Democrats brought us a year of fear in 2021. In 2022, let us be not afraid and reclaim our American spirit

Americans have shown this past year that they won’t be denied the right to speak and be heard—whether at school board meetings or city councils or worship services

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2021 was a year of fear instigated by Democrats and the Left. 2022 doesn’t have to be. It can be the year we say no to fear and reclaim our heritage as Americans. 

The fear campaign started on January 6, following the demonstration in Washington that turned violent after some demonstrators breached the Capitol. But that was only the second most surprising thing about that day. The most surprising outcome—and the day’s true legacy—was the Left’s attempt to use the Capitol unrest to foster a permanent climate of fear and repression. 

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In the months that followed, they targeted conservatives, silenced parents, and suppressed speech by ordinary people online, all in the name of public safety. 

Taken together, it’s been the most concerted effort to shut down free speech in this country since the Federalist Party tried to criminalize opposing viewpoints in the late 1790s.

The parallels between then and now are striking. Like today’s Biden administration, the Federalists were deeply unpopular and desperate to retain power. They portrayed their opponents, Thomas Jefferson’s Republicans, as dangerous and unruly. So the Federalists tried to outlaw criticism of the government and silence popular discontent.

They failed. And the Left’s present efforts at repression will too. Americans have shown this past year that they won’t be denied the right to speak and be heard—whether at school board meetings or city councils or worship services. They won’t stand by as Biden’s Justice Department treats them as "domestic terrorists." And they are right not to. It’s time for the Left’s campaign of fear to end.

The Constitution doesn’t promise unpopular politicians the power to silence criticism they don’t like. It promises Americans the right to run their own lives and control their own government. 

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Let me say again that those who committed crimes on January 6 should be prosecuted, just as those who rioted and burned and looted in cities around the nation in the name of "social justice" should be as well.

But let me be equally clear that gathering for a political demonstration is not a crime. On the contrary, it is a right expressly protected by the U.S. Constitution.

And when it comes to violence, I notice that the Left hasn’t seemed much interested in the violence and mob activity that has plagued the nation in the last three years. 

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When rioters tried to storm the White House and attacked Secret Service agents in the summer of 2020, when they attempted to breach the Supreme Court building to prevent Justice Kavanaugh from taking his oath in 2018, when radicals laid siege to the federal building in Portland and assaulted scores of law enforcement officers, the Left hardly said a word. Instead, many defended these and other acts of violence as somehow deserved. Nancy Pelosi infamously wondered why there weren’t "uprisings around the country."

What interested the Left about the riot on January 6 was that it could be connected to Trump supporters, conservatives. They proclaimed conservatives a threat to public safety and marshaled their institutional power to drive political opposition into silence.

A year later, we know all too well what this looks like.

It looks like the president of the United States brazenly lying about election integrity laws in Georgia and coordinating with Major League Baseball to kill thousands of jobs in that state to the tune of $100 million.

It looks like the Attorney General deploying the National Security Division of the Justice Department against parents who speak out at school board meetings, all while lying about it to Congress.

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It looks like government lawyers drawing up lists of federal crimes for which these same parents could be prosecuted should they dare raise their voices about their children’s education.

It looks like Big Tech relentlessly censoring citizens’ questions about election integrity, and then about the origins of COVID, and then about the assault on women’s sports, enforcing the Left’s party line.

In sum, it looks like the most powerful members of our government and society deploying their authority against ordinary people exercising ordinary rights, with the purpose of intimidating them into silence. 

The mask is off now. We know where the Left stands, and what they want: a one-party state with no real dissent and no opposition.

But that’s not America, and it will not succeed.

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Two hundred years ago, Thomas Jefferson beat the Federalists in the election of 1800 by refusing to bow to their climate of fear. He called out their efforts at repression for what they were: blatantly un-American and a danger to democracy. The same is true of Joe Biden’s campaign of fear, and conservatives should say so.

Jefferson argued then that the true strength of democracy lies not in uniformity of opinion, but in the protection of individual liberties—like the liberty to worship, to speak, and to assemble. These are the very rights the Left has tried systematically to undermine this past year. In 1800, Jefferson promised to protect them anew. 

Americans deserve the same today.

The Constitution doesn’t promise unpopular politicians the power to silence criticism they don’t like. It promises Americans the right to run their own lives and control their own government. 

Thomas Jefferson rejected the politics of fear in favor of liberty. We should follow his lead. 

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2022 can be a new chapter if we take a stand against those who would use their power to terrorize and intimidate. 

This year, don’t give into fear. Don’t be shouted down. Don’t be intimidated. This year, let’s live instead by this maxim: We will not be afraid, because we are Americans. 

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM SEN. JOSH HAWLEY