Missouri Senator Josh Hawley insisted that President Trump's voter fraud conspiracy theories must be true in a senate hearing this past Wednesday. While interviewing recently fired cybersecurity official who made clear that there was absolutely no evidence of widespread voter fraud, Hawley responded that there was evidence; the opinions of his constituents.
A video can be seen below.
He began by saying:
"I'm from the state of Missouri. Yesterday I was talking with some of the constituents back home, a group of about 30 people. Every single one of them, every one of them told me that they felt they had been disenfranchised, that their votes didn't matter, that the election had been rigged."
"These are normal, reasonable people. these are not crazy people, these are reasonable people that, by the way, have been involved in politics, that have won, they've lost, they've seen it all."
Then he began to act as if this was evidence in and of itself of widespread voter fraud, and not simply evidence of the President disseminating misinformation.
"They are normal folks living normal lives who firmly believe that they have been disenfranchised, and to listen to the mainstream press and quite a few voices in this building to tell them after four years of nonstop Russia 'hoax,' it was a hoax. The whole Russia nonsense was based on, we now know, lies from a Russian spy, the Steele dossier was based on a Russian spy."
"After four years of that, being told that the last election was fake and that Donald Trump wasn't really elected and that Russia intervened, now these same people are being told, you need to sit down and shut up. if you have concerns about cybersecurity, you're a nutcase, you should shut up."
And finally he closed by saying:
"Well, I'll tell you what, 74 million Americans are not going to shut up, and telling them that their views don't matter, their concerns do not matter, and that they should just be quiet, is not a recipe for success in this country. It's not a recipe for the unity that I hear now the other side is so interested in."
Of course feelings are not facts. And just because a segment of those who voted for President Trump have been fed misinformation from the President's own Twitter account, and have come to believe that the election was stolen, that is not evidence that it was.
The catch-22 of the argument was perfectly elucidated in this tweet:
Senator Josh Hawley, R-Mo., suggests there must be something wrong with the election because so many people believe… https://t.co/dbeyBnZVuE— Adam Klasfeld (@Adam Klasfeld)1608140340.0
Unlike so many successful prosecutions from what Hawley describes as the "Russia hoax," not one of the fantasy alle… https://t.co/rp52KSdGNk— Adam Klasfeld (@Adam Klasfeld)1608140432.0
Some pointed out that Americans have always been prone to belief in fact-free assumptions.
@KlasfeldReports 1 In 4 Americans Thinks The Sun Goes Around The Earth https://t.co/mR2kFEgSWN.— Yoda Palin #Pride 🏳️🌈 (@Yoda Palin #Pride 🏳️🌈)1608154772.0
@YodaPalin @KlasfeldReports 7% think chocolate milk comes from brown cows🤷🏻♂️ https://t.co/XsvzYHVLur— JTDr0nes (@JTDr0nes)1608155087.0
@KlasfeldReports 🙄tons of people used to believe the earth was flat and the center of the universe. that didn't mak… https://t.co/KaJemFvt8d— 3 raccoons in a human suit 🖤 (@3 raccoons in a human suit 🖤)1608140635.0
One person pointed out that by Hawley's own logic, this would in fact make what he referred to as the 'Russia hoax', true.
@KlasfeldReports Using his reasoning, a lot of people believe the Republicans conspired with Russia in 2016 electio… https://t.co/xgPdY3R5fr— porter981 (@porter981)1608141248.0
Others pointed their finger at the obvious reason why so many Trump supporters feel like the election has been stolen.
@KlasfeldReports Of course it couldn't possibly have anything to do with Trump and his Legal Beagles running around… https://t.co/u9Me5EEyyl— Uneasy in the Interregnum (@Uneasy in the Interregnum)1608146801.0
@KlasfeldReports People don't think there's something wrong with the election because they've witnessed something t… https://t.co/L1AB7QmMJ0— Pat Morrison (@Pat Morrison)1608147170.0
@KlasfeldReports This is where we are with the Republican Party and conservative media. They push false and baseles… https://t.co/G78mALYrlP— Chris Gerardi (@Chris Gerardi)1608162356.0
@KlasfeldReports "All this election fraud we keep peddling, people keep beleiving! So something must be wrong."— Tanner Yea (@Tanner Yea)1608140537.0
President-elect Biden is going to have his work cut out for him.