Rand Paul, Ted Cruz: Is That Anti-Vaxx Canadian Trucker Freedom Rock??? Well TURN IT UP!
Canadian truckers opposed to vaccine mandates and other COVID-19 restrictions have occupied Ottawa, refusing to move, honking their horns incessantly, threatening women and health care workers, and otherwise making a nuisance of themselves. American conservatives normally resent protesters, but they agree with the truckers so that changes everything. Sure, Republicans passed a so-called “anti-riot” law in Florida that let you mow down protesters in the streets, but here’s Senator Rand Paul on Fox News supporting deliberate blockades by truckers.
"Somebody's gotta stand up. Whether it's putting your semi in the middle of a town and honking the horn, or whatever." -- Rand Paul encourages Canadian trucker-style protests against public health regulationspic.twitter.com/hJIQleI5He— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1644265279
Paul said: "Somebody's gotta stand up. Whether it's putting your semi in the middle of a town and honking the horn, or whatever ... These people will never let go of our freedoms or our children if we don’t push back.” Paul had previously suggested that Black Lives Matter protesters were terrorists.
The so-called “freedom convoy” is not a spontaneous movement. It’s been spearheaded by conspiracy theorist and QAnon supporter James Bauder, who considers COVID-19 the “biggest political scam in history.” His group, Canada Unity, argues that vaccine mandates and passports are illegal under Canada’s constitution and, bizarrely, the Nuremberg Code. These creeps want to pin the Nazi label on others, yet there are actual neo-Nazi and Confederate flags flying at these protests.
Bauder’s fellow organizers for the convoy sound like a Legion of Doom roll call: "Chris Barber, a Saskatchewan trucker who was fined $14,000 in October for violating provincial public health measures; Tamara Lich, an activist for a fringe political party advocating that Western Canada should become an independent state; Benjamin Dichter, who has warned of the 'growing Islamization of Canada’; and Pat King, an anti-government agitator who has repeatedly called for Trudeau to be arrested.”
According to Rolling Stone, conservatives on rightwing apps are considering similar “trucker protests." Specifically, some right-wingers want to shut down the Super Bowl, which is apparently this weekend. Arizona GOP State Senator Wendy Rogers seemed down with some organized mayhem. She tweeted yesterday:
These truckers are teaching us all a lesson. We don’t have to tolerate evil. There is always one more thing you can do to defend what is good.
The Arizona GOP wanted to make it a felony to damage Confederate statues during a protest. Rogers said last year: "There’s never an excuse to break the law to enforce a point ... And we have to abide by the law.” Now, she’s full of excuses for violating the law and jeopardizing public safety.
If truckers shut down the Super Bowl it would partially be payback for Colin Kaepernick and the kneeling.
If they shut down the Super Bowl at least it would spare us and the children the evil wicked Satanic halftime show.
Kaepernick hasn’t played professional football in five years. The last nude breast sighting during a Super Bowl halftime show was almost 20 years ago. What’s this woman’s problem?
Rest assured, sports fans! It’s highly unlikely that right-wingers can organize a trucker blockade in time to stop the Super Bowl. You can watch all those ads in peace. However, Jared Holt, a fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, warns that the "desire to provide an American answer to the Canadian protests and cause havoc and headaches is completely there. What isn’t, at this point, is a clear plan and call to action.”
Rightwing media is covering this white road rage favorably, and self-described “law and order” Republicans have embraced the truckers’ actions. There’s clearly more than tacit approval for Americans to hop on board.
The Canadian truckers are heroes.\n\npic.twitter.com/XLc0YuKq5M— Senator Ted Cruz (@Senator Ted Cruz) 1644188759
Senator Ted Cruz called the Canadian truckers “heroes. They are patriots. They are marching for your freedom and for my freedom. God bless them, those truck drivers are defending Canada but they’re defending America, as well.”
This obvious discrepancy in how Republicans respond to white and Black protesters is yet another conservative slap in the face during Black History Month.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."