Opposition to LGBT rights was bound up with opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment, which was on display at this 1976 demonstration by the STOP ERA Committee in Colorado. | Bill Peters/The Denver Post via Getty Images Opinion by Joshua Zeitz 03/04/2023 07:00 AM EST Link CopiedJoshua Zeitz, a Politico Magazine contributing writer, is the author of Building the Great Society: Inside Lyndon Johnson's White House.
Follow him @joshuamzeitz. In December 2016, with the world still reeling from Donald Trump’s surprise victory against Hillary Clinton just weeks before, Edgar Welch, a North Carolina native, opened fire inside a popular pizza restaurant in Washington, D.C., Comet Ping Pong.
Welch had gone down a social media rabbit hole and convinced himself that a ring of predators, led by Clinton, was abusing and trafficking children inside the pizzeria.
Police promptly arrested Welch, who conceded that the “intel on this wasn’t 100 percent.” He served just under three years in federal prison for his crime.As the political columnist Jonathan Chait observed, back in 2016, “the pedophilia charge was confined almost entirely to QAnon. … And while some of the details produced by its theories would find their way into the minds of Trump and his inner circle (especially with conspiracy theories centering on the ‘stolen election’), the broader narrative that American politics was a fight over pedophilia remained marginal.”No longer so.