Falling short of the numbers they initially projected, on the day the marchers reached about the 10,000-mark. Mostly mask free and of the belief that the coronavirus is overhyped or not real and that Donald Trump actually won the election, although in fact he did not, it's probably their shared delusions that are the most striking thing about them.
To many of these protestors, followers of the QAnon internet conspiracy theory, Joe Biden isn't the President-elect, he's a child-eating Satanist. According to QAnon-lore Trump was selected by top military generals in 2016 to fight back against the child-eating Democratic cannibals who were running our government. He is all that stands between order and chaos.
In an era where fewer and fewer of us go to church, QAnon has created a supportive online community where the like-minded can meet up, share their whacked-out testimony and rail against the party and political leaders they dislike in an atmosphere of communal sharing. No wonder it's taken off the way it has.
As Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito reminded us this weekend in a truly partisan political speech to the Federalist Society, it's getting lonelier and lonelier to be a staunch cultural conservative.
More and more people like Alito and the followers of QAnon are finding themselves isolated by the prevailing ideas of morality and justice, ideas that they do not share. It's a kind of social distance of the most socially isolating kind.
As America moves to the left in terms of cultural issues or policy objectives like health care, social programs, climate change, infrastructure investment, and the presidency, the courts have been moved further to the right by the laser focus of Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, who has spent his entire Senate career pushing back against progress.
What is new is the conservative landscape is the sudden prevalence of victimhood narratives. From Alito's sour acknowledgment that he can no longer discriminate against LGBT people in public without being called a bigot, to QAnon's angry claims that they are the only thing standing between us and endless rule by Satanic cannibals.
To well-heeled conservatives like Alito on one side and rad-hatted QAnon working class protestors on the other, the future is not something to look forward to, it's something to halt. It is not a place of promise and progress, it's a place of threat and literal annihilation.
So it's time we really got to grips with the implications of the dark vision of the far-right because whether it's being dreamed up in the corridors of power or in a Florida trailer park it's the darkest, most exclusionary vision this nation has ever seen. If you are not already familiar with these paranoid theories, then very likely you are not on their guest list.
What was different about this weekend is that for the first time in American history we are witnessing the mass coalescing of America's dangerous far-right groups – nazis, fascists, white supremacists, Proud Boys, conspiracy theorists, kooks of all stripes - into one viable political opposition force. Their banner is not the stars and stripes but the confederate flag, the swastika, the QAnon badge and the red MAGA hat.
You may think their march was a joke, or that few actually believe the president when he tweets that he won the race he actually lost. But you would be wrong to find this funny instead of ominous.
“Look what happens when we unite the white race,” one speaker observed on the day to loud cheers. On Fox News anchor Alex Shawn looked rattled when he saw a sign held up at the Million MAGA March that read: “Coming for Blacks and Indians first, welcome to the New World Order.”
In the cowardly silence between Trump's defeat and the Republican Senator's continuing refusal to confirm it, something wicked is emerging. Their cowardly silence is being filled by angry, resentful voices promising more mayhem and retribution.
Democracy does not stop existing because one side fails to secure enough votes to ensure that their candidates win, democracy stops existing when one side decides to stop participating in the whole process because they simply don't like the result. That's where we are now. With one side refusing to participate in the process. GOP leaders are facilitating this danger. We're on the brink.
So the hour is already much later than we think. Avuncular talk about healing and coming together can not defuse the anger and powerlessness being felt by social conservatives and their co-travelers on the far right.
Because the truth is they have stopped believing in democracy when they don't win, in fact, they have stopped seeing their political opponents as their fellow Americans, and they believe they are marked not just for political irrelevance but actual extermination. How do you make peace with that? Where does that lead?