One of Australia’s pre-eminent MAGA types has spouted total bullshit online, entertaining the idea that the 2020 US Presidential election was shonky. Unfortunately, he also happens to be a federal politician.
Coalition MP George Christensen today echoed the conspiracy theory that US President Donald Trump‘s election loss was illegitimate, just hours after violent Trump loyalists stormed the US Capitol for a ramshackle coup attempt.
Taking to Facebook Thursday afternoon, the Liberal National Party MP commented on the chaotic scenes in Washington D.C., claiming “it is a dumpster fire at the moment… all because no one dared audit the vote.”
Despite Trump’s continual claims of election interference, and Christensen’s hand-wringing about vote audits, there is no evidence of wide-scale voter fraud.
Christensen, who is outspoken about social media’s perceived bias against conservative politicians, also claimed that Twitter’s removal of three recent Trump tweets could incite more violence.
“Will censoring the leader of the free world pacify or enrage his supporters?” Christensen said.
“This seems like pouring fuel on the fire to me!”
If you thought there’d be some kind of public reprimand for broadcasting such a dodgy take hours after the US Capitol siege, you’d be mistaken.
Although Prime Minister Scott Morrison today condemned the scenes in Washington D.C. and called for a peaceful transition of power, he refused to speak against his own MP for spreading baseless and incendiary rumours.
“Australia’s a free country,” Morrison told reporters in Canberra.
“There’s such a thing as freedom of speech in this country, and that will continue.”
Does Donald Trump bear some responsibility for undermining democracy and inciting some of the chaotic scenes we've seen in the US Capitol Building overnight? "I'm not here to offer a running commentary on what should be happening in the United States" @ScottMorrisonMP #auspol pic.twitter.com/1ivBqJwAnS
— Brett Mason (@BrettMasonNews) January 7, 2021
(We don’t actually have a constitutional right to free speech, but that’s neither here nor there.)
Opposition MPs, including Andrew Giles and Josh Wilson, have challenged Morrison and Christensen over the latter’s claims.
Another test of Scott Morrison's leadership, another fail.
Today of all days our Prime Minister should stand against the spreading of baseless conspiracies – but he won't call out George Christensen, hiding behind 'free speech'.
He should do his job, and take responsibility.
— Andrew Giles MP (@andrewjgiles) January 7, 2021
Freedom of speech includes the ability – and some would say the responsibility – for people to show leadership by calling out dangerous lies.
Scott Morrison consistently fails that test.#auspol https://t.co/4W2XWlLHtC
— Josh Wilson (@Josh4Freo) January 7, 2021
All of this comes a day after a handful of Australian Trump supporters marched down Melbourne’s busy St Kilda Road, indicating that a non-zero number of locals are swept up in Trump’s paranoid, conspiratorial bullshit.
How bloody good.