Dennis Rasmussen, professor of political science, was interviewed on the Age of Jackson podcast about his new book, "Fears of a Setting Sun: The Disillusionment of America's Founders" (Princeton University Press).
"You really feel like you're in an Alice in Wonderland world when you start going through the ideas of the sovereign citizens," says Michael Barkun, professor emeritus of political science. "They will construct more and more complex rationalizations that push the events that they wish for farther and farther into the future."
"What I would emphasize is that there are structural problems with our democracy, some of which are really hard to fix, but some of which have emerged recently which there are fixes for," says Thomas Keck, professor of political science and Michael O. Sawyer Chair of Constitutional Law and Politics.
The panelists discussed the dangers of conspiracy theories, the processes of joining and leaving cults (and whether QAnon is itself a cult), and the threat that the United States faces from QAnon now that Joe Biden is president.
"If you’re a Democrat who is trying to walk the line in a kind of socially conservative district, I think having to vote on impeachment, having to take positions on budgets—those are now (votes) that your opponent can push against," says Shana Gadarian, associate professor of political science. "It’s not just rhetoric to say that you vote with Nancy Pelosi. You’re a Democrat in Congress, you have voted with the House speaker."
In a criminal case, a prosecutor would have to prove that former President Donald Trump "could have reasonably foreseen that his incitement was likely to lead to all hell happening at the Capitol," says Professor Emeritus William Banks.