Charlotte Maloney: Burgess Owens shares the blame for the Jan. 6 insurrection

New Utah congressman echoes the lies of Donald Trump and QAnon.

(Screengrab via Grabien) Republican Burgess Owens appears on Lou Dobbs Tonight on Nov. 17, 2020.

The flyer in my mailbox featured a troubled-looking women surrounded by darkness with the statement “Human Trafficking Won’t Go Away On Its Own” — an image clearly meant to manipulate the emotions of the recipient. Subsequent pages included purported promises that then-candidate Burgess Owens, running for Congress from Utah’s 4th District, would do to end human trafficking.

Yet, there was no mention of the actual work done by then-Rep. Ben McAdams addressing the issue. Also, Owens promoted the hashtag #SaveTheChildren on social media. The problem is that I never saw Owens speak out against the Trump administration separating families and caging children on our southern border, nor I have seen him do anything when his party tried countless times to take health care away from millions. What was he doing then or when the GOP attempted to end food stamps for hundreds of thousands during a pandemic and record unemployment?

Apparently, and contrary to the flyer, children are not one of his priorities.

But, the story is much worse. Candidate Owens’s “slogans” were the same ones being pushed by the now infamous QAnon cultists. These are some of the ways used to bring people into the fold. I assume we all want to end human trafficking and save children — especially those on the left who have been actually working to better the lives of children everywhere.

QAnon uses these phrases to grab the attention of well-intentioned people. Once hooked, they are lured into the full alleged conspiracy: Democrats, Hollywood elites and some religious leaders are running a global sex trafficking network. Some cultists take it even further. They say that the “offenders” molest and/or kill children and drink their blood, believing that it has life extending properties.

Yes, believe it or not, that is the story they peddle. QAnon followers believe that Trump was going to break up this alleged cabal — the same person responsible for family separation and worse. I can’t quite figure out why Democrats would do this while fighting to feed hungry families, provide health care for all, help immigrants seeking asylum, fight for fair wages (allowing parents to feed their kids), enshrine equal rights for all in our Constitution, among other worthy causes.

Owens followed the leader of his party in many ways, including his campaigning, telling everyone what they want to hear regardless of its veracity. While claiming that he did not know about QAnon, Owens used their slogans and repeatedly appeared on QAnon related programs — even thanking them for all that they were doing.

Indeed, after the election, he joined Trump and fellow Utah Republicans Rep. Chris Stewart and Attorney General Sean Reyes, in feeding the QAnon cult and other white supremacist groups with the lie that the election was stolen.

Last fall, we all watched Trump ask white nationalists to “stand back and stand by.” We then watched Trump repeatedly call the election stolen, lose over 60 court cases, try to strong-arm officials to overturn results in battleground states, and incite his base at every opportunity.

On Jan. 6, we watched Trump’s personal lawyer call for “trial by combat” and Trump call his followers to “fight like hell” — a clear message that the time of “standing by” was done.

Owens bears responsibility for the insurrection, as he promoted and spread the now-disproven lies of his party. On the day of the attack on the United States Capitol, he doubled down and voted in support of blocking the certification of Pennsylvania’s election results, apparently solely to retain power.

In the short time Owens has been in Washington, D.C., he has proven that he stands with the terrorists who attacked our nation’s Capitol. He has tried to overturn an election and sold lies that provoked attacks on our government for his personal gain.

Voters have busy lives and many may have voted for him based on emotion because they received a similar flyer. But, now, you cannot claim ignorance to the truth that Owens is nothing more than a Trump cult-like follower and an active contributor to domestic terrorism. In my view, his actions promote a dictatorship, not a democracy.

I ask the people of Utah, and specifically those of the 4th Congressional District, does he represent you? He most certainly does not represent me.

Charlotte Maloney

Charlotte Maloney, Millcreek, writes social and political commentary. She serves on the board of the CD4 Coalition, www.cd4c.org.