Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) is the GOP's under-the-radar hardcore culture warrior. The seeds for Trump's 'big lie' about the election were planted years ago by a conspiracy-pushing 'own the libs' Republican fringe. — Anthony L. Fisher, Business Insider Politics Columnist
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) is the GOP's under-the-radar hardcore culture warrior. The seeds for Trump's 'big lie' about the election were planted years ago by a conspiracy-pushing 'own the libs' Republican fringe. — Anthony L. Fisher, Business Insider Politics Columnist
Paul Gosar is the GOP's under-the-radar hardcore culture warrior
  • The seeds for Trump's "big lie" about the election were planted years ago by a conspiracy-pushing "own the libs" Republican fringe.
  • Rep. Paul Gosar has been ahead of the GOP curve in embracing the further reaches of the fringe, for more than a decade.
  • It's really a wonder Rep. Paul Gosar isn't a bigger star in the post-Trump GOP.
Mainstream Republicans desperately want to believe that the QAnon-supporting Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and the performative handgun-toting Rep. Lauren Boebert are anomalies to their party. They see the new upstart GOP members of Congress as part of a fringey runoff leftover from the Trump era — something to be managed, but just a short-term nuisance. But to a substantial extent, Greene and Boebert's paths to Capitol Hill were paved by Rep. Paul Gosar, who's been "owning the libs" and hammering the culture war hits for more than a decade.

The congressman has been ahead of the curve in embracing the most destructive ultra-nationalist elements of the right. And he just recently spoke at a conference hosted by a white nationalist.

He's helped push the Overton Window to a point where such behavior doesn't even get you censured by the party leadership.

... In terms of actual lawmaking, Gosar's record is thin. It's not easy getting legislation passed, but of the 11 bills in which Gosar served as the primary sponsor, all but one was a government land swap or the renaming of a public building.

Being a House backbencher gave the Arizona lawmaker plenty of free time to dedicate to the ever-expanding culture war. In particular, Gosar excelled at stoking conspiracy theories and overwrought controversies.


A practicing Catholic, Gosar in 2015 made a show out of boycotting Pope Francis' address to Congress.

In a Townhall.com column, the congressman said he wanted no part of listening to the pope giving "socialist talking points" and focusing on the "false science and ideology" of climate change. Instead, Gosar hoped the pope would denounce ISIS' murder and persecution of Iraqi and Syrian Christians — something Pope Francis had already done, forcefully and repeatedly.

When a neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville in August 2017 turned murderous, Gosar speculated that the whole thing was a false flag operation set up by an "Obama sympathizer" and funded by the conspiratorial right's go-to boogeyman, financier and political activist George Soros.

Gosar has shared QAnon and white nationalist memes on social media, even retweeting an account "that's so crazy that the big QAnon pushers thinks [sic] it makes QAnon look bad," according to "QAnonymous" podcaster Travis View.

He unambiguously endorsed fantastical Trumpist conspiracy theories when he wrote in 2019: "I have a tip. I think high level FBI agents may have colluded with British agents and Democrat operatives to initiate an illegal coup against @realDonaldTrump and @POTUS."

Naturally, he's also made time to jump on the "[Jeffrey] Epstein didn't kill himself" bandwagon.

Gosar hasn't done all of this in a way that can be conceivably excused as "old man knows not what he retweets." He's only 62, and appears to be a true believer of the unbelievable.

Over the years, these antics were regularly dismissed as fringe and unrepresentative of the party. But it was tolerance of the Gosar-wing of the party that helped convince Republican voters to believe in such fact-averse lines of thinking.
Read the full article: https://www.businessinsider.com/paul-gosar-gop-culture-war-stop-steal-qanon-america-first-2021-3