Findings, music, and occasional reflections by Paul Woodward

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How Kevin Van Ausdal’s ‘voice of reason’ got silenced by QAnon and Marjorie Taylor Greene in 31 days

The Washington Post reports:

Kevin was in his Honda heading west to Indiana as the campaign staff issued a statement on his behalf, titled “A Message from Kevin”:

“I am heartbroken to announce that for family and personal reasons, I cannot continue this race for Congress. The next steps in my life are taking me away from Georgia …”

And that was the end of 31 days.

A week later, Marjorie Taylor Greene was arriving in her Humvee for a pro-gun rally at a rural amphitheater not far from where Kevin once lived.

Alongside county sheriff’s deputies, the Georgia III% Martyrs provided security: a dozen or so men and a few women equipped with AR-15s, earpieces, camouflage and bulletproof vests. One man had a battle ax dangling from his belt. They fanned out around the fenced perimeter of the park while a hundred or so Greene supporters milled around, a few wearing little patches that read “WWG1WGA” or “Q Army” and others who said they didn’t know or care about QAnon but just knew that Greene “shares our values.”

“Marjorie was all there for us, one hundred percent,” said Ray Blankenship, who had in August started a new gun group called the Catoosa County Civil Defense League to guard against everything he believed Democrats stood for, including gun confiscation, rioting and socialism. “People will step up when it’s time,” he said.

Onstage, a guest speaker was talking about “a time when you will be asked to shed another man’s blood because he is a threat to your very way of life.” Another talked about “the communist Democrats.” Another said that vice-presidential candidate Kamala D. Harris “wants to come to your house and take your guns away.” Another began his speech by yelling into the microphone, “FREEDOM!!!!” and out in the audience, a man wearing a hat with a “Q Army” patch was listening.

“I think people are waking up,” said the man, Butch Lapp.

“The silent majority is silent no more,” said his wife, Rebecca, and now the Martyrs were radioing each other for “backup,” and forming a protective huddle around Greene as she made her way to the stage with no opposition anywhere in sight.

“I am so proud and so excited to represent northwest Georgia!” she began. [Continue reading…]

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