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Opinion: Chuck Edwards and his Republican Party seem to be the 'Party of Blatant Lies'

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Opinion: Chuck Edwards and his Republican Party seem to be the 'Party of Blatant Lies'

Pat Brothwell
5–6 minutes

Guest opinion columnist Pat Brothwell


Guest opinion columnist Pat Brothwell


A popular right-wing rhetorical choice is to call anyone slightly liberal-leaning “a lemming,” intimating they blindly follow whatever lies “the media” or “radical leftists” serve. I am of the belief that people often criticize things they don’t like about themselves in others. How else can you explain Republican voters buying the flagrant lies and hypocrisies the party feeds them? How else can you explain today’s Republican party continuing to gain support despite their mission and messaging being based on lies and hypocrisies so flimsy they’re embarrassing?

More: Opinion: When will gun violence stop? Trying to understand Edwards' gun violence stance

More: Opinion: Chuck Edwards is out of touch with today's North Carolinians and religion

I could have started this piece by telling you that I’m an award-winning, multimillionaire novelist who just bought my third investment property, drives a vintage BMW, and keeps my thousands of Instagram followers titillated through pictures of my six-pack abs.

It’s a ludicrous claim even the lightest of Googling would debunk — I’m a marketing writer who lives in a one-bedroom apartment, drives a 2019 Chevy Equinox (arguably, vintage), and haven’t seen an ab since getting mono in 2013. However, I bet I could get people to believe it, seeing how easily blatant lies — not misinformation, bold lies — are consumed without a second thought. We have the freedom to say whatever we’d like. That doesn’t mean it’s true, and so many people seem to be willfully ignorant of that.

The most egregious lie perpetuated by today’s Republican party is that it’s the party of freedom.

  • According to PEN America reporting, during the 2022-2023 school year, there have been 1,477 school book bans across the country. Thirteen book ban bills have been introduced. How is banning books congruent with “freedom”?

  • Last year the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Remember, it was mostly Republicans rallying against vaccine and mask mandates, claiming they were free to do what was best for their bodies.

  • A record number of anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced this year, targeting everything from drag performances to education. Most of these bills rely on Judeo-Christian “beliefs,” meaning that for most Republicans, imposing one’s own religious beliefs on others trumps freedom of religion.

  • N.C. State Rep. Jeff Zenger recently introduced House Bill 673 that would enable criminal charges to be filed against anyone participating in “public,” “live adult entertainment,” which it defines as “a performance featuring topless dancers, exotic dancers, strippers, or male or female impersonators who provide entertainment that appeals to a prurient interest.” Zenger’s website states that he “believes in the God-given rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” that he “knows that the rights of the individual must come first,” and that he believes the, “role of government should be small,” and yet … he’s the one using his government position to enact legislation that would directly affect North Carolinians' rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (not to mention that morality policing directly contradicts “small government”).

More: Editor: Open call for women to share their voices, during Women's History Month and always

All this legislation is the antithesis of independence.

I recently wrote to our congressional Rep. Chuck Edwards, asking why, in the wake of the recent spate of mass shootings, he wouldn’t consider helping enact an assault weapons ban.

Edwards wrote back, predictably saying that his heart goes out to all the victims of the recent school shooting in Nashville, but we must not legislate with emotions. He then proceeded to make weak, party-approved excuses for doing nothing.

Republicans are so used to having so many people unquestioningly believe their nonsense they no longer check themselves for optics or hypocrisy.

“Please trust,” Edwards wrote, “that I will keep your comments in mind should any legislation regarding gun violence or mental health be brought to the House floor for a vote.” This is another blatant lie.

On May 3, Edwards retweeted a missive from the official @HouseGOP account. “House Republicans are committed to a nation that's safe, and that means focusing on securing our Southern Border. House Republicans’ Secure the Border Act would end the #BidenBorderCrisis and restore sanity, safety, and security for all,” the tweet reads.

On May 6, another American with tactical gear and a gun fetish shot up a Texas mall. Eight people died, including a pair of elementary-aged sisters and a young couple and their 3-year-old son — their 6-year-old is the only surviving member of that family. @HouseGop didn’t acknowledge the shooting but tweeted or retweeted 16 more times between May 6-8 that focusing on the border will keep Americans safe.

Pat Brothwell is a former high school teacher, and current writer and marketing professional living and working in Asheville.

This article originally appeared on Asheville Citizen Times: Rep. Chuck Edwards and Republican Party is the Party of Blatant Lies

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