Make no mistake, there is an alternative reality to go with the alternative facts of MAGA world. While most of the country is appalled by the assault on the Capitol and democracy that killed four people including a Capitol police officer, the right-wing sees the attack as a successful start of another civil war. They are high-fiving their efforts and gearing up to storm Capitol Hill in the days leading up to the inauguration and to march on state houses across the country.
We got to this point because conservative media has been serving up lies to its gullible audience for decades. People with few critical thinking skills take the words of people like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh over the mainstream media which routinely tells them things they don’t want to hear. Continuing to lie to these people is not the way out of this mess. Telling them the truth is.
Republicans and conservatives need to step up. The true believers won’t listen to Democrats or commentators. They may turn on their own, like they did Lindsey Graham, if they are told the truth, but it’s the only way out.
Fortunately, a lot of conservatives are stepping up. Today, Erick Erickson told some serious truth. “Republicans either believed a bunch of lies and would not accept any facts to the contrary or they simply didn’t care and decided to build an army of lies to overwhelm and defeat the truth,” he writes. He goes on to say:
“No, I am not sympathetic to you over major corporations deciding not to give you a penny. No, I am not sympathetic to you getting your internet social media accounts canceled. No, I am not sympathetic to you having your rising career in politics ruined.
“You tried to undermine a lawful election, sold a bunch of well meaning and caring people a bill of lies many of them believed while you all knew better behind the scenes, and saw multiple people die in a storming of the Capitol after encouraging these people with fists in the air and atta-boys.
“What the hell did you think would happen?”
And Erickson is just one of several prominent conservatives to condemn both the riot and its instigators. Stephen Hayes of The Dispatch and former editor of The Weekly Standard called for Trump’s impeachment. So has Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention. These conservatives are patriots.
However, we need the Members of Congress who encouraged or spread the lies of voter fraud to either repent or suffer consequences. In North Carolina, that means Dan Bishop, Ted Budd, Madison Cawthorn, Virginia Foxx, Richard Hudson, Greg Murphy, and David Rouzer need to come clean, apologize to the people of North Carolina, and admit this election was free and fair. And they need to own their lies.
On Richard Hudson’s Congressional website, he has an official statement that “there is incontrovertible evidence of voter irregularity- if not outright fraud- in multiple states.” That statement is false. Either Hudson is dumb enough to take the word of people like Rudy Guilliani, Sydney Powell and Lin Wood over the judgement of more than 60 judges, including ones appointed by Trump, the entire Supreme Court, elected Republicans including governors and secretaries of state in states across the nation, nonpartisan election officials, Mitch McConnell and many of his own Republican colleagues, or he’s trying to deceive the people he represents.
Dan Bishop’s statement talks about some nefarious, coordinated plot by Democrats to rig the elections. It’s also utter bullshit. Bishop needs to admit that it’s false.
Ted Budd released a joint statement with Qanon adherent Marjorie Taylor Greene decrying the lack of election integrity. Clearly, Budd is too stupid to know better. Still, he should renounce his vote against certification before he can continue to serve.
David Rouzer issued a statement similar to Hudson’s that indicates he’s willing to take the word of the Trump sycophants who are spreading conspiracy theories than responsible political and judicial leaders. He says, “There are just too many aspects of concern, too many irregularities and clear violations of the U.S. Constitution by several of the states in question, which is why so many instinctively have little confidence that the presidential election was fair.” That’s just bullshit. Their confidence was shaken by a president and right-wing media that fed them a steady diet of lies to which people like Rouzer gave credence. Again, I suspect Rouzer is not smart enough to know he’s been duped.
I can’t find any statement by Virginia Foxx. She just tends to go along with the most extreme elements of the GOP with offering explanation or asking any critical questions. She still needs to admit she was wrong even if she doesn’t know why.
Greg Murphy, ironically, claims that he defended the constitution by objecting to the electors. The Constitution does not give Congress the right to object to electors. Murphy is huge disappointment to graduates of Davidson.
Finally, Madison Cawthorn. What a tool. Cawthorn says whatever he thinks sounds good. On Wednesday, he was encouraging the mob to act including “lightly threatening” Members of Congress. Now, he’s deleting videos, as if that will erase his words. The guy who ran against socialism is also calling for nationalizing our tech companies and our election system. I just wish he would go away. He’s clearly dumb and seditious.
We will learn a lot more about this attempted coup in the coming weeks, but, right now, we need to debunk the lies that have people across the country ready to overthrow legitimately elected governments. The messengers must come from the right. They have more credibility with the people who need to be deprogramed and are more likely to get through.
The Members of Congress who spread the lies that encouraged the would-be insurrectionists need to admit their deceit. Some of them may have even believed the lies. For that, they need deep reflection about their fitness for office, but we need now to thwart other actions planned by the right and help the people living an alternative reality come back to the one where most responsible, cognitive people live. Truth and accountability are key to begin healing and rebuilding trust.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >