3 Truths That Refute the Big Lie That Endangers Democracy
Updated: Apr 29
In November 2020, we held an election with one clear winner: Joseph Biden. Any claim that the 2020 Presidential election result was "stolen" is completely without evidence. Swing states have completed recounts and investigations and found nothing to contradict the results. Over 60 lawsuits were filed contesting election processes, vote counting, and the vote certification process. All were dismissed or dropped from lack of evidence, and any further claims is a lie.
Not a small half-truth. Not a wee fib. Not even a bald-faced lie. A lie so big it deserves to be written as a proper noun — the Big Lie. (Dan Rather)
However, the candidate who lost will not move on. Instead, Trump continues to perpetuate the lie that the election was fraudulent, despite the lack of any credible claim. He’s like the title character in the fable “The Emperor’s New Clothes” – parading with no facts instead of no clothes.
Here are three truths that refute the Big Lie.
1. What Did Audit Results Conclude?
“There is no evidence presented at this time to prove either significant acts of fraud or that an organized, wide-scale effort to commit fraudulent activity was perpetrated to subvert the will of Michigan voters,” the Michigan Senate Oversight Committee, which is controlled by Republicans, said in a 55-page report on June 23, 2021. The other battleground states had similar results. Former Attorney William Barr stated on November 30, 2020, that the U.S. Justice Department had not found any evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the outcome of the 2020 election.
The manufacturers of the voting machines have fought back with defamation lawsuits against those on the Big Lie team. Presumably, with straight faces, the lawyers of Sidney argued, “No reasonable person would conclude that the statements were true statements of fact.” The contradiction struck me as the height of hypocrisy, and I made a meme for my Instagram account.
Believing the Big Lie has led to laws being passed that place unnecessary restrictions on voting. Restrictions on absentee ballots, voting hours, and voter purges will make voting more difficult. A few states want to allow partisan officials to be able to nullify results of elections - the opposite of democracy. All due to the belief in the Big Lie.
2. Alarming January 6th Plans Revealed
The January 6th Select Committee has been doing the work of unraveling the plans within plans formulated last December and early January 2021. Plans to overturn the election results. Ironically, the focus on nonexistent voter fraud become election fraud.
Seven states (Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin) drummed up false electors who met and placed their “votes” for Trump. These fake Electoral College certificates vary in attempts to mimic authenticity, but all of them were false and rejected by the National Archives. These bogus electoral votes were a key part of the plan to overturn the election detailed in a memo by John Eastman, a conservative lawyer and Trump advisor. When called to testify to the Select Committee, Eastman invoked the 5th Amendment against self-incrimination.
The same day, ordinary men and women who were “all in” on the Big Lie swarmed the building, beating police with flag poles, breaking windows, all to stop the final certification of our election results.
I was watching the insurrection at my desk, riveted to the news, shaken to the core about how easy The Big Lie led to violence. What if there is another Big Lie after the midterms? Our democracy may be endangered by future riots. Keep up with the findings of the Select Committee, so you can continue to refute the Big Lie.
3. Uncover the Doublethink
In the book 1984, George Orwell describes a totalitarian state run by The Party. Independent thought is not allowed. Citizens are under constant surveillance and censorship by Big Brother (The Party). Big Brother employs Doublethink to force citizens to believe the Party’s version of the truth and to forget that it ever was a lie. This demands a continuous alteration of the past. Aren’t we hearing that now? – “There was massive voter fraud” (there wasn’t) “It was just legitimate political discourse” (with bear repellant, nylon ties, and broken windows).
When I read 1984, I found the dystopian future depicted chilling, and I never forgot the key themes of totalitarianism, propaganda, and the crime of independent thought. That is why the “doublethink” of current events is immediately apparent to me. When citizens believe the falsehoods and rewriting of history, our democracy is at risk.
Heather Cox Richardson, a political historian who posts daily on Facebook, reported more falsehoods on February 10th, 2022, illuminating how more lies chip away at democracy.
...statements like those yesterday of Representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX), who claimed the Department of Justice was reading his mail; Nehls, who claimed that Pelosi was using the Capitol Police to spy on him; and Greene, who claims Pelosi has a “Gestapo,” normalize the practices of authoritarian government.
To keep up with the findings of the Select Committee and other news about the Big Lie, I recommend following Heather Cox Richardson on Facebook. She is a political historian and posts daily essays, citing all her references in the comments. News and Guts is a media company created by Dan Rather. Other good places for news are NPR and Associated Press.
Those small, everyday “white lies” we tell are usually harmless. We’ll lie to save someone’s feelings: “I never got your message," or “I’m busy that night.” I’ve told a white lie or two, and so probably have you. But the lie spread about the 2020 presidential election is anything but harmless. Seek and spread the truth.
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