the big lie
In a recent report for the Washington Post, Ashley Parker and Marianna Sotomayor detailed a new and disturbing "defining loyalty test" for supporters of former President Donald Trump. The test is whether or not they believe Trump's oft-repeated delusion that the 2020 election was "stolen" from him through widespread election fraud coordinated by Democrats.
The blatant lie has been disproven and dismissed over and over and over again. Multiple audits and recounts have been conducted in swing state counties Trump lost, only to yield the same results. Trump's campaign and other Republican entities have filed dozens of lawsuits in an attempt to undo the results of the election, only to be dismissed virtually every time.
The head of Trump's own Justice Department, former Attorney General William Barr, said his department had found no evidence of election fraud on a scale that would change its results.
Nevertheless, Trump's lies continue to be heralded as fact among his supporters. Trump raised hundreds of millions of dollars in so-called legal fees from Republican donors based on the lie. More than half of Republicans believe the election was stolen. Most infamously, a mob of violent pro-Trump extremists stormed the United States Capitol during a joint session of Congress in hopes of upending the official acknowledgment of Biden's election victory.
A quote featured in Parker's and Sotomayor's report, from Michigan Republican organizer Debra Ell, gives some insight to the level of delusion among Trump's supporters regarding the lie.
"I think I speak for many people in that Trump has never actually been wrong, and so we've learned to trust when he says something, that he's not just going to spew something out there that's wrong and not verified."
According to the Washington Post, Trump told more than 30 thousand lies over the course of his presidency. Trump spewing unverified or outright false information to the masses, and doubling down on it even when it was debunked, wasn't just a regular occurrence throughout his time in the White House—it characterized his entire political persona.
People were stunned at Ell's claim.
When people like Joe Walsh call their old party a cult, this is what they are talking about. https://t.co/0LDLocI3Eg— S.V. Dáte (@S.V. Dáte) 1619978620.0
This is nightmare fuel https://t.co/tlc4iRs8gr— Molly Jong-Fast🏡 (@Molly Jong-Fast🏡) 1619964424.0
When you drink the Kool-Aid and inject the bleach https://t.co/1bBhfuIl4W— Eric Columbus (@Eric Columbus) 1619968142.0
Words fail https://t.co/rG359Ic1K1— Christopher Orr (@Christopher Orr) 1619964845.0
Incredible “Dear Leader” Vibe here. #notmyGOP https://t.co/XLPD8y6k9U— Geoffrey M. Wardle (@Geoffrey M. Wardle) 1619971558.0
This is so insane that I’m flummoxed https://t.co/IpYMVH6bA4— The Hermit (@The Hermit) 1620048750.0
They're concerned that some of Trump's most fervent supporters are too hopelessly conditioned to trust only the former President, rejecting whatever contradictions reality makes readily available.
Are these people too far gone? I fear that they are. https://t.co/vzA1syZho1— WDB (@WDB) 1619965004.0
“Trump has never actually been wrong....” I mean everyone is wrong sometimes, let alone the king of ignorance. How… https://t.co/xYUDyBu8ub— Klobiwan (@Klobiwan) 1620068378.0
Cult. Sounds like either my mom rooting for Trump, or my in-laws claiming the absolute infallibility of modern prop… https://t.co/DO2oPHFeOW— Heather Marks😷 (@Heather Marks😷) 1619983854.0
In no small part, thanks to fantasies like this, Trump continues to enjoy widespread support from the Republican party.