At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando on Friday, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) offered a reaction to some of the criticism that he has faced after his deceptive grandstanding around the 2020 presidential election results helped incite the deadly rioting at the U.S. Capitol last month. In short, he insisted that he would not be backing down from his belligerence, no matter the fact that people are dead in connection to the lies that he helped spread. Pathetically, Hawley cast criticism that he has faced as some kind of anti-conservative conspiracy — but in reality, people are dead, and many others were in danger.
As Hawley petulantly put it:
‘Didn’t anybody tell you that you’re supposed to be cancelled? You didn’t get the memo — you’re supposed to ask permission before you came here today… [During] the last six weeks, the Radical Left, their corporate allies, the liberal media, have tried to cancel me, censor me, expel me, shut me down, stop me from representing the people of Missouri, stop me from representing you, and guess what? I’m here today. I’m not going anywhere, and I’m not backing down. Not a chance!’
Subsequently, Hawley added a more broad observation. As he put it:
‘There is no way that we’re going to back down. We’re not going to back down to the woke mob. We’re not going to back down to the cancel culture.’
Check out his meltdown below:
Sen. Josh Hawley: "There is no way that we're going to back down. We're not going to back down to the woke mob. We're not going to back down to the cancel culture." pic.twitter.com/cfTz5UVXab
— The Hill (@thehill) February 26, 2021
Besides the laughable self-importance and strange conspiracism of his remarks, there’s another problem — this kind of existential fearmongering, involving a claim that America itself is on the line, helps keep right-wingers in what seems like a perpetual state of “fight or flight” mode. They see conspiracies in just about every corner of society, and they cast their imagined fights with these fake conspiracies in disturbingly grandiose and cultish terms. This unhinged cultishness leads to dangerous real-world problems like the rioting at the Capitol, where rioters proceeded under the pretense of Hawley’s lie that the presidential election outcome was dubious.