Does anyone still believe the lie that Trump really won the 2020 presidential election? In the weeks after the election, an unprecedented avalanche of lies cascaded around the internet. Millions believed that the Chinese bribed Georgia election officials, a dead Venezuelan dictator tainted electronic voting machines, Germans used supercomputers and Italian satellites to alter the vote count, somebody in the post office threw away ballots favoring Trump, and maybe the biggest whopper of all, the idiots who invaded our nation’s capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 were Antifa activists pretending to be Trump supporters, trying to make Republicans look bad. And Democrat Nancy Pelosi somehow orchestrated an attack to overturn an election that her party won.
After the election, I got into many conversations with diehard Trump supporters about the hysteria. Many stopped talking to me. But after stripping away all the election lies, I learned the core issue was that they didn’t like the outcome, and so they grabbed onto the latest election fraud lie to justify their dislike.
I heard one common theme over and over and over again about Trump. Many of my Christian friends agree he has major character problems, but they were willing – maybe even eager – to overlook those faults because Trump embraced a pro-life agenda. The rationale – we kill millions of unborn babies in the United States, and now, finally, we had a leader committed to stopping that carnage.
And so, we embraced lie after lie through Trump’s first term, and after Trump lost the election, we embraced even more lies. And by early 2023, more than two years later, after Trump family members and allies and media celebrities who spewed lies admitted under oath they knew they were spewing lies, we still embrace the lies.
Here’s my question. How does anyone still believe the lies, even after the opinion leaders who spewed them now admit they were lying?
One theory is cognitive dissonance gone wild, which boiled to its essence means that Trump fans have invested so much of their egos into believing that Trump won that they can’t accept the reality that Trump lost. And so they glom onto any wacky conspiracy theory they can find to justify their belief because accepting an accurate view of the world is too painful. It would not be the first case of mass hysteria and probably not the last.
But wait a minute. These election lies are so ridiculous that nobody in their right mind would believe this hogwash. Even Trump apologist-in-chief, Sidney Powell herself said, “no reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact.” It’s right there at the bottom of page 27 of her 2021 Dominion lawsuit response. Fox News defends itself by claiming its on-air personalities offer entertainment, not facts. Newsmax even apologized for broadcasting 2020 election lies.
Nope. There’s more going on.
Maybe Trump fans know all about the lies, but they look the other way because the stakes are so high. Because, what else could be more important than defending unborn babies, the most vulnerable people in our society? After all, didn’t Rahab lie to save Israelites in Joshua, chapter 2? And what about WWII, when lots of good people lied to the Nazis to hide Jews? So, what’s the big deal about lying for a good cause? The Bible supports it. And if we have to put up with somebody we don’t like for a while, maybe it’s worth the cost to save millions of unborn babies.
Except, it’s not. And it won’t work.
Rahab and others used lies as a tactic against an enemy bent on evil. But the Trump team lies to the general public as part of an overall strategy. It’s not about saving unborn babies, it’s about grabbing and holding power by pandering to people eager for a champion.
As for results, the public now classifies pro-life people with those who embrace election lies, damaging decades of building credibility. And after the Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade, state after state is writing laws to codify legal abortions into law. So instead of saving unborn babies, election lies harm unborn babies.
So, what’s the lesson here? Instead of encouraging wannabe tyrants, let’s get back to persuading the public to embrace a pro-life viewpoint. Because we have a strong case based on merits. And I like living in a United States of America where the will of the people counts more than the will of any politician.
Forget MAGA. Let’s make facts great again.