The Big Lie about 'The Big Lie'

With only a few days left until the 2022 midterms, Newsweek laments a new poll by Redfield and Wilton Strategies showing that 40 percent of Americans still believe that the 2020 presidential election was "rigged or stolen."

This is presented as a shocking revelation about the number of Americans who still buy into the "Big Lie," despite its "being proven false," according to the article.

Newsweek buries this particular poll's more interesting observations.  For example, only 36 percent of respondents disagree that the 2020 election was rigged or stolen.  Of that group, more than one in three find it "understandable" that others might believe that the election was rigged or stolen.  Another 15 percent of respondents neither agreed nor disagreed, and 8 percent signified that they "didn't know."

One way to characterize these data is the manner in which Newsweek does, which is to suggest that a horrifying 40 percent of Americans believe in what a bipartisan mainstream media blitz has promoted as "the Big Lie" for nearly two years. 

A far more accurate way to characterize these data, though, is to recognize that there are more Americans confident that the election was rigged than there are Americans who are confident that it was all on the up and up. 

That already paints a different picture of the prevalence of these supposedly fringe "election deniers."  And when we factor in those who believe that the election was not rigged, but understand why Americans are skeptical based upon the facts they've observed, we find that over three in four Americans (or 75.2 percent, given Newsweek's numbers) think the election was rigged, understand why other Americans think the election was rigged, don't know whether or not the election was rigged, or refused to take a position on the subject of a rigged election while talking to a pollster.

In other words, fewer than one in four Americans is confident that the election was legitimate and is completely flummoxed as to how anyone could question its integrity.  That's a remarkable figure, standing athwart the message being delivered by the senile occupant of the Oval Office, who routinely argues that anyone who questions that election's integrity is not only a fringe radical, but an enemy of democracy and a potential insurrectionist.

We Americans aren't buying that narrative because it's obviously not true.  We saw it with our own eyes.  And in case we didn't see it, we were told by the conspirators who bragged about rigging the election while they did their victory lap.

Molly Ball, writing for Time, told readers all about the "secret history" (that was not so secret for Americans who paid any attention at all in 2020) of the "shadow campaign that saved the 2020 election."

She writes:

[T]he participants want the secret history of the 2020 election told, even though it sounds like a fever dream — a well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information.

Presuming the gullibility and stupidity of her readership, she goes on to claim that this doesn't actually amount to "rigging" the election, but "fortifying" it. 

But if a shadowy cabal of wealthy and powerful people working covertly to change laws and manipulate the flow of information provided to the public in order to elect those elites' preferred candidate isn't "rigging an election" and "a subversion of democracy," then those phrases have no meaning at all. 

You're not crazy for recognizing that very simple fact instinctively, or that it matches up perfectly with what we all witnessed in 2020. 

We were told in the days leading up to the election by this "well-funded cabal of powerful people," for example, that voters would experience a "red mirage."  Sure, it'll look as though Trump is winning on the night of the election, they told us, but that's only because it's easier to count ballots that were cast in established voting locations on Election Day than it is to find, certify, and tally all of those mail-in ballots that may happen to be at some undefined relay point in USPS transit.

After a lifetime of being accustomed to, except in very rare and localized instances, elections being decided on Election Day, it was demanded that we accept, without question, the unprecedented circuit breaker that we witnessed on Election Night in several key states.  We watched helplessly as the outcome shifted to conform with the presaged and oft-parroted notion of a "red mirage," with each new batch of undiscovered-and-uncounted-on-election-night ballots that became newly-discovered-and-totally-legitimate votes in the Democrat cities of crucial swing states, like Philadelphia, Atlanta, Milwaukee, and Detroit, in the days following. 

They wanted us all to feel alone and ostracized in questioning, if not the outcome of the election itself, whether what we had just witnessed was anything close to the securest and fairest election in modern American history, as Democrats began insisting that it was. 

But this is the true revelation of that Newsweek poll: though a "well funded cabal of powerful people" still desperately wants you to be ostracized, you are certainly not alone.  Three in four Americans are either incapable of saying they are confident that the 2020 election wasn't rigged or are, at the very least, understanding of how one might question its legitimacy.  Only one in four Americans is confident that the election was totally secure and cannot understand how anyone might question its legitimacy.

The campaign we've witnessed for two years to present the former group as fringe radicals and the latter group as an incontrovertible consensus is nothing more than gaslighting on a national scale, conducted by that very same "well funded cabal of powerful people" in order to delegitimize, discourage, and destroy its political enemies.

Image: cagdesign via Pixabay, Pixabay License.

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