the big lie

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.

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Michael Gomez is a retired, opinionated left-of-center, political junkie who likes to discuss issues, as opposed to ideology.

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(10) comments

Mike Gomez

James, I don’t see the whataboutism here. My blog is about a “Big Lie” that led to siege of our Capitol by people who thought the election was stolen. i.e. Stop the Steal.

For the umpteen time, collusion is not a crime and under DOJ policy, a sitting president cannot be indicted so Mueller was limited. so in part two of his report, he left 10 examples for Congress to follow-up on. For example, obstruction of justice. Trump was never exonerated. If you want to believe he never participated in a conspiracy to commit collusion (which is a crime), that’s your right. I heard the former president say “Russia if you’re listening, find Hilary’s emails…I love Wikileaks.” We’ll never know because Trump pardoned Roger Stone who supposedly knew about the WikiLeaks dump beforehand.

You say my side pushed a lie to cancel a legitimate election. I don’t know where you get that from. Trump was being investigated before the election was won by Trump. Hillary conceded the next day. Democrats weren’t investigating Trump, the DOJ was. We know Russia interfered to favor Trump because that’s what the GOP-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee found. Then there are people like Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos, and Rick Gates to consider. The Russians did not change any votes so Democrats didn’t challenge the election in 60 courts or attack the Capitol.

Representative Adam Schiff lying or saying he saw evidence of a conspiracy to collude with the Russians every day doesn’t compare to Trump and his cohorts threatening Georgia election officials. In fact, the Georgia state board of elections has opened an investigation to hear the taped recordings. SEE 60-Minutes.

LOL, Trump is making money off the gullible who believe in “Stop the Steal.”

James Chandler

Likely your most disingenuous blogs since your side spent four years pushing the most nefarious lie I've witnessed in an attempt to cancel a legitimate election. Heck, Adam Schiff claimed so many times he had clear and numerous evidence of Russian collusion, I even started to believe him. I thought no one can go on television everyday for months and lie like he was lying. At least former President Trump likely truly believes he was cheated. Adam Schiff knew he was lying from day one and it was constantly aired or printed on every liberal media platform as gospel truth.

Rick Dockery

I think Mike just came up with Bidens' 2024 slogan

Daniel Martin

Once again you nailed it Mike. One of the most mystifying things, to me, is the extent that conspiracy sources were able to bend thought waves. It first they humorous, flat earth, but then along came Jade Helm 15 and Infowars with Alex Jones. I personally hear area voters agree with Jones. Take away our guns and lock us up in empty Walmart stores. Further research showed me that some folks were convinced that the mass murder of children in Sandyhook was faked.

During the 2020 election I learned about QAnon and “Pizzagate”. I thought it impossible that anyone could believe the bizarre stories but it appears that some part of 75,000,000 voters are true believers.

When Steve Bannon and Breitbart started discussing the “Dark State” and his plan to “deconstruct the US government and many critical agencies” it was scary. Then President Trump named Bannon a Special Adviser and the future became very dark.

Your blog is very timely and really needs to be widely shared. It may just create a bit movement towards reason.....or really tic off the true believers and a few Putin Bots.

Mike Gomez

Thank you, Dan, …

I know a lot of Republicans but none of them believed any of the events as Alex Jones described them. It didn’t help that Alex Jones’s case when his own lawyer said that “no reasonable person would believe what he says” …Texas Monthly July 31, 2018…. But I did hear and read where some Republicans believed the Jade Helm rumors and I also remember Gov. Abbott did give it some credence to it by saying his office would look into it…We all knew Abbott didn’t want to anger the gullible base.

QAnon, the Proud Boys, and the Oath Keepers are homegrown terrorists and the GOP should have disavowed them instead Georgia sent Marjorie Taylor Greene who expressed racists views and support for QAnon conspiracy theories to Congress.

It’s not that hard. I remember when President George H.W. Bush quit the NRA when Wayne LaPierre called the ATF “Jackbooted thugs.” Then George Bush after the 9/11 attack went to a Mosque and said “Islam is not our enemy.”

We have a United States Senator in Ron Johnson who said he would not have been scared of the people who attacked our Capitol but he would have feared for his life if they had been Antifa or BLM. The latter groups were nowhere near the Capitol.

It’s a shame Dr. Deborah Birx didn’t have the decency to come forward and report President’s inept response to COVID-19 at the time it was happening. She destroyed her glorious career and could have saved lives. She’s coming forward now but it’s too late IMO.

Glen or Janice Ullman

Right on Mike, The Advocate is the 2nd oldest in Texas, and the oldest west of the Pecos. I think they know how to report the news. Sometimes a little sensational, but generally well rounded. They even let the opinionists go with their baseless conspiracies, even the ones that have been totally debunked like voter fraud...Glen

Mike Gomez

The local right wingers thank anything to the left of Attila the Hun is a far left liberal socialist Democrat because conservatives are the chosen ones.

Mike Gomez

I’m pretty sure that the the tile will be corrected to the b

Big Lie conspiracy.....I bet not one of my Republican friends will agree with the Georgia voting law that was just passed...Can anyone ever imagined it would be a crime to give someone in line to vote a drink of water?

Rick Dockery

Sure. We have laws for everything. We need laws to correct laws. SMH

Mike Gomez

Libertarians,No laws the government needed in fantasyland

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