March 4th is a pretty big date in the paranoid landscape of the conspiracy world. Many who follow the sprawling QAnon network of beliefs claim this is the day that President Trump gets sworn into power. Again.
You did indeed read that correctly.
Ever since Joe Biden officially became the 46th US President on January 20th on the steps of Capitol Hill, a building still reeling from the rioting only weeks prior, many on social media have been claiming that this is all a ruse. And that President Trump will return triumphantly to the White House come March 4th.
But why do they believe this? And why are conspiracy theorists touting March 4th 2021 specifically?
To answer this, we need to travel back to 1871, and the introduction of the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871. The aim of this piece of legislation was to unify the District of Columbia, effectively turning it into a single municipal governing body (previously Washington and Georgetown operated independently.) However conspiracy theorists claim, falsely, that this legislation effectively ended the United States of America, turning it into a “corporation” and Washington DC into a foreign entity with no real legal power over the rest of the country.
As such, proponents of this theory claim that every single US President from 1871 onwards was not a genuine president of the United States, including Joe Biden.
These claims are not particularly new, and even pre-date Trump’s presidency. It is often associated by those who promote the “sovereign citizens movement“, a far-right collective that refuses to recognise the power of the US government, law enforcement, taxations and even US currency.
And this ideology has now been, in part, hijacked by the QAnon movement looking to delegitimize President Biden. Many influencers within the QAnon movement have been promoting the claim that former President Trump is, alongside various cohorts, secretly working to reverse the legislation from 1871 and to reintroduce Washington DC back into the United States and to dissolve the “Corporation of the United States of America”.
That in effect, according to QAnon influencers, would remove Joe Biden from the White House and allow Trump to continue as President from March 4th 2021, acting as the 19th President of the United States (since every president from 1971 onwards doesn’t count.)
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And why March 4th 2021?
This date simply comes down to the fact that this is the date that presidents used to be inaugurated into the White House, before it was moved to January in the 1930s.
Of course none of the claims are rooted in reality. The notion that the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871 somehow makes Washington DC a foreign entity has been thoroughly debunked, and there is simply no evidence that Trump, or anyone within his sphere, is working to remove President Joe Biden and reinstall Trump on March 4th.
The claims bear resemblance to similar claims, made by largely the same people within the QAnon sphere of influence, that during the January 20th Inauguration Day, that many Democrats would be arrested and that Biden would be refused entry into the White House. Of course none of those claims came to fruition, and the March 4th date appears to be an act of kicking the can down the road. No doubt when that date passes as well, another future date will appear in the diary of those QAnon affiliated individuals who promote and proliferate this nonsense.