Congressman Ted Budd spent the months following the election spreading lies and misinformation about alleged election fraud. He ginned up this propaganda and never once acknowledged any of the 60 plus court cases where absolutely no fraud was even alleged, much less shown, by the Trump legal team. Zero. Yet, on and on Ted Budd went, even going so far as to encourage Republicans to change their voting address to Georgia for the special election to “level the playing field.” Budd was one of the first in a group of the President’s cadre of elected officials who amplified and promoted unproven allegations of election fraud. They then turned around and demanded that the voices of millions of Americans concerned with election fraud be heard. Well, Congressman Budd, you don’t get to light the fire in the house and then complain that no one is putting it out.
Elected officials have a microphone. Their platform is elevated because the people expect them to represent their best interests. When an elected official peddles baseless conspiracy theories, it then becomes rooted in the information ecosystem much faster than if you or I simply said “fraud!” It’s akin to screaming FIRE in a crowded movie theater. People will rush to the exits.
On Wednesday January 6, having been convinced of a “fire” in our body politic, people rushed to the US Capitol to disrupt our most sacred electoral processes because they had been convinced by men like Ted Budd that their votes had been stolen. They hadn’t. Yet, after all of the litigation by Republican judges and even Republican Secretaries of State had shown no evidence of fraud, Budd continued. He never once acknowledged the outcome of any of these cases, lying by omission. He peddled the conspiracies about fraud to curry favor with his party and his President.
Ted Budd is a smart man. He knew Trump lost. He knew the election was free of fraud. He knew he was lying to the voters. That makes his actions even more devious and dangerous. It’s one thing to be ignorant and intellectually incapable of knowing the difference between right and wrong. Budd knew and did so anyway.
His sworn duty was to represent the interests of his constituents and to uphold the Constitution. Instead, Budd fomented anger and refused to properly inform his constituents that there was no fraud and that Joe Biden won the Presidential election in a free and fair manner. Never once has Ted Budd encouraged a smooth and peaceful transfer of power from Trump to Biden. He has only peddled the Big Lie. He violated his oath to uphold the Constitution because he refused to acknowledge that President Trump lost in a free and fair manner that had been litigated over and over and over, to no avail.
If I thought my voting rights had been illegally usurped, I would be upset as well. I would be angry. I would understand if a violent uprising was the only recourse imaginable in the absence of a free and fair election. But that’s not what happened here. Intelligent men like Ted Budd knew the outcome and saw an opportunity for their political future so they refused to properly inform Americans of what happened. They chose themselves instead (just like Budd chose his family Business to receive $10 million in covid relief funds while voting against additional aid for Americans).
This craven and dangerous failure to spread truth instead of misinformation has resulted in a violation of our most sacred governmental institutions and the first domestic terror attack in centuries.
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