President Joe Biden has been in office for two months and the far right is still pushing the “Big Lie.” The Big Lie relies on gullible people falling prey to the theory “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Believing that the 2020 presidential election was stolen is a great example of that.
There are three reasons Republicans hang on to the “Big Lie.” (1) Trump’s ego won’t allow him to admit he lost. (2) Republican state legislators are using the issue to instill fear of nonexistent voter fraud to pass voter suppression laws [253 bills in 43 states]. (3) The rank-and-file favor confirmation bias sources, so they don’t know any better.
I don’t like to waste my time trying to convince the inconvincible because it’s an exercise in futility.
Those who think Joe Biden couldn’t possibly beat Trump don’t know how to read the political tea leaves. i.e., Trump never reached 50% approval in his four years so he wasn’t unbeatable. Trump barely won the Rust Belt states in his electoral win. He beat Hillary in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin by 0.2, 0.7, and 0.8 percentage points by 78,000 for all three states in states that are traditional blue. The 2018 mid-terms were a blue wave referendum on Trump. The Democrats easily won back the House. The Democrats overwhelmingly voted for Joe Biden in their primaries because they thought he was the best candidate to beat Trump. Democrats winning the two senate seats in Georgia was the icing on the cake.
Do you want numbers? In 2016, 138 million people voted in the presidential election (54.8%), and in 2020, 158 million voted (62%). That’s why Joe Biden received 80 million votes. It wasn’t because he was more popular than Obama; it was because Democrats, Independents, and some Republicans were united in making Trump a one-term president.
The reasons supporting the “Big Lie” that I’ve heard locally are as follows: Joe Biden stayed in his basement and Trump had huge rallies. Do you really think Biden could ever get 80 million votes? Republicans are now fearful of mail-in ballots because Trump told them they are a magnet for fraud. Republicans used to prefer mail-in voting. Conspiracy theories.
Republicans are not swayed even after one of Trump’s top fraud claims lawyer Sidney Powell now says that “reasonable” people would not accept her statements as “fact” because the legal process hadn’t yet played out. …CNN March 24, 2021
I’m interested in the results of the local paper’s survey of conservative or right-leaning folk’s opinion of the local news coverage. They are concerned that only 10% of those folks trust the news. My Republican friends say the Advocate is left-leaning which is news to my left-leaning friends. I don’t claim to be an expert but I think my more right-leaning friends subscribe to confirmation bias more often than my left-leaning friends. That may be my bias talking.
I’ve been an avid reader of the Victoria Advocate for about 55- years, not for the political content, it’s about the local news I can’t get anywhere else. I do enjoy the opinion page even though I may not agree with an article or two; it’s an opinion. I get my political fix from other sources. It’s a part of my hometown. I still remember sometime in 1967 that I noticed a newspaper slot alongside a mailbox that had Victoria Advocate imprinted on it. It wouldn’t be that unusual but I was 7,000 miles from my hometown, at a garrison in South Korea. I came back later to introduce myself to the staff sergeant living there. I was a very young, lowly, private first-class (less than a year in service) and he was a career lifer, but he said he would save the papers and have them delivered to my compound after he was finished.
The “Big Lie” aka “Stop the Steal” is a republican disinformation campaign to give the base hope, delegitimize Joe Biden, and a means to justify voter suppression state voting laws. At the federal level, voter rights bills used to be bipartisan.
Ordinarily, disinformation campaigns wouldn’t get much traction and to their credit, the mainstream media are not covering them. Why should they? Why should they cover something that 60 courts have dismissed and 50- Secretaries of States have certified? It would have been dismissed after the insurrection but Fox, Newsmax, OAN, and Ted Cruz keep their disciples in the dark with their accusations without evidence.
Whenever I ask my right-leaning friends for evidence they keep telling me that it’s coming. They can’t explain why the GOP Secretary of States certified and say that the courts didn’t allow the evidence to come forth, Atty General Barr never really investigated and those recounts and audits in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania were shams. Those friends told me that IG Michael Horowitz was going to bring forth a verdict that would indict the deep state. That never happened. Then it's “Wait until Atty Gen John Durham releases his report.” …Waiting!
If it weren’t for COVID-19 protocols, I probably would’ve had lot more GOP theories from our breakfast club get-togethers. I miss our in-person discussions where conspiracy theories would be mocked. I can only imagine the reaction if someone said “Of course the FBI didn’t investigate voter fraud, the higher echelon of the FBI are Democrats.” I can picture a lot of us paper toweling our shirts and wiping the table area in front of us.
Don’t let the “Big Lie” distract us from seeing the bigger picture of voter suppression and forgetting the January 6, 2021 siege on our Capitol by RW groups.