Purveyors of the Big Lie

True patriots want to strengthen our democracy, not create problems that don’t exist

By David R. James

The argument that the 2020 election was fraudulent is not only untrue, it is worse than untrue because it threatens our democracy, our rule of law, and whether justice for all will survive in our country. People who believe in these grievances should know better. If they don’t, they’re being misled by people who know better. Many rationalize these grievances as tools to defeat Democrats, reversing socialism, “wokeness,” radicalism, or “owning the libs.” Sixty percent of Republicans still believe this is true –from the top of the GOP to state leaders. They know The Big Lie is false. They know that “the ends do not justify the means,” but they feel pushed by forces they feel incapable of stopping, so they go along to get along. The result is the imperative to believe in the Big Lie to win a primary and stay in office. It is the pursuit of power, not public welfare.

Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger know better. They had the courage to speak up, and they paid a price for it. We will remember them as heroes. I have only antipathy for the purveyors of The Big Lie; but, I have great sympathy for those who have been brainwashed by those who know better. Take the word of Republicans elected to Congress; Americans elected them to office based on the results of the same election. But not wanting Joe Biden to be president isn’t the same as him being illegitimately elected president. Many were disappointed in Donald Trump becoming president in 2016, but accepted it.

I am not arguing that our elections can’t be improved. However, to say that our elections are fraudulent is not just irresponsible and careless, but malicious and corrosive to our democracy. It doesn’t matter who started this (though much began with Trump). It needs to stop. Vengeance, to own the libs or get even with Trump, will be the end of our democracy. Make no mistake, my side is not perfect. Like some conservatives, liberals sometimes come across as morally superior. The question isn’t about which side is right, it’s about what is right for our democracy. 

I am pleased about how the election of 2022 was conducted, not everyone I voted for was elected, but I accept that. What patriotic citizens support are people and policies that help improve the lives of Americans. True patriots want to strengthen our democracy, not create problems that don’t exist. Waving a U.S. flag because your candidate lost is not a definition of loyalty to our country.  Major Garrett and David Becker discuss this point in their provocative book, The Big Truth. Americans need to “stop confusing patriotism with sedition or courage with cowardice.” 

David R. James