By all appearances, Senator Josh Hawley, the junior Republican from Missouri, is seeking to be the next star in his party. The ambitious opportunist bears responsibility for inciting the infamous January 6 insurrection of the Capitol, having been one of the loudest voices to contest the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election results.
You’d think that the insurrection, which caused the deaths of five people and the injuries of dozens of others, would have a humbling effect on Republicans like Hawley—to reconsider the shameless lies and irresponsible rhetoric. But instead of cooling his jets, Hawley is doubling-down and following in the footsteps of Trump-like demagoguery.
In a January 24 piece he wrote for the New York Post titled “It’s time to stand up against the muzzling of America,” Hawley shifts blame for his role in the insurrection to “cancel culture,” which he says is promulgated by “the left and the corporations.” Hawley repeats Trump’s lies about election fraud, which of course have been totally debunked by all legitimate authorities. However, in desperately wanting to seize upon Trump’s base, Hawley, in Trump-like fashion, attempts to manipulate the narrative into an issue about freedom of speech and that “The alliance of leftists and woke capitalists” are trying to “regulate the innermost thoughts of every American.” This is classic gas-lighting. Hawley, along with scores of other Republicans, lied, thereby inciting an insurrection that resulted in bloodshed. As a result, Hawley’s upcoming book deal was canceled and Trump’s Twitter was permanently suspended. But that’s not censorship; that’s legitimate justice for lawless behavior.
Unlike Trump, Hawley possesses a sharp intellect, which makes him more dangerous than his orange predecessor. If Hawley can inspire a violent insurrection without shame, there’s no telling what this aspiring demagogue is capable of next.