The earth is flat. The Titanic was unsinkable. Columbus discovered America. Covid will just, “disappear.” Cigarettes don’t cause cancer. “I did not have sex with that woman.” The Confederacy fought for states’ rights. Buzz Aldrin’s moon landing was faked. “I am not a crook.” Washington chopped down the cherry tree. Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.
These are some of the “best” lies ever in our history, along with “climate change is a hoax,” the FBI planted evidence at Mar-a-Lago, and the reason for the search there was a “hoax.”
Now some of these lies are merely “cute,” ala Washington’s cherry tree; but cause great harm, great pain, financial disaster, and even death, such as those about covid, Iraq or smoking.
Mostly, I think, it’s understandable to see how these lies were promulgated and why they were believed.
But the lie that has me stumped, and most desperate to find the pathology behind, is the lie that’s foundational to the entire Magic-MAGA world: That Trump actually won the 2020 election and only voter fraud kept him from the presidency.
To be clear, I understand what he said: “I won.” I understand why he said it: He was afraid losing meant he’d be investigated, charged and convicted of crimes. And I understand why he keeps saying it: To return to power, to keep grifting, and to stay out of jail.
What I don’t understand is why people believe the Big Lie.
I don’t understand why such an obvious fiction, why such bogus bull, why something created completely out of one man’s diseased brain with no basis in actual fact has created a total cloud-cuckoo world as fictional, make-believe and made-up as, as the world created by J.K. Rowling.
It’s as if Harry Potter, Dumbledore, wizards, witches, muggles, and the Ministry of Magic all really exist; and members of Congress, state officials, town councils, and school boards live in this Big Lie world that is as completely unreal as that of Voldemort and the Dementors; and that they actually govern as if the election had been actually “stolen,” passing laws and spending money as if the Big Lie were true.
They live in a made-up world, while doing real-world damage to real people.
Don’t people understand:
That Trump won is a lie.
That widespread election fraud is a lie.
That Trump carried Georgia (or Arizona, or Michigan, or Wisconsin) is a lie.
That voting machines were rigged (by China or Venezuela, or in Italy) is a lie.
Don’t they understand that it’s all a lie; proven in more than 60 court cases, attested to by dozens of real-life Republican and Democratic local, state and federal election officials, and counted and recounted and recounted again to be shown a lie?
People, it’s all a big lie.
And if you don’t feel threatened by the Big Lie and the election deniers who advocate for it, well, you are either not paying sufficient attention; you don’t understand the gravity of the situation; or you are so decisively dumb and stupendously stupid that you deserve what’s going to happen if the legacy of the Big Lie becomes your new reality.
Because if Donald Trump and his MAGA minions prevail in the 2022 midterm election you’re going to find free and fair elections are history by 2024; and the FBI, CIA, IRS, CDC, FDA, Department of Education, and VA will be abolished; the president and vice president will be impeached; the NIH director put in jail, and:
Your Social Security will be gone.
Your Medicare will be gone.
Your Medicaid will be gone.
Abortion, contraception, and mixed marriages will be illegal nationally.
The Protestant, evangelical Christian Bible will replace the Constitution and Christian prayer will be required in schools.
We’ll quit NATO.
The Ukraine is screwed.
State legislatures and governors will be able to nullify your vote.
Gun laws will be abolished and unrestricted open carry will be the law of the land.
Your taxes will go up while corporate taxes go down.
And FEMA won’t help Trump’s political enemies. (So if you live in a blue state pray hurricanes, tornadoes, wild fires, floods, and earthquakes don’t strike you).
In other words, everything you ever relied on (fairness, the rule of law, and, indeed, democracy itself) will be gone.
And you’ll have no one to blame but yourself. (And the Republicans.)
Now, am I being an alarmist? Am I crying wolf or “The sky is falling?” Do you think, “It couldn’t happen here?”
Gentle reader, it is happening here. Maybe not in Snohomish County or Western Washington; but in Arizona, Michigan, Georgia, and Florida it is happening.
Amazingly, Albus Dumbledore, of all “people,” had the best advice for the MAGA minions who live in the mystical world of the Big Lie, saying, “It does not do well to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”
Of course, the MAGAS will not listen to Dumbledore, because they are mesmerized by Voldemort, err, Trump.
But there’s some other advice from the Hogwarts’ headmaster, albeit slightly edited, for those who still think for themselves, “Votes are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.”
So come Nov. 8, vote to keep the Dementors out of Congress and Voldemort out of the White House.
Tom Burke’s email address is email@example.com.