ISSUE STATEMENTS 

Statement in Response to Senator Berthel's QAnon Affiliation - September 13, 2020

     To begin, I vow to represent the people of the 32nd District based on facts and truth. I will listen to and learn from all, giving an equal voice to every citizen regardless of party affiliation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   The photo above is that of your current 32nd District Senator Eric Berthel’s automobile. As you may already be aware, the Senator’s car up until a few days ago, featured a WWG1WGA sticker on the rear windshield.

     The acronym stands for Where We Go One We Go All, and is the motto attached to the radical conspiracy group QAnon. 

     Last year, the F.B.I. designated the group a potential domestic terrorism threat. QAnon is defined as “a far-right conspiracy theory alleging that a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles running a global child sex-trafficking ring is plotting against President Trump who is battling them, leading to a "day of reckoning" involving the mass arrest of journalists and politicians.” 

     Such a conspiracy incites violence and separatism and we cannot allow that to be what we stand for in the 32nd District.  Senator Berthel has clearly told us what he stands for and he must be voted out of office in November. 

     No part of this theory is based in fact and I shudder to even share such a hate filled, violent message. But I feel it necessary to create awareness and deal in truth.

   

     

    The New York Times reports, “it’s no surprise that anti-Semitism, a familiar staple of so many conspiracy theories, can be found in QAnon communities.” This fringe conspiracy theory has gone from an online message board to the forefront of national politics within the last three years.  

     Currently, fifteen known QAnon connected state legislative candidates have made it onto the November ballot. Mr. Berthel has just added his name to that list.   

     QAnon is known to prey on people who feel disconnected, unheard, and lonely, by offering a cult community to become a part of, providing a sense of belonging and purpose. 

     Mr. Berthel has acknowledged his understanding of what this group stands for and released the following statement to the media.

     “I don’t believe in many of the wild-eyed theories reportedly associated with the QAnon movement about pedophile conspiracies or satanic cults. However, stopping corruption in politics, holding government accountable and protecting individual freedoms are values I do believe in which the movement has come to represent. Like many movements occurring across our nation today, I think it has allowed for people who have previously felt disconnected from public policy and government to be part of the conversation,” he said. 

     Really Mr. Berthel?  Is this the conversation you want to have? Are these the values you wish to share? Have you not just enforced the exact cult like behavior as described, luring constituents to a very dark view of who we are as Americans? You claim not to believe in many of the views associated with QAnon, yet you blatantly share this symbol of pure hate alongside your official state senate license vanity plate?

     The other symbols on the rear of Mr. Berthel’s car are the American Flag, a

symbol of patriotism, and an elephant, symbolizing the Republican party to which he belongs. We are fully aware these images represent Mr. Berthel’s belief system. Why should we not believe that he is fully aligned with the beliefs of QAnon?    

     Therefore, if Mr. Berthel believes in such irrational theories, and lacks the capacity to decipher fact from fiction, how can he be trusted to work rationally on critical issues that directly impact the people of the 32nd?  Does he even possess the clarity and common sense to address the every day issues that impact our lives such as affordable healthcare, improving education, strengthening the middle class, caring for our seniors, and repairing our economy as we begin the recovery from Covid-19?

     This is not the first poor judgement call by Mr. Berthel who initiated a lawsuit against our Secretary of State to allow those most vulnerable to Covid-19 to vote safely and fairly in the November election by Absentee Ballot. In July, Mr. Berthel stood at a Blue Lives Rally alongside a Confederate flag, a symbol of oppression to the black community, without making a statement against such injustice in real time.

     Our communities deserve someone who cares about its residents and families, and my candidacy offers you an alternative to extremism, with rationality, compassion, and practicality. 

     Mr. Berthel claims his “sticker” was a conversation starter. I look forward to having a conversation with Mr. Berthel, who has already verbally agreed to engage in a debate with me, in the coming weeks. I invite you all to attend this debate to gain clarity on our positions and learn more about how I will represent you as your State Senator. 

     I implore the voters of the 32nd District to be aware, be informed and consider what type of community you long to live in. Your vote is your voice. 

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Paid for by Desmarais 2020, Nicole Dykstra, Treasurer - Approved by Jeffrey V. Desmarais