For those who rely on the more fact-based, mainstream outlets for news coverage, seeing Trump supporters at his rally in Tampa earlier this week holding signs that read “We are Q” and referred to “QAnon” might have been more a little confusing. According to the Washington Post, “Q-Anon is an anonymous internet user, claiming to be a government agent with top security clearance, waging war against the so-called deep state in service to the 45th president,” Donald Trump. And whoever it or they are — they have a lot of followers, claiming Roseanne Barr and former Red Sox pitcher-turned-pundit Curt Schilling among them. Is the mountain of conspiracy theories QAnon propels just an odd sideshow, or something to be reckoned with?

Jim Braude was joined by Tom Whalen, an associate professor of social science and American history at Boston University, Michael Serazio, an assistant professor of communication at Boston College, and Gautam Mukunda, a Harvard Kennedy School fellow and the author of Indispensable: When Leaders Really Matter.