What needs to change is the frequency, loudness and passion of responses by the mainstream media as well as by both large and small “d” democrats to the constant drumbeat of falsehoods. All three of these democracy defenders need to go into overdrive.
It is stunning that the mainstream media (as distinguished from the Trump propaganda outlets that reinforce the lies and lunatic conspiracy theories perpetrated by the neo-fascist Right) still ties itself in knots in the pursuit of “fairness.” The time has come for the media to step up to the plate and call out the Trumpian untruths in no uncertain terms. Blind obedience to an antiquated notion of unbiased reporting gives a free pass to the right-wing malefactors intent on deep-sixing democracy and the rule of law. The Fourth Estate may soon need an estate plan if it continues to assert the façade of balanced journalism in the face of this existential threat.
The same holds true for the Democratic Party. Too often the party leaves unchallenged the daily outrages emanating from the opposition. Whenever Trump or his lickspittles lie, Democratic leaders should be in front of microphones and TV cameras exposing the lies and liars. The time for silence in the face of attacks on truth is past.
Small “d” democrats must also go on the offensive through social media and in their daily interactions with family and friends. The lies and conspiracy theories perpetrated by the extreme Right must be countered with both facts and fervor.
This is especially essential with respect to Trump’s “Big Lie”—the fantasy Trump voices every waking minute that through massive vote fraud the 2020 presidential election was stolen by Joe Biden and the Democrats. We must constantly point out that 61 court cases challenging the election results went down to defeat (often accompanied by ridicule), a number at the hands of Trump-appointed judges. In addition, it must be noted that in every state the names of candidates for every contested office appear on the same ballot. It is not as if the presidential contest is severed from the rest and accorded its own ballot to be tampered with. If Democrats were intent on stealing the election, they were lousy thieves.
How is it that Democrats stole only the presidency while getting their clocks cleaned in so many down-ballot races? If there was massive vote fraud, why did it only affect the presidential vote? Did the Democrats only care about winning the White House? The answer is that the Big Lie is Big Nonsense. As the courts that shot down Trump’s attempts at arguing vote fraud demonstrated, there wasn’t any. Trump supporters who believe otherwise are delusional.
The January 6 congressional investigating committee is doing a great job of countering the Trump lies. Now it is up to the rest of the cadre that believes democracy is worth defending to do our part.
June 25, 2022