Written By: Reverend Anton Sawyer
I have to admit that I get a great amount of pleasure when I see an asshole who tries to use their celebrity to escape legal ramifications from stupid things they’ve said or done and get their just desserts in a court of law. In 2022, this has mostly been seen in the form of various individuals who reside in the public eye being held accountable for their deceptions when it comes to decimating the character of another person or group through various defamation cases. The one that had me most intrigued was the defamation case brought against Alex Jones by the parents of the children who were murdered in the Sandy Hook massacre. Political pundits using shock and outrage tactics to entice viewers to their specific brand of commentary is nothing new and has been a time-honored tradition of those hoping to drum up support for their party’s views since time began. Because of this, I honestly never thought that Jones, or anyone of the conservative mouthpieces in America, would ever be held accountable for saying anything horrific about anyone. I was wrong to the tune of almost 50 million dollars when the ruling was announced, and Jones was found liable.
But will this really change anything?
Jones is just a symptom of a larger problem. The body, especially the mouth, follows the instructions of the brain. Jones is nothing more than systemically harbored insanity that comes from the ideals of the conservative congressional representatives and senators who run this country. And that’s what the focus of today’s article will be: the crazy things that have been touted by those who have the direct ability to impact our nation’s future, and what the outcome of such gross negligence may be. From current candidates to the established GOP members, with topics ranging in severity from absolutely insane to “mildly wacky with the potential to cause havoc due to its lack of reality,” there’s going to be a lot to unpack. So, let’s start with the most severe of cases.
In an attempt to maintain complete transparency, all research and statistical fact-checking for all articles can be found in the bibliography linked here.
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EXTREME & DANGEROUS
In all reality, the Qanon movement should be re-labeled as the “loud minority” of the Republican party. Their extreme beliefs have made the group headline fodder since their concepts were first introduced to the general public in 2016 via “Pizzagate” and have kept them firmly there ever since. From the tales of Democratic Satanists running a pedophile ring out of the aforementioned pizzagate’s pizza parlor to the DNC fixing the 2020 election in favor of Joe Biden (though over 60 lawsuits lost by the Trump organization in this matter would say otherwise), their conspiracies have run the gamut. These conspiracies are also the ones who helped the events of January 6th to unfold … but more on that in a minute.
The one bit of information I found most surprising when I was researching this piece is that a majority of the Republican base doesn’t support these beliefs at all. When Natalie Jackson, a researcher with the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), surveyed Americans on the central views of the conspiracist QAnon movement, she found that only 25% of those who identify as Republican fully believe in the various Qanon conspiracies (when presented with the conspiracies on a one-by-one basis). The PRRI report released in January 2021 was based on data from four separate polls it conducted.
These results make it seem that those who hold the biggest microphones are the ones keeping these conspiracies afloat, not necessarily the base. And the microphones don’t get much larger than those microphones pointed at the elected leaders who have a direct impact on the lives of us all. These concerns also stretch to include those running for office.
We have to remember that with 2022 being a mid-term election year, the candidates deserve just as much scrutiny as the incumbents—their stories are just as important and/or terrifying. Ryan Dark White, a Republican candidate for the 2022 US Senate race in Maryland under the name Jon McGreevey, was arrested in July and charged with filing a false report after he allegedly told law enforcement that “an adult bookstore in Edgewood was forcing a young girl to perform sex acts on men," the Harford County Sheriff's Office said. The sheriff's office now says the story was made up, CBS Baltimore reported. At no point was a formal report filed by any purported witnesses, according to the sheriff's office. On July 7, investigators spoke with White. "The investigation revealed at no time were any sex acts performed or offered by any of the individuals in the establishment as reported by White," police said. Keep in mind that Mr. White has referred to himself as a “Qanon oracle” in the past and is still active in the race as of the publication date of this article.
It appears the Q’sters have moved on to adult bookstores from pizza parlors. But what about the aforementioned Q-spiracy about the election? It seems Republican leadership has failed on that front as well.
In a statement made in early August 2020, attorney Devin J. Stone Esq. culled the testimonies and evidence taken from the January 6th hearings and released a stunning revelation. "84 Republicans signed documents falsely claiming to be the duly chosen electors for Donald Trump in the electoral college despite Trump having lost in those particular states. These include dozens of local Republican party leaders, eight current office holders, and at least five previous state and federal office holders." As disgusting as it is to think that 84 Republican officials signed fraudulent documents (which helped to perpetuate the lies which led to the insurrection), I have to say I at least respect them when it comes to sticking with the long grift.
Pertaining to January 6th, they’ve made sure to carry over their loyalties to those who are currently behind bars by referring to them as “political prisoners,” and using their travesty to gin up sympathy for the movement behind the calling for their exoneration.
I’m sorry, but Nelson Mandela was a political prisoner. Mandela was jailed for decades because he believed that all men should be treated like human beings and as equals; this isn’t even remotely the case when it comes to what happened in early January 2021. Right now some Republican leaders are legitimately trying to compare that face-painted, buffalo-headdress-wearing dip-ass to one of the greatest fighters for freedom in mankind’s history.
But wait, there’s more …
Georgia Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene described inmates being held at what she called the "patriot wing" of a Washington, D.C., jail in connection with the January 6 Capitol riots as "political prisoners of war" in November 2021. Arizona Republican Representative Paul Gosar said the Justice Department was "harassing peaceful patriots" by investigating their involvement in the insurrection. He too has mentioned them as political prisoners as well.
The distortions of reality here should be readily apparent to almost anyone. Again, from people like Alex Jones, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, or anyone else who is sent to influence the common rubes, I expect this kind of dangerous hyperbole. But when these statements are flowing from the head—the leaders—it’s something completely different.
However, not all lies are created equally …
MILDLY WACKY WITH THE POTENTIAL TO CAUSE HAVOK DUE TO LACK OF REALITY
As a teenager in the late 1990s, my then-girlfriend and I put our daughter up for adoption to a gay couple, so matters surrounding adoption have always been on my radar. Though I am completely pro-choice, one of those choices is adoption, and that’s the route I went. So anytime adoption or adoption rights make a headline—especially in our post-Roe world—I will always stop to read it. It’s because of this fact that I stumbled upon our friend Representative Greene making absurdly stupid comments about adoption.
These comments came in the form of warnings about what she views as threats to children and conservative values during a discussion on her show MTG Live. During the discussion, the congresswoman explained one reason she worries about children is that some are raised by "fake" parents. "Children are in the greatest danger in America today because traditional family values are being destroyed—the idea that mom and dad together, not fake mom and fake dad, but the biological mom and biological dad, can raise their children together and do what's right for their children," she said.
It's this exact mindset that helped push me and my ex to go the route of adopting to a gay couple in the first place. During the late 90s (and ever since), a popular narrative was that by allowing gay couples to adopt children, those children will be abused because all gay people are pedophiles. Either that or the child will grow up and become an abuser because of how unnatural their upbringing has been. Knowing this was a lie, and wanting to do our part to help the facts show through example that children raised by a gay couple would be fine, we went with our guts. I’m glad to report my now-grown daughter is A-OK.
And that’s why lies like the one Greene told can be the most dangerous; they seem innocuous. It wouldn’t be unheard of for people to agree that a child should be raised by their birth parents—it’s utterly ingrained in our American society by this point. Just look at any court case involving a child and the birth parents' wishes will almost always defeat the rights of anyone else. However, the problem with Greene’s assessment stems from her word choices, along with the fallacies discovered when taking her logic one step further. She didn’t mention gay people but made it clear by her word choice that their exclusion wouldn’t need to be specified. Also, when taking her statements one step further, due to the overturning of Roe, this idea of Greene’s would mean a child would have to be raised by their mother and the person that sexually assaulted their mother.
Because of Greene’s stature and influence, if you can get enough constituents to forget about the realities of the world we live in and buy into her nonsense, it becomes a talking point of fact for her/the party. Those same people will trust her, trust her word, and not even realize they’ve aligned themselves with a leader/party who has also made the “political prisoner” statements comparing the Qanon Shaman to Nelson Mandela until it’s too late.
Rinse and repeat.
I’m hoping the tidal wave of defamation lawsuits can somehow find their way into the core of the Republican party and figure out a way to hold them accountable. To be honest, even with the Alex Jones verdict, all hope is gone at this point when it comes to this GOP reckoning. I’ve been hearing their spins on reality for decades, all without any tangible backlash, and it seems that nothing is going to change for the leadership’s statements. This trend of inaction when it comes to Republican answerability also appears to include any laws which are written to hold them to a higher standard than their fellow Americans. Sadly, it seems that Alex Jones is a one-off, and those with political power will remain unmolested by accountability for their words indefinitely.
Well, that’s a half-truth. Only a conviction of Donald J. Trump for his actions in causing the January 6th insurrection could MAYBE change my mind.
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