Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) solidified his progressive agenda with the unveiling of his Trust-Busting for the Twenty-First Century Act, a bill that adds another weapon to his liberty-killing, nationalist arsenal to take down so-called “big tech.”
Despite Trumpist-inspired hype to the contrary, Josh Hawley does NOT represent conservatism or conservative values. In fact, ever since hitting the national stage of Republican politics, he’s been openly at war with conservatism.
In the summer of 2019, the first annual National Conservatism Conference (NCC) was held in Washington, DC, a gathering dedicated to destroying traditional conservatism because, in the eyes of organizers, it has outlived it usefulness economically and culturally.
This was the conference where FOX News host Tucker Carlson declared in a keynote speech, “The main threat to your ability to live your life as you choose does not come from government anymore. It comes from the private sector.” And it’s where Josh Hawley gave a keynote attacked successful business people for being a part of the “powerful upper class,” and he called for “a new consensus” to address the economic “discontent of our time.”
In Josh Hawley’s progressive mind, the upper class is Big Tech — companies like Google and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter — along with Big Banks, Big Telecom, Pharma, and other companies Trumpists and nationalists claim are violating the right to free speech and free markets (the discontent of our time).
Hawley’s call for a new consensus was literally a call to redefine the First Amendment by giving government full control of internet speech.
In his brief time in the U.S. Senate, Josh Hawley has solidified his progressive agenda in many other ways by adopting much of the anti-capitalist agenda of socialist Democrats. For example:
- April 2019 – Hawley joined GOP Sen. Rick Scott on a bill imposing price controls on prescription drugs. The bill was so socialist in application that it has been described as legislation that “could have been written by Bernie Sanders.”
- February 2020 – Hawley introduced an FTC overhaul bill I called a socialist’s dream. Under this Elizabeth Warren-inspired proposal, the FTC was to be stripped of its independence by relocating it to the Department of Justice. The legislation would have given the Attorney General “all authority” to go after so-called “Big Tech.”
- June 2020 – Hawley joined fellow Republican Sens. Marco Rubio, Mike Braun, and Tom Cotton to introduce the Limiting Section 230 Immunity to Good Samaritans Act. This so-called “reform” to the Communications Decency Act specifically targeted social media platforms identified by Trump and the Republican Party as violators of the Act “censoring” conservative voices. In reality, it would have destroyed the First Amendment by giving the White House and the Attorney General’s office new power to control internet content and target political enemies.
With a track record such as this along with a heavy reliance on Trumpism and constitutional ignorance for 2024, Hawley’s Trust-Busting for the Twenty-First Century Act is just another piece of his nationalist and/or populist conservative agenda — which is just the Republican way of saying progressive and/or socialist agenda.
In a statement about the legislation,
Elizabeth Warren Bernie Sanders Josh Hawley said:
“A small group of woke mega-corporations control the products Americans can buy, the information Americans can receive, and the speech Americans can engage in. These monopoly powers control our speech, our economy, our country, and their control has only grown because Washington has aided and abetted their quest for endless power.
“While Big Tech, Big Banks, Big Telecom, and Big Pharma gobbled up more companies and more market share, they gobbled up our freedom and competition. American consumers and workers have paid the price. Woke corporations want to run this country, and Washington is happy to let them.
“It’s time to bust up them up and restore competition.”
If you know your history, you probably noticed that Hawley’s aggressive anti-trust approach to big business is similar to the aggressive anti-trust approach used by John McCain’s favorite president, Theodore Roosevelt. The progressive Roosevelt was notorious for using the Sherman Antitrust Act to break up unfavorable business monopolies.
Hawley’s bill is designed to “reform” — Washington doublespeak for “change it to do what I want it to do” — the Sherman and Clayton antitrust acts to make it easier to make an antitrust claim and break up big businesses.
The use of antitrust laws as a weapon against political enemies of the Republican Party made headlines earlier this month following Major League Baseball’s “woke” decision to move its over-hyped All-Star Game away from Atlanta after the Georgia state legislature passed new election laws that Democrats compared to “Jim Crow” laws.
Trumpist Republicans are calling for an end to Major League Baseball’s antitrust exemption, claiming that doing so was necessary to protect liberty. In reality, it is merely a desperate attempt to protect the party.
Likewise, Hawley is calling for changes to antitrust laws, claiming that doing so is necessary to protect liberty. In reality, it is merely a desperate attempt to score cheap political points and protect his political ambitions.
For Josh Hawley and his progressive agenda, antitrust laws are just another culture war issue. He doesn’t care about righting any perceived wrongs, he just wants to fire up his base and provoke his opponents in preparation for his 2024 (or later if Trump runs) presidential campaign.
It’s simply a fact that Hawley has embraced huge chunks of the Democratic Socialist agenda under the banner of Nationalism because that’s who he truly is. Heck, he recently backed Bernie Sanders’ $15 minimum wage hike proposal, saying: “For decades, the wages of everyday, working Americans have remained stagnate [sic] while monopoly corporations have consolidated industry after industry, securing record profits for CEOs and investment bankers.”
If you’re Josh Hawley or any other Trumpist/Nationalist in the Republican Party with presidential ambitions — I’m looking at you, Ron DeSantis — pretending to protect the Constitution while systematically working to destroy it has become standard operating procedure.
Nationalism is being called the “new conservatism” but it’s really old socialism. It’s progressive, and it’s destroying liberty.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.