By Nia Anthony
Elm Staff Writer
In an increasingly heavy political climate, Senators Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) are several United States politicians who have made headlines for their contended statements and actions regarding fake election conspiracies peddled by President Trump.
Cruz and Hawley have been blamed for their part in inciting the breaching of the U.S. Capital on Jan. 6, 2021, by promoting the widespread voter fraud lies that Trump circulated. Following a tumultuous presidential election, capitol insurrection, and the continuation of COVID-19, the two senators have remained staunch in their divisive beliefs. When the dust eventually settles, what will the legacies of Cruz and Hawley be?
Cruz has served as a Texas state senator since 2013, becoming the first Hispanic-American senator for Texas. Cruz also served as Solicitor General for the state of Texas to the George W. Bush administration from 2003 to 2008.
Cruz has never been a stranger to controversy. He gained notoriety in 2013 for launching the government shutdown over The Affordable Care Act, adamantly delaying Senate proceedings on the topic and making himself an enemy to Democrats in Congress, as well as some of his Republican colleagues.
“He knew it, he knew it, he knew it. It wasn’t about the shutdown, it wasn’t about the affordable care act. It was about launching Ted Cruz,” former Senator Tom Coburn (R. Okla) told The Washington Post in reference to the infamy Cruz gained from leading the shutdown efforts.
More recently, Cruz made headlines for placing a hold on Governor Gina Raimondo’s Commerce Secretary confirmation. On Feb. 4 Cruz tweeted, “I’ll lift the hold when the Biden admin commits to keep the massive Chinese Communist Party spy operation Huawei on the Entity List.”
But Cruz’s biggest offense has been his open push of the voter fraud claims that spurred the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.
“Texas Senator Ted Cruz played a key role in amplifying the false voter fraud claims that drove people to overrun the U.S. Capitol, but he denies any responsibility and aims the blame solely at President Trump,” NPR’s Lulu Garcia Navarro said. “Like Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, Cruz is courting Trump’s voters ahead of a possible presidential bid.”
Senator Hawley was elected to office in 2019 after serving as the Missouri Attorney General from 2017 to 2019. Hawley has less of a history than Cruz has of voting on contentious issues due to his shorter term in office. However, his impact is growing to be much like Cruz’s.
The Atlantic published an article detailing the similarities between both senators and how detrimental their presence in Congress may be to minority and liberal populations.
“[Hawley] became the avatar of the congressional insurrection, the one lawmakers started before the mob showed up,” The Atlantic’s Emma Green sad. “Conservatives and liberals alike blamed Hawley for encouraging the Capitol attackers by questioning the legitimacy of the election.”
“Ted is now just that annoying fly in the room — okay, we’ll swat it eventually,” an unnamed Republican campaign operative told The Atlantic. “Josh is seen as so much worse.”
Both Cruz and Hawley have a consistent spotlight on them, mostly shrouded in negativity for their roles in deepening the divide between Democrats and Republicans. Hawley and Cruz will most likely continue to be stubborn in thought and voting action, prompting them to be remembered for placing complete partisanship before the needs of their constituents.
Featured Photo caption: Texas Senator Ted Cruz faced massive backlash after voting against legitimizing electoral college votes for the 2020 presidential election that were fairly counted. Below, Senator from Missouri Joshua Hawley faced massive backlash after voting against legitimizing electoral college votes for the 2020 presidential election that were fairly counted. Photos Courtesy of Wikimedia commons.