I can remember a time, not very long ago, when we Americans felt duty-bound to tell each other the truth. Indications are that, when Donald Trump came on the scene, all that changed. Trump’s false or misleading statements totaled 30,573 over his four years as president. His lying seems to have freed his Republican supporters from any sense of obligation to tell the truth. These days, to be a good Republican, one has to give credence to the Big Lie, that Trump really won the 2020 election and that Joe Biden’s victory was a fraud—despite overwhelming and irrefutable evidence that the election Biden won was free and fair.
GOP falsehood has reached unprecedented levels and became an insurrection. On January 6, 2021, Trump’s Republicans stormed the Capitol and tried to overturn the election by force. As many as ten people died as a result of the violence, and many more were injured. The cost of repairing damages from the attack on the U.S. Capitol and related security expenses have already topped $30 million and will keep rising, Architect of the Capitol J. Brett Blanton told lawmakers. The GOP has now censured its members who approved the election. And most recently, it has termed its January 6 violence as “legitimate political discourse.”
Has truth lost all relevance for the Republicans? Violent insurrection that kills people is now “legitimate political discourse”? If violence can overturn a legitimate election, democracy ceases to function. Put differently, if the Republicans had succeeded in seizing power on January 6, 2021, the U.S.A. would have become a fascist state.
Let’s work together to restore a devotion to the truth. And, while we’re about it, to democracy.