“I mean, this is all about Ukraine. This is exactly what I said would happen, that we have to send more troops there,” says Hawley, R-Mo. “We have to spend more money there. He’s doing this at a time when our own southern border is completely overrun.”
“Child traffickers, sex trafficking, drugs everywhere. He’s doing it at a time when China is absolutely eating this administration’s lunch,” the Missouri lawmaker says. “I mean, just eating their lunch, stealing our jobs, stealing our trade, and yet what’s he doing? Thousands more troops to Europe. This will never end.”
Hawley joins today’s episode of “The Daily Signal Podcast” to share his message to young people using the Chinese-owned app TikTok; to discuss what he sees as the most egregious examples of government overreach and abuse; and to talk about his book, “Manhood: The Masculine Virtues America Needs.”
Listen to the podcast below or read the lightly edited transcript:
Samantha Aschieris: Sen. [Josh] Hawley, thank you so much for joining us today. Now, there’s been a lot of focus this Congress on the weaponization of the federal government and just government oversight in general. From your experience over the years in the Senate, what have you seen as the most egregious examples of government overreach and abuse from the government?
Sen. Josh Hawley: Well, how about when this FBI treated parents who are showing up at school board meetings as domestic terrorists? Labels them as domestic terrorists, activates the counterterrorism division of the Justice Department against them. I mean, to me, when you are calling parents domestic terrorists, you know that there’s something seriously wrong.
Merrick Garland should have been gone, the attorney general. Christopher Wray, the FBI director, should have been gone over that alone. And that’s before we even get to them targeting pro-life protesters, going to their homes, using SWAT teams against them. We could go on down the list.
How about the coordination with Big Tech where you’ve got the White House and Big Tech working together to try to deplatform people? I’ve never seen anything like it in my lifetime.
Aschieris: Well, let’s talk a little bit more about Big Tech because you have been one of the most vocal voices leading the effort to ban TikTok. And just recently a Pew Research Center poll came out showing that a majority of Americans think the app is a threat to national security.
What do you say? We’re at a Turning Point [USA] conference. What do you say to young people here and throughout the country who maybe have TikTok, don’t understand the threats, want to ignore the threats? What’s your message to them?
Hawley: I just say, if you’ve got TikTok on your phone, take it off your phone right now and then crush your phone in a blender or run over it maybe with your truck.
Listen, here’s the problem with TikTok. It’s that it is a backdoor for the Chinese Communist Party into everything you’re doing. I mean, it is tracking your phone calls. It is tracking your emails. It is reading your text messages, your contact list. So that’s the huge problem.
And forget what’s on TikTok, just think about the Communist Party being able to track you everywhere and to get every personal detail of your life. We just can’t have that and that’s why we need to ban it.
Aschieris: Absolutely. And Sen. Hawley, you have a new book out, “Manhood,” that our colleague Mary Margaret Olohan interviewed you about earlier. It doesn’t seem like the Left is in favor of manhood. Why is that?
Hawley: Well, they don’t believe in men or women. They’re not in favor of anybody who’s strong, who stands in the way of their agenda. So they don’t want men who would actually stand up for their families, stand up for their jobs, who would be independent. They don’t want women.
These are the same people who say that a man could be a woman tomorrow, that women shouldn’t really exist, that men should be in women’s sports. So they don’t believe in gender, they don’t believe in the family, and I really think it’s about control.
If they can get us to be just androgynous consumers, which is what they want, just tell us to shut up, don’t have families, don’t get married, buy a bunch of stuff that we tell you to, and let us run the country. Then they can be in charge forever. And I tell you, if that happens, then we don’t have a republic anymore.
Aschieris: Just in terms of teaching our young men about good masculinity, I know you’re a dad, so from being a parent, how are you teaching your sons about being a good man and good masculinity?
Hawley: Well, what I’m trying to do is, No. 1, tell them the great stories from American history—people like Theodore Roosevelt, who is a hero of mine; people like Abraham Lincoln; people like George Washington, who are good, strong men. Tell them the stories of the Bible. We go all the way back to really the ground of our Western tradition, also of my faith.
But the bottom line is this, is that to be a man is a journey of character. It is becoming someone who can take on responsibility, who can sacrifice his interest for the good of other people, and ultimately, it’s willing to lay down his life so that others can live and flourish. That’s really what it means to be a husband, to be a father, to be a builder.
So I hope that my boys will have that vision and will want to live that out. I hope that men around America will want to as well.
Aschieris: Absolutely. And another hot topic that we just got last week, President [Joe] Biden authorizing 3,000 reserve troops to be sent to Europe. Is this a sign of deterrence, escalation? What are your thoughts on it?
Hawley: It’s a sign that the Ukraine policy has become just another endless war. I mean, this is all about Ukraine. This is exactly what I said would happened, that we have to send more troops there. We have to spend more money there.
He’s doing this at a time when our own southern border is completely overrun. Child traffickers, sex trafficking, drugs everywhere. He’s doing at a time when China is absolutely eating this administration’s lunch. I mean, just eating their lunch, stealing our jobs, stealing our trade.
And yet what’s he doing? Thousands more troops to Europe.
This will never end. I mean, unless we switch course, it will never end. We got to go to the Europeans and say, “Guys, this is your continent. You’ve got to step up here and take the lead of the defense of Europe.”
Aschieris: And just speaking of China and the threat that we’ve been just constantly seeing, we were talking about TikTok earlier. We have the fentanyl crisis. We have their aggression toward Taiwan. What should the Biden administration be doing to counter that threat? And if we don’t, what happens to our country?
Hawley: Well, No. 1 is take away most favored nation status from China. Why are we giving them special trade deals? It’s insane. We need to kick them out of the World Trade Organization. We just need to actually eliminate the World Trade Organization. We need to kick them out of most favored nation status. We need to slap tariffs on them. And we need to tell them we’re bringing our jobs back. You’ve stolen our jobs, 4 million. You’ve stolen our industry. We’re going to rebuild that in the United States of America. That has got to be priority No. 1.
Aschieris: Absolutely. Sen. Hawley, any final thoughts?
Hawley: No. This is a great conference. I’ll just say that. It’s awesome to be here at [Turning Point USA].
Aschieris: Awesome. Thanks so much. I appreciate it.
Hawley: Thank you. Thanks for having me.
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