The Anti-Defamation League is sending a warning that it is tracking more than 100 candidates in the upcoming 2022 Congressional midterm elections who it says hold extremist views.
The ADL’s Center on Extremism said that these candidates “promote extreme views, associate with extremists, and/or promote potentially dangerous conspiracy theories.”
According to the ADL, “Support for such candidates demonstrates a continuing shift of the so-called Overton Window – the parameters of what is considered “normal” or “acceptable” in political and social discourse. This ever-shifting window signals an expanding mainstream acceptance of extreme beliefs and ideologies.”
They added that their list is increasing on a “near-daily basis,” and includes over a dozen candidates with known connections to extremist groups or movements, including white supremacists, anti-government extremists and members of the Proud Boys.
“At least two dozen candidates have expressed admiration for or appeared in public alongside extremists,” the ADL said.
The ADL accused many of these candidates of “boosting conspiracy theories.”
“We know conspiracy theories have the power to inspire people to violence; the bizarre claims behind Pizzagate, QAnon and many more have been linked to attacks, kidnappings and targeted violence,” they said. “When candidates use their campaigns to elevate these fabricated ‘crises,’ they are exposing the public to dangerous lies and contributing to the mainstreaming of extreme beliefs.”
Adding that at least 45 candidates have “lent credence in some way to the QAnon conspiracy theory” or “posted QAnon-related social media content in 2020 or earlier,” the ADL charged that several candidates have continued to promote the conspiracy theory while running for office.
“In 2021, candidates tweeted QAnon’s WWG1WGA slogan, including Darren Aquino, a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives (R-FL), so-called election-fraud witness Mellissa Carone who is running for a seat in the Michigan House of Representatives, and U.S. congressional candidate (R-CA) Alison Hayden,” the ADL said.
They also warned that dozens of candidates have promoted “a range of disproven conspiracy theories including those related to the 2020 election, the January 6 insurrection, the deep state and the COVID-19 pandemic that have been associated with violence.”