Trump's Big Lies Will Get A Lot Smaller Now

[ Posted Monday, January 18th, 2021 – 17:35 UTC ]

The mainstream media is finally using the correct terms to describe Donald Trump's efforts to overthrow an American election. The outbreak of insurrection at the U.S. Capitol apparently was enough for them to start calling a lie a lie. And not just a lie, but (as many journalists are now admitting) a Big Lie.

The term is capitalized because it is a historical reference. Adolf Hitler coined the term in Mein Kampf, and Joseph Goebbels perfected its use in Nazi Germany. The idea is a simple one (although this quote attributed to Goebbels may never have actually been said by him): "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." Trump's current Big Lie, of course, is that he won the election "in a landslide" and somehow it was stolen away from him by a conspiracy of pretty much everybody. But because Trump's Big Lie led to such a horrific and violent attack on democracy, journalists are now calling it by its rightful name.

But this certainly isn't the only Big Lie Donald Trump has ever told. His entire political career has really been nothing more than one Big Lie after another, when you review it. He rose to prominence hawking the Big Lie that was popular on the right at the time, that Barack Obama was somehow not eligible to be president because he wasn't born in Hawai'i, but rather in Kenya. Despite there being zero evidence for this, Trump rode it to political fame. What few pointed out at the time was that even if the Big Lie was actually true [which it wasn't], Obama still would have been eligible to be president. Ted Cruz, after all, was born in Canada, and yet there was no outcry when he ran for president. Obama got his citizenship through his mother, and that would still have been true no matter where on Earth he was actually born. But that didn't bother Trump or all the people who wanted to somehow believe that the first Black man to hold the office wasn't entitled to it.

From that point on, for Trump, it's been one Big Lie after another. Trump deploys Big Lies on a regular basis against all his enemies, real or perceived: the media, "fake news," Democrats, socialists, women, Mexicans, Blacks, all other minorities of color, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, the Squad and too many other Democrats in Congress to list, the non-existent "Deep State," Jeff Sessions and too many other members of his own administration to list, Mitt Romney, John McCain, Liz Cheney and too many other Republicans in Congress to list, hurricanes, immigrants, Russia, Vladimir Putin, North Korea, Kim Jong Un, Iran, NATO, the Kurds, impeachment, the COVID-19 virus, governors of both parties, Hollywood actors, (and, most recently) Fox News and elections officials. This, I should point out, is only a partial list -- just what came immediately to mind when I thought about the subject.

The final tally isn't in (and won't be until Wednesday, at the earliest), but Donald Trump looks like he'll have told 30,000 documented lies while he was president. He lives to lie. His whole life is a lie, in fact -- he spent his pre-politics years telling a series of Big Lies about himself: he was a successful businessman (except for all those bankruptcies), a consummate dealmaker, and a lot richer than anyone thinks. All Big Lies, although they were all at least only about himself and not our country's foreign policy or commitment to democracy or anything else important.

It's only now that journalists have found their voice once again and are finally using the correct term for Trump's second-most dangerous Big Lie yet (first place has to go to his pandemic Big Lie response, since it has resulted in so many hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths).

As with many instances of Trump and a Big Lie, it's hard to really tell whether he knows it's a lie or is just fooling himself and living in a fantasy world. Axios has an incredible deep-dive series of articles into how Trump has propagated (and propagandized) his election Big Lie, and how he drove away any who wouldn't also defend the Big Lie either to Trump in private or in public on the airwaves. It's a fascinating and terrifying read, really.

Republicans are left in a completely untenable position, at this point. They're out there piously (and not too convincingly) calling for "unity" and "healing," while at the same time refusing to call the Big Lie what it is and admit that Joe Biden won the election fair and square. But how can there be unity if we all can't agree that the Big Lie that led us to this brink is both completely false and downright dangerous? And make no mistake about it, whether Trump is convicted by the Senate or not, it was indeed his Big Lie that caused the insurrection and storming of the Capitol. Just ask the participants -- they'll tell you.

The country can't unify if it can't agree on reality, plain and simple. Therefore it is incumbent upon Republicans -- especially the ones who aided and abetted this Big Lie with their votes in Congress -- to denounce the Big Lie as fiction and to admit that there was no conspiracy and that Biden won and Trump lost.

So far, all we've gotten from them is a resounding silence. But perhaps a few of them will start to realize the brave new world we all now live in. Because there is an even more momentous silence emanating from Washington right now. And the more time goes on, the more people will notice and the more important it will become. I end on a very optimistic note, with an excerpt from Paul Waldman's column today in the Washington Post.

The silence is remarkable.

For all that's happening -- President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, the threat of right-wing violence, the coronavirus death toll approaching 400,000 -- the loudest voice in American life for the past five years has been reduced to a whisper. President Trump is not on Twitter.

. . .

[T]he magnitude of that decision still hasn't been fully appreciated. The fact that this one social media company decided to shut down this one account might have completely reshaped American politics for the coming few years.

Until 10 days ago, nearly everyone assumed that Trump would be in a unique place for a defeated ex-president, retaining a hold on his party's base that would make him the axis around which the Republican world revolved.

His opinions would shape the party's approach to Biden's presidency. He would make or break Republican officeholders, depending on their loyalty to him. Everyone within the party -- especially those who want to run for president themselves in 2024 -- would have to grovel before him, just as they have for so long. The GOP would still be Trump's party, in nearly every sense.

But not anymore.

As much as we've talked about Trump's tweets for all these years, if anything we might have underestimated how central Twitter was to his power. Without it -- especially as an ex-president -- he'll be like Samson without his hair, all his strength taken from him.

. . .

When he's not president, Trump will have means of speaking to the public -- he can call in to "Fox & Friends," for instance -- but he won't be surrounded by reporters waiting to write down his every word, so he'll have to work harder to get the attention of the press. Without Twitter, he won't be able to speak to his people on an hourly basis, maintaining that affinity and crowding out the other Republicans who might compete for their affection.

. . .

That means that when new events occur, Trump won't be able to make himself the core of the story. He won't be able to constantly remind Republicans that they need to fear him. While many of his supporters will remain loyal, others will drift away, not turning against him but just no longer thinking about him every day.

. . .

And so one company's decision to finally say no to a president who used it to inject poison into the American political bloodstream for years has remade the future of the Republican Party, and perhaps the whole country.

Trump will still play a role in his party and in our politics; we won't shake off this horrific presidency so easily. But that blissful quiet, as we no longer have him shouting in our ears every day? We could get used to that.

-- Chris Weigant


Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant


35 Comments on “Trump's Big Lies Will Get A Lot Smaller Now”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The Big Lie(s). How to confront and counteract them?

    The comparison to the Hitler years in Germany has been made and is wholly apt . Which should strike a chord in the heart of all people who love justice and believe in principles of fairness and equality and in the promise of America. Of course, even the Nazis didn't incite an insurrection on their own Reichstag. Ahem.

    As it stands, America has a another chance to rise above the hatred, nationalism and white supremacy. Who knows, it could be the last one. I know one thing for sure, that the American people chose THIS moment in time to elect Senator Biden their president is nothing short of miraculous to this observer from out in the world.

    And, still, the world, once again, is looking to America for global leadership by example on the critical and existential challenges of our time, none more serious than climate change and shutting down a wholly controllable virus.

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And, that is all I have to say about that. :)

  3. [3] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    sometimes a wholly improbable sequence of events makes one believe there really, truly might be a god.

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Amen to that!

  5. [5] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Until 10 days ago, nearly everyone assumed that Trump would be in a unique place for a defeated ex-president, retaining a hold on his party's base that would make him the axis around which the Republican world revolved.

    I had assumed that Twitter would ban him after January 20.

  6. [6] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Maybe this moment calls for a new term - The Yuge Lie.

  7. [7] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Things are going south quickly for the pillow guy. It turns out that using QANON as a discount code wasn't a good idea.

  8. [8] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    It’s crazy to realize just how much more we knew about Trump’s thoughts (as President) regarding even the smallest of events in real-time than we had ever known about with any of the other Presidents before him. There was a degree of intimacy that Trump shared with the world that was as impressive as it was unhealthy and inappropriate...but I think it is that intimacy that has made Trump’s base so loyal to him. People are not used to having someone share SOOOO MUCH of what they are thinking except for those they are closest to. Some people may not have anyone in their lives who speaks to them as “honestly” about how they feel on any given topic as Trump does. People mistake this intimate sharing for Trump caring about them — nothing could be further from the truth! Trump’s sharing only about what he thinks and feels is not Trump attempting to create a connection between him and others... Trump talks about what he thinks and feels because it is the only thing that matters to him and, therefore, is the only thing he talks about. Trump never asks how you are feeling because you do not matter to him. Only Trump matters to Trump!

    I cannot help but think back to Trump being interviewed before one of his super speader events and was asked if he thought it was safe to have hundreds of people wearing no masks and pressing in tightly to be closer to him — Trump said he was not concerned about catching COVID-19 because he would be over 12 feet away from the crowds straining to see him! HE WAS SAFE!!! It never occurred to Trump to be concerned with the safety of anyone else...because how would that benefit Trump?

  9. [9] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    ...And yet, PARLOUR found another rube and this snot-gobbling idiocy frothed from its core to his base within hours with tens of thousands of hits, (granted, most hits prolly came from Trump himself, having no use of his private echo chamber, Twatter.)

    *note, it's in a safe format, FB, Twatter and the home shopping network all saw fit to limit the fresh call to arms on Jan 20 in this iteration of the perpetration of Trump's need to put a bigger bullseye on his dome.

    Indeed, the Hitlerian parallels are rife, one last scathing indictment of the American educational system and its obnoxious tendency toward pan-American trope-revisionist half-truths and demi-understanding of historical fact.

    History recorded that, Hitler, while in jail for his part in his Putsch, wrote Mien Kampf or rather, lazily, dictated it to Rud(y)olf Hess the soon to be former Reichslieterand Obergruppenfuhrer.

    [1] While Hitler never incited a mob to over-run the Reichstag, he did, however, have Goering raise it to the ground, blame and execute a mentally challenged bystander, enact the Enabling Act and eventually inaugurate Kristallnacht and steer Germany inexorably toward mass extermination of his own people and the Jewish, Gypsy and communists of Europe before it was all said and done.

    Hitler droned on...

    "it remained for the Jews, with their unqualified capacity for falsehood, and their fighting comrades, the Marxists, to impute responsibility for the downfall [of Germany in WWI] precisely to the man who alone had shown a superhuman will and energy in his effort to prevent the catastrophe which he had foreseen and to save the nation from that hour of complete overthrow and shame. By placing responsibility for the loss of the world war on the shoulders of Ludendorff they took away the weapon of moral right from the only adversary dangerous enough to be likely to succeed in bringing the betrayers of the Fatherland to Justice. All this was inspired by the principle — which is quite true in itself — that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily, and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying. These people know only too well how to use falsehood for the basest purposes."

    We see, once we stumble through the labyrinthian blather for which Hitler made use of in his spoken word, he isn't actually laying claim to the methodology as his own cunning invention, he claims to use the 'Jewish propensity for lying' against them...

    Trump has shown none of this kind of subtlety in his tsunami's of bullshit over the last few years. His strategy has been to tell so many pointless lies that they have become more of white noise than a hollering of a big whopper of a porkie...The latest lie, that the election was stolen will fall away with time, even the GOP have to admit the last election very much followed the pattern of American political reality after a first term, that of splitting the power of the nation between the municipal, state and federal levels so no one man/woman can have too much power for too long, Trump's support, never inclusive, panned-out as a serious rebuke of his leadership, three hundred k of corpses might be just as likely a reason for his defeat as the Dems so expertly rigged the election to beat Trump, yet so miserably failed to retain all their seats in the house...hell knows why they would go to all that trouble and not get the job done right, I'll wager the foolish people put in charge of Clinton's election nobble, got the popular vote right and forgot about the 'rust-belt', it's 70,000 dubious votes and the need to get both scams on the same page at the same time.



  10. [10] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    With just a little more than 24 hours left, I'm not sure that Short Fingers has enough time to write hundreds of pardons. He already has a to do list to finish.

    * Make insulin available cheap as water
    * Collect wall expenses from Mexico
    * Offer Obamacare replacement plan
    * Finalize peace in the Middle East
    * Eliminate the national debt

    I may have forgotten an item or two.

  11. [11] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    In short order, Bernie Sanders will become the Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee courtesy of his partners in crime, the Republikillers. It's a GOP dream come true. Once in a while they get something right and I'm grateful for that.

  12. [12] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    [14] Death Harris,

    What shall we call your completely false, bizarre, and believable only to simple-minded cultists conspiracy theory? D-anon?

    I've already received TWO "one-time payments" and the Dems are proposing a third.

    On planet Earth, there will not be a few hundred million more deaths due to the hoax virus or the lack of one time payments or anything else. You're confused (to say the least). That's all happening on Planet Dore.

  13. [13] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Jackass from Censornati (if he can call me Death Harris I should be able to call him Jackass from Censornati)-

    But, it would reflect better on you if you didn't.

  14. [14] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Death Harris,

    Keep digging that hole. You sound more idiotic by the minute. Biden does not have a cult aside from Liz and she's a Canadian.

    Those multiple "onetime" payments are economic stimulus, not rent payments.

    Unemployment benefits are separate. Paying lazy, dumb trolls like you to sit at home and troll is not included. Get a job. Bernie's gonna do what he can to make the minimum wage $15. Your employer will get the short end of that stick.

  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    In Canada, we didn't get "stimulus cheques" but, if you ended up out of work due to lockdowns or businesses having to close due to the pandemic, then you received employment insurance of $500 per week.

    I think it is time to acknowledge that a resilient economy is intricately linked to public health and universal health care. If this pandemic has taught us nothing else then it has exposed the critical relationship between the economy and health. It is so important that people be supported as they comply with health measures designed to save lives during a health crisis.

    You can't have one without the other. Health and the economy are inextricably linked.

  16. [16] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Death Harris,

    The employer that has to pay a living wage gets the short end of the stick? Poor baby.

    Apparently you think that workers getting the short end of the stick is preferable.

    There's that reading comprehension issue again. I was talking about you, not "workers". You'd better find a manual labor job that doesn't require reading.

  17. [17] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    There would be no need for 15 dollar minimum wages, unemployment benefits, etc. with a BMI.</i?

    I don't know whether that is a one or the other proposition but, I think a BMI is an idea worthy of discussion.

  18. [18] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    [22] LizM,

    I agree about universal healthcare and always have. I used to work for Blue Cross and Humana and I regularly voted against my employers for all the good it did. There simply is not enough public support for it in this country.

    The proposed Dem relief plan includes $400 per week in unemployment benefits. It's stingy, but trolls pretending that multiple "one-time" payments are intended to be unemployment relief are lying. You don't get unemployment benefits if you quit your job to sit at home and troll the internet.

  19. [19] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    McConnell is talking like he'll vote to convict again. Fingers crossed.

  20. [20] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Do you think that public support for universal healthcare AND for a massive investment in public health systems and architecture will garner more public support in the wake of this pandemic?

    I mean, all of that would cost orders of magnitude LESS than the costs of doing nothing on that front.

  21. [21] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I would so love to see more than just 10 Republican senators vote to convict, leaving just the ones who insist on propagating the Big Lie isolated and irrelevant.

  22. [22] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    [27] Unfortunately, I do not.

  23. [23] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Not under any circumstances?

  24. [24] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    What about with a massive public persuasion campaign? :)

  25. [25] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    The Republicans have successfully characterized it as communism. They already have a massive dishonest public persuasion machine that operates 24/7/365.

  26. [26] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Randy Rainbow’s parting gift to Trump: “Seasons of Trump”

  27. [27] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    [28] Assuming that all 100 senators show up, it will require 67. I do not believe that we can count on Manchin, so that means 18 Republicans. I think that's a stretch despite the fact that Fat Donny openly incited a terrorist attack on them and cost them their senate majority. Like I said, fingers crossed.

  28. [28] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The Republicans have successfully characterized it as communism. They already have a massive dishonest public persuasion machine that operates 24/7/365.

    So, we just let Republicans get away with that nonsense!?

    Absolutely not!

    That is all the more reason for a pubic persuasion campaign based on facts and the truth to counteract all of that.

  29. [29] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Death Harris,

    Psychological projection of your irrationality isn't discussing and neither is your endless, boring, repetitive spamming of unfounded assertions and conspiracy theories.

    Your bio says you quit your job to work on your scam full time. I don't need to discredit you. You're good at it without any assistance.

    Taking care of your mother is OK with me. I'm sure she pays better than One Demand and affords you plenty of time to troll - just don't expect the government to pay you extra to do it. The pandemic hasn't taken it away from you.

  30. [30] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Death Harris,

    Calling Liz's hero "an enemy of America" is a fine example of what makes you a troll. Rational discussion it isn't. It's time for you to acknowledge the facts and the truth about yourself.

  31. [31] 
    John M wrote:

    [34] John From Censornati wrote:

    [28] Assuming that all 100 senators show up, it will require 67.

    How probable is this alternative???

    What if, a lot of Republican Senators who are secretly sick of Trump but publically still too afraid of him, simply not show for an impeachment trial vote???

    Then, it doesn't take 67 votes to convict Trump. It only takes 2/3 vote of those present....

    If, for example, only 75 Senators were present, then a guilty vote would require only 51 yes votes....

    Before anyone asks, it only requires 51 Senators to be present for a quorum to conduct business.

  32. [32] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    [41] Yesiree. They could say that they're boycotting the whole thing.

  33. [33] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:


    What's a "King Kong Capitalist"? Someone who climbs skyscrapers and swats bi-planes while trading stocks?

    You are certainly giving a master class in how to not promote an idea. "Deathocrats and Republikillers", stupid names convince few and make you look like a left wing crank. Which is probably accurate, but still... No one is going to take you seriously with that act.

    Explain why big money is a problem. What legislation has Biden championed or shot down that made him a pawn of big money? Who is buying and what are they buying, specifically? You are trying to convince us of a utopia without ever describing it. Pushing the "Big Problem" without ever telling why it's the big problem and not just another problem among many. Without backing your accusations up, you are just peddling conspiracy theories, name calling and lies and frankly we have had enough of that BS for the last four years...

  34. [34] 
    Kick wrote:

    Death Harris

    It would, but it wouldn't make a difference.

    I'd ask you to cry more, but I'm sure you'll do it regardless. It's the one constant thing with you: The whining about everybody and everything... the constant victimhood and spewage of how everybody has done you wrong... very Trumpian indeed.

    Those that attack me and troll instead of having discussions would continue to do so, no one would tell them to stop and when it didn't work and I fought back I would be penalized.

    Somebody call the waaaaaaaaaaaaambulaaaaaaaaaaaaaaance
    That is what happened the last time I did not fight back for a few weeks and then fought back.

    Cry more.

    It would reflect better on you if you would also not wait to point out how I could do better when I respond and point out how commenters such as JFC could do better before I respond.

    Free advice: Get an education and some kind of experience. Until you do, you just sound like a whiney five-year-old child. You really shortchanged yourself when you neglected to do educate yourself, and it shows in everything you whine about. You sound exactly like your bio describes you, and that's a tragedy you caused all on your own. :)

  35. [35] 
    Kick wrote:

    John From Censornati

    There's that reading comprehension issue again. I was talking about you, not "workers". You'd better find a manual labor job that doesn't require reading.

    Can you imagine having a constantly whining, bloviating, repetitive, underachieving know-nothing who thinks he knows everything about everybody as an employee?

    Seriously reminds me of Donald Trump.

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