Corker: Trump Supporters Have to Learn ‘Basic Civics,’ Stop ‘Worshiping Personalty’

Former Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) said Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Deadline” that President Donald Trump supporters who believed his tweets and public comments that former Vice President Mike Pence or Congress could have overturned the 2020 presidential election results on January 6 needed to learn “basic civics” and stop “worshipping personality.”

Corker said, “It’s time to have a debate about who we really are and talk about policy issues instead of reliving things that aren’t true — conspiracy theories. It is amazing to me how many people believe these things. I still cannot believe that I have friends who are hard-working, thoughtful people that believe some of the things that have been put out.”

He continued, “We’ve moved to a place where it’s all about personality. We’ve just never been in that place before. We’ve been about fiscal issues and leadership in the world, and we may disagree on a policy, but you are not thrown out. It’s going to take a while to get there, but that’s where we have got to go as a country because worshipping personality as we have seen is dangerous for our country. Our democracy is more fragile than we ever anticipated. We’ve got to move to a more mature understanding of what politics is about. It’s about policy. It’s not not about some person always being right when we know many times they were actually telling untruths.”

When asked if conservative media is responsible for people believing misinformation, Corker said, “I do tell people it’s their responsibility to understand and to be educated. Not to just read something on social media or see a tweet and believe it to be true.”

He continued, “I don’t know where people get their information. I mean, part of living in a democracy is having the responsibility to understand enough about the issues to actually have an opinion. What’s happened, unfortunately, Nicole, is the media is not trusted, and so when a president tweets out things and they don’t trust the media anyway, people begin to believe things.”

He added, “Put aside whether you thought the election shouldn’t have been mail-in ballots in certain states and all of that. Move beyond some of the concerns people had about the election, and we do need to do a better job in that regard, and it needs to be much prompted as far as getting results. But then to say that for people to believe that Congress could overturn an election and people believe that, or that Vice President Pence could overturn an election. I mean, I’m sorry, that’s like basic civics may be in about the sixth grade or seventh grade, eighth grade. Those things can’t happen. So, you know, if we’re going to thrive as a democracy for hundreds of years, it is the responsibility of citizens to actually know a little bit more about what’s going on and not just take what people are saying at face value.”

He concluded, “Many of these people, as you know, most of these people, hard-working Americans who care about our country who followed an untruth to a place. Let’s face it, legislators gave them reason to believe by saying they were going to object to the election, legislators gave them belief, and that was irresponsible.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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