While I am no fan of P. J. O’Rourke, he did say this:

“Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work, and then they get elected and prove it.”

There’s probably a libertarian corollary but I don’t know it and don’t want to look for it either.





History may not repeat itself.
But it rhymes.


Re: The Kansas Experiment



Huh, a small town in Washington state you say. I’m surprised there weren’t any hunters around that could stage an “accident”. Rural life is dangerous don’t you know.


I’m a boomer, have millennial kids. They need to be coaxed into voting. It’s boring, time-consuming, inconvenient, not social, and – and I’m serious here – not on their phones. They seem to think that protests (very social events) or contributing money (quick and easy) are substitutes for voting (they’re very important, but they’re not substitutes). I keep after them in what I hope is a non-judgemental, non-punitive fashion so they won’t double down out of defensiveness.


Libertarians are the party that says taxes are theft, then get elected and funnel them to their own pockets.


Boomer with gen x & millenial kids - our kids are voters, mostly, because I have been voting as my civic duty since I was 18 and I nag them. The eldest is a responsible voter, but can’t get her friends to understand why voting is important.


Dr. Berry also endured an invasion of her weekly Covid briefing to the County management team (stymied by sheriff’s deputies, though the meeting had to recess), a formal complaint to the State Board of Health (dismissed unanimously), and a lawsuit over the restaurant order (settled last week basically for what she had intended). The local Board of Health withstood a meeting disruption attempt, and her ex even handled a crowd of intimidators showing up at what used to be her home address.

I think the story maybe didn’t make enough of the patient & persistent work done by Vicki Lowe, Karen Hogan, and others on Facebook, or Lowell Rathbun’s efforts with a local blog. They and others like them kept showing up and pushing back. It made all the difference.


Oh hell yes. I tell people that protests and contributing money are like paths and shoes - they make walking easier. But you also need legs - and that would be voting, in this analogy.


Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got 'til it’s gone?
–Joni Mitchell