"Carlson has been keen to focus on the supposed failings and absurdities of Democratic elites, and that puts him in as good a position as any to inherit his supporters—those for whom Trump, as an individual candidate and office-holder, carried some extra appeal beyond the standard Republican brand," says Grant Reeher, professor of political science.
"He’s a person who’s been in the public eye for a long time. He was at the center of former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment, and his public image has been framed to some extent by the political opposition, so his aim may be to establish a public record in his own words," says Shana Gadarian, associate professor of political science.
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."
Professor Grant Reeher says people should be "wary" of attempting to identify a historical trend from just two cases: former President Bill Clinton and former President Donald Trump. However, he says the fact that three of four impeachment trials have happened in just over two decades "is in part a reflection of the deep political polarization the nation has been experiencing."