Feb 26, 2021
Josh Hawley 2021 CPAC Speech Transcript February 26
Missouri Senator Josh Hawley spoke at CPAC on February 26, 2021. Read the full transcript of his speech remarks here.
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Sen. Josh Hawley: (00:10)
Hello, everybody. Hello, CPAC. How are you doing? Didn’t anybody tell you that you’re supposed to be canceled? You didn’t get the memo. You’re supposed to ask permission before you came here today. It’s great to see you. It’s great to be here among patriots, and I tell you what. Can I just tell you… Speaking of being canceled, the last six weeks, the radical left, their corporate allies, the liberal media, have tried to cancel me, censor me, expel me, shut me down, stop me from representing the people of Missouri, stop me from representing you. And guess what? I’m here today. I’m not going anywhere, and I’m not backing down. Not a chance, not a chance.
Sen. Josh Hawley: (01:05)
And neither are you, am I right? You’re not going to back down. You’re not going anywhere. I just want to say to those people who say to us, “Oh, you’re the past. Your moment has passed. It’s over. It’s Joe Biden’s America now.” I just want to say, “We’re not the past, we’re the future.” We represent the future of this country. We represent the next generation of the country. We represent what’s coming next, and there is no way that we’re going to back down. We’re not going to back down to the woke mob. We’re not going to back down to the cancel culture. We’re not going to be told what we can say or do. But listen, we’ve got to be honest, and we’ve got to face the challenges that are in front of us. And I tell you what, you know this, or you wouldn’t be here.
Sen. Josh Hawley: (01:50)
You know that we are facing a crisis in our country. This is one of the great moments of crisis in American history. We’re facing a fight for the republic itself, and we are facing an unprecedented alliance of radical liberals, and the biggest, most powerful corporations in the history of the world. They are standing together. You know who I mean, people like Google, Facebook, if you’ve heard of them, Twitter. These companies have more power than any companies in American history, and they’re aligned with the radical left to try to impose their agenda on this country. They want to run this country, and if we don’t do something, they are going to. And we’ve got a word for that. It’s called oligarchy, and that’s what we’re facing in America right now, and we’ve got a basic choice. We can have a republic where the people rule, or we can have an oligarchy where big tech and the liberals rule.
Sen. Josh Hawley: (02:47)
And that is the choice, that is the challenge, that we face today. It’s a perilous moment. We have to stand up and take our stand on the Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence, because last time I checked, the Declaration of Independence said that our inalienable rights to life and liberty come from God and not from government. Is that right? I mean, am I forgetting something? And I also thought… Last I checked, I thought that the Declaration said that our rights come from God, not from Google. Is that right? I mean, last I checked… But that’s the fight of our time, to make the rule of the people an actual thing again, to restore the sovereignty of the American people. You know what? That’s always been the fight. That’s the fight of liberty. That’s been the fight of liberty since the beginning of human history.
Sen. Josh Hawley: (03:37)
You’ve always got a small group of people who think they know best, and they ought to be in charge, and they ought to be able to tell us what to think and do. And today, that’s the big corporations and the liberal elites. That’s the oligarchy. And what are we fighting for? It’s the same thing our founding fathers fought for. We’re fighting for the rule of the people. We’re fighting to be able to have our own say. We’re fighting to be able to run our own government. We’re fighting to have real self government in America, and that’s what we’re about. You can see where the oligarchs want to take us. Just look at the last two months. The last two months, the big tech corporations have deplatformed conservatives left and right, shut them up, shut them out, shut them down. Heck, they censored the president of the United States. If they can censor him, they can censor any American citizen. And I’ve got my own experience with this, unfortunately. On January the 6th, I objected during the Electoral College certification. Maybe you heard about it. I did.
Sen. Josh Hawley: (04:43)
I stood up and I said, “We ought to have a debate about election integrity.” I said, “It is the right of the people to be heard, and my constituents in Missouri want to be heard on this issue.” By the way, I did what our Democrat friends, my Democrat colleagues, have done in every single election where Republican president has won for the last 20 years. Do you know they’ve objected to 11 different states in certifications over the last 25 years, three different presidential elections? So I did that, and I said, “I want to have a debate on election integrity.” And what was the result of that? Oh, you know what the result was. I was called a traitor. I was called a seditionist. The radical left said I should be resigned, and if I wouldn’t resign, I should be expelled from the United States Senate.
Sen. Josh Hawley: (05:49)
Well, as I said a moment ago, I’m not going anywhere. I’m staying right here. I’m going to stand up for you. Because if we can’t have free and open debate in this country, we’re not going to have a country left. If we can’t have free and open debate according to the law in the United States Senate, what good is the United States Senate? Why do you send anybody to Washington at all? I thought it was an important stand to take. And for it, the left has come after me. They’ve tried to silence me. They canceled a book, a book I was writing called The Tyranny of Big Tech. These people have no sense of irony. Still going to get published, by the way. It’ll be out soon.
Sen. Josh Hawley: (06:38)
Not long to wait. They did all of that. It didn’t work. But listen, that’s just a slice of what they’ve done. A lot of people have had it a lot worse. I mean, they’ve made lists of Trump voters. You know this. You can find it online, lists of Trump voters so they could go and try to punish them. One outfit in Washington’s keeping a list of everybody who ever worked for Donald Trump, including White House interns, to try to make sure they can never get another job in Washington again. I was struck by this story about a gal named Cara Dumaplin. She’s a lady with a business online. She does consulting on how to get babies to sleep. Now, listen. Before you say, “What do we care about that,” I’ve got three little kids at home, including a newborn. My baby, Abigail, my wife and I welcomed her on November the 9th, so she’s just over three months old. Thank you.
Sen. Josh Hawley: (07:29)
So we’re really interested in sleep. I can tell you, the Hawley household, we care about sleep. My wife knew of this gal Cara Dumaplin, who had an Instagram online thing where she counseled people on how to get their babies to sleep. It was great. She had like 4 million followers. What happened? She supported Donald Trump, so what did they do? They came after her. They came after her, tried to shut down her accounts, tried to run her out of business. I just heard this morning, just this morning, that a Christian worship leader at a church in this country who has worship albums he put out, he just got a call this morning from his corporate distributor, and they told him they’re not going to distribute his next album. What was his sin? He supported Donald Trump in the election.
Sen. Josh Hawley: (08:11)
This is what corporate America and the radical left is doing. This is what they’re doing left, right, and center. And they’re going to keep on doing it unless we do something about it. Now, the real question is, how do we get here? How do we get to this point that these oligarchs, these massive corporations in hoc with the left can do what they’re doing? And you know the answer to that. The answer is that the policy experts in Washington, DC and the elected officials there for decades on end have let them do it. They have given them the power. How did big tech gets so big? Washington gave away the store. That’s how they got so big. Washington subsidized Google and Facebook. Washington subsidized Twitter. And what have these companies, these other mega corporations, these multinational companies… What have they done to repay the favor?
Sen. Josh Hawley: (09:01)
You know, they shipped our jobs to China. They paid our workers poverty wages. They have violated all of the principles that we hold dear. That’s what they’ve done. That’s what these companies… That’s what they live to do, and the left is just fine with it, because the left and these companies together, these oligarchies, they can impose their agenda on the rest of us. And that’s exactly what they’re trying to do. So what are we going to do about it? I mean, that’s the real question, isn’t it? In this moment, in this moment of crisis, our country needs us to take a stand. In this moment of crisis, our country needs us to stand up and to say, “We will not be ruled by giant corporations and the liberal elite.” We will not be told what to do by these modern day oligarchs. What we need is a new nationalism, a new agenda to make the rule of the people real in this country, and give the people [inaudible 00:10:01] back. Give it back to them, give it back to you.
Sen. Josh Hawley: (10:06)
No more rule by oligarchs. Rule by the people, that’s what we’ve got to do. And I can tell you how I would start. I would start by breaking up the big tech corporations. Just break them up. Break them up in the name of the rule of the people. For the good of the American people and our liberty, we need to break those corporations up and cut them down to size. You know what? The Republican Party, once upon a time, we were the party of trustbusters. I mean, we invented the concept, basically. It’s time to reclaim that legacy. It’s time to reclaim that legacy, and not just for big tech, but for all of the huge multinational corporations that have sold us out to China, that have sold out our workers, that have sold out our jobs. They need to be broken up, and we need to have free, fair competition in this country again.
Sen. Josh Hawley: (11:01)
That’s what it means for the people to rule. We’ve got to stand up to China and not allow them to continue to push us over, to take our jobs, to cheat on trade. We’ve got to put American workers first, not illegal immigrants. Can I just say, by the way, on that subject, just on the subject of immigration… We get told all the time, “Oh, if you believe in a border, if you think that borders actually matter, if you think that citizenship actually matters, well, my goodness. I mean, you’re a bigot. You’re backwards.” Can I just say… Can I just try to enlighten our liberal friends for a second? We believe in borders, because we believe in citizenship. And we believe in citizenship because we believe in America.
Sen. Josh Hawley: (11:52)
Where I come from in Missouri… I grew up in rural Missouri, small town right in the middle of Missouri. It’s a working-class town full of good folks, working hard to make it every day. And I can just tell you, where I grew up, we believe in citizenship because we’re proud of it. We’re proud to be Americans. And when you come to America, you join a family. And in this family, we stick up for one another. We protect one another. We believe in one another. That’s what citizenship means. That’s why it’s worth protecting. That’s why we need a border. Do you agree? I mean, that’s what it is. And we’ve got to resist the attempts of the oligarchs to divide us. They will only succeed at the end of the day, they will only succeed, if we do nothing and if we allow ourselves to be divided. You can see what their strategy is. I mean, we saw it this whole last year.
Sen. Josh Hawley: (12:45)
We heard endlessly from corporate media, from big tech, from the left how terrible our country is. We heard that we are systemically racist. You heard that once or twice. We heard that the real founding of the country wasn’t in 1776, it was in 1619, or whatever. And now we heard that America is founded in lies and evil. I mean, that’s what we’ve been told. All of that is false. All of that is a lie. America is not a perfect place, but it’s a good place. More than that, it’s a great place. It’s the greatest nation in the history of the world.
Sen. Josh Hawley: (13:26)
And part of standing up to the oligarchs in tech and in the media and the liberals is reclaiming our history and saying, “It is good, and we are proud to be Americans.” We’re proud to have lived in a country that started with nothing and became the greatest country on the face of the earth. We’re proud of living in a country that liberated slaves, that liberated a continent that was under the thumb of Nazi dictatorship, that rebuilt the entire world after a world war. We did all of that. This nation did all of that. And are we perfect? Of course we’re not perfect. It’s like your pastor says at church… Have you heard this? He said, “Have you ever been to a perfect church?” I mean, I haven’t ever been. Maybe you have. The answer is no, of course not. Why? Because it’s full of people.
Sen. Josh Hawley: (14:12)
Every church is full of people. America is full of people, but it’s full of good people. It’s full of good people who continue to seek the light and continue to strive towards that more perfect union. And my friends, it’s up to us to stand up and to remind our fellow Americans of what we believe together, of what we love together, and to tell the oligarchs who want to rule this country that their day has passed. That we are going to stand for the liberty that our forefathers fought and died for, and we are going to make it real again in this day. We can do it. We can do it. It seems now in this moment like the oligarchs and their allies are so powerful, but the truth is that the strength of America is always in the unheard voices of its people all across this great land.
Sen. Josh Hawley: (15:03)
The strength is in you. The strength is in us together. And I just want to close with a line I’ve thought a lot about, a quote from Daniel Webster, who in some trying years of his own that he knew, a trying time before the beginning of the Civil War, he used to end his speeches in the United States Senate by saying, “Union now, union forever.” What he meant was is that for those who said that America’s time had passed, that the country was hopelessly divided, that it was irredeemable… Sound familiar? He said, “No. Union now, union forever.” I just want to say, my friends, America now, America first, America forever. God bless you. It’s great to be with you. Take care. Thank you so much.