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Brian Flowers, Who Called Rep. Bennie Thompson ‘Treasonous,’ Wins GOP Nod

a photo of Brian Flowers
Republicans nominated Brian Flowers to run against incumbent Democratic U.S. House Rep. Bennie Thompson in November. Flowers defeated GOP runoff opponent Ron Eller in the Tuesday, June 28, 2022, GOP runoffs in Mississippi’s 2nd Congressional District. Photo courtesy Flowers campaign

Republicans in Mississippi’s 2nd Congressional District have nominated Brian Flowers, who has accused incumbent Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of “treasonous” activities, to run against him in November’s elections. Flowers defeated Ron Eller in Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff.

Thompson leads the U.S. House Select Committee on January 6th’s investigation into the 2021 U.S. Capitol insurrection. But on his campaign website, Flowers claims the incumbent is “trying to intimidate American patriots by persecuting hundreds of protestors that are being held as political prisoners since approximately January 6, 2021.”

On his website, Flowers also claims that “there are many more oath-breakers than oath-keepers in Washington” who have provided “treasonous assistance” to undocumented immigrants, “and that includes Bennie Thompson.” Thompson is the state’s only Black or Democratic member of Congress and he leads the U.S. House on Homeland Security.

“As a Congressman, Brian Flowers will work with the growing remnant of patriots in Washington and throughout America to stop the invasion and the treason in a Constitutional manner,” Flowers’ website says.

In an interview with the Mississippi Free Press earlier this month, Flowers said he considers Thompson “treasonous” because he does not support more restrictive immigration policies. The incumbent supports immigration reform, including a “path to citizenship” for some undocumented immigrants.

“Here’s where it could be looked at as treasonous affairs,” Flowers told the Mississippi Free Press. “If you are so blatant to let any and everybody in here because you believe that that’s what’s right and you don’t care about anything else, … if you have a terrorist organizations that gets in here and we have another 9/11, to me that is a dereliction of duty and it could be looked at as treason against the United States.”

A man in a suit and wearing glasses sits at a podium with his fingers entwined, behind a sign that says Mr Thompson, Chairman
U.S. House Rep. Bennie Thompson is the chairman of the U.S. House Select Committee on January 6th. Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via AP, Pool

Since the September 11 attacks, right-wing U.S. politicians have often invoked the idea that terrorists could enter the U.S. by crossing the border. But as the libertarian Cato Institute noted in 2021, “Zero people have been killed or injured in attacks on U.S. soil committed by terrorists who illegally crossed the Southwest border.” All 19 terrorists who commited the 9/11 attacks entered the country legally on temporary visas, not by illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

In the interview, Flowers also said he agrees with some elements of the “great replacement theory,” a conspiracy theory that right-wing media figures like Fox News’ Tucker Carlson often promote. Democrats and left-wingers “intend to overwhelm America with hordes of illegals in the same way Rome was overwhelmed centuries ago,” an article on Flowers’ website says.

In his interview with the Mississippi Free Press, Flowers said he “would kind of agree” with Carlson’s views.

“If you look at the sheer fact that (Democrats) are bringing all the illegal immigrants in, they have wanted for decades now to give them amnesty and let them become American citizens,” Flowers said. “You give those people citizenship now where they are allowed to vote, those people are going to be encouraged: ‘Remember what the Democrats did. They let you in. They got you amnesty.’”

Most mainstream Democrats support some form of a “pathway to citizenship” for some undocumented immigrants, but with limits and restrictions. Some experts say President Joe Biden’s immigration plans are stricter than a bill Republican President Ronald Reagan signed in 1986 that granted amnesty to 3 million undocumented immigrants.

The National Immigration Forum says that “the ‘great replacement theory’ states that welcoming immigration policies—particularly those impacting nonwhite immigrants—are part of a plot designed to undermine or ‘replace’ the political power and culture of white people living in Western countries.”

The organization’s website says that great replacement theory “often uses martial and violent rhetoric of a migrant ‘invasion’ that must be stopped before it ‘conquers’ ‘white America’” and that it also often “incorporates the inaccurate assumption that nonwhite immigrants will vote a certain way, and therefore pro-immigration policies are designed by elites to diminish the political influence of white Americans.”

Voters in Mississippi’s 2nd Congressional District will choose between Flowers and Thompson in the Nov. 8 general election.

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