Zero PA Republicans Will Condemn QAnon — But They’re Not the Only Conspiracy Theorist Sympathizers in Statehouses

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WASHINGTON — Between QAnon and outlandish misinformation about the pandemic, Republicans are increasingly becoming the party of conspiracy theories, and the trend has percolated to elected officials that hold considerable power over their constituents’ lives. The Philadelphia Inquirer recently asked all 139 GOP members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly if they believed in QAnon or that the coronavirus was a hoax, and not one of them was willing to go on the record to reject these dangerous lies.

“Republican lawmakers across the country have refused to disavow these dangerous conspiracy movements and many even believe them themselves,” said Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee President Jessica Post. “How can you trust your elected officials to tackle the problems in your community when they believe outrageous lies and spread misinformation? It’s a scary prospect. Increasingly, GOP state legislators are proving themselves unfit for office and showing that they are courting the support of conspiracy theorists — if not being conspiracy theorists themselves. It’s a problem that extends to the very core of today’s Republican Party.”

Republicans’ embrace of conspiracy theories and brazen lies has terrifying implications for policymaking. The current push for voter suppression bills in states like Georgia is based entirely on a myth, and their disinformation about the election inspired the insurrection on Capitol Hill. If legislative leaders believe that the coronavirus is a hoax, then they may do nothing to tackle a crisis that has claimed the lives of over half a million Americans.

And while the Pennsylvania GOP’s reticence is particularly shocking, they’re hardly alone in a party that has become a big tent for people that are increasingly out of touch with reality:

More than 600 Republican state legislators spread misinformation about the election or signed on to efforts to overturn the results. It’s apparent that the GOP can’t be trusted to tackle the challenges Americans face; indeed, they are not really living in the same reality.