The Big Lie is Bigger Than You Think


Photo Illustration by Lukas Werner

The distortion of truth surrounding the election is not just a difference of opinion. It’s a matter of life and death for our democracy.

Andrew Clair, Assistant Editor

In July of 1861, 10 senators were expelled for perpetuating “a conspiracy against the peace and union of the United States Government,” as a result of their support for the succession of the Confederate slave states. Today, we have a similar crisis dealing with treasonous behavior that threatens the very cornerstones of our democracy.

In the midst of Jan. 6 calamity, 147 Republican lawmakers decided to reject the results of the national election and refused to certify President Biden’s win. Despite several notable Republican officials briefly voicing their shock and horror at the riot that claimed the lives of five Americans, standing high on the Senate podium, driveling on about the importance of unity, they continued to adamantly support the plot to destroy our republic. They continued to uphold the myth that Trump won the election, refused to certify the election of Joe Biden, and solidified the Big Lie with their vote.

The rhetoric of the Democratic establishment has been dangerously charitable to those willing to undemocratically instate their candidate as the president. As senators like Ted Cruz cite rampant voter fraud with no evidence as their legitimate basis to question the election, President Joe Biden postures as the man in the middle, mediating between two sides who merely have a difference in opinion, stating those who participate in the Big Lie should be “flat beaten the next time they run.” But this is not a debate over lowering taxes or reducing government regulations. This is a question over whether voting will continue to be the basis for who leads our nation.

It is imperative that each and every member of Congress that didn’t vote to certify the results of the presidential election either resign or be removed by vote from office.

Some might argue that the events that took place on election day were caused by a small group of radical individuals that subverted the will of the much more centrist Republican whole; and that the central tenets of modern conservatism are starkly in opposition to the actions of the few that had ambitions to “win” the election regardless of the electoral vote.

This is evidently not the case. According to a memo acquired by a House committee investigating the attack on the capitol there was both intent and a premeditated sophisticated plan carried out by former President Trump and developed by the likes of John Eastman, one of Trump’s lawyers, to overturn the election and install Trump as president, effectively destroying American democracy.

Several strategies were created to achieve this goal according to the memo, using what Eastman referred to as an ‘alternate slate of electors.’ Trump allies, officially backed by state Republican parties and falsely reporting themselves to be members of the electoral college, muddied the waters. Under Eastman’s plan this would have allowed then-Vice President Pence, being president of the Senate, to declare a total of seven states’ electoral votes invalid.

As no potential candidate would have a total of 270 votes, the decision over who would become president would be wholly up to the states, with each state getting one vote regardless of population. This would allow Donald Trump to snatch up one more term due to a majority of Republican states. Pence, gladly, did not cooperate, though this earned him numerous death threats from Trump supporters such as well-known Republican lawyer Lin Wood.

It is absolutely the case that this plan and plans like these received bipartisan backlash from both Republican and Democratic judges that refused to let such a ludicrous legal strategy lay the groundwork for a successful coup, and this attempt was an obvious failure.

Sadly, educated conservative judges do not make up the base of the tens of  millions of voters that wanted to see Trump as president for another four years. Even after Trump’s cooperation with Eastman’s plan, his blatant attempt to convince the DOJ to overturn the election, or the attempts to convince men like Georgia Secretary Raffensperger to “find” 11,000 votes to help turn the state red, 82% of Republicans say they want Trump to have at least some say in the party’s future. 78% of Republicans say they want Trump to run again in 2024.

66% say Joe Biden is an illegitimate president.

But this was not one small event blown out of proportion; it was part of the broader Republican strategy for months to cast doubt on the election and soften the ground for a full out assault on our elections institutions with countless unsubstantiated claims of fraud. This mindset spread to voting policy as well, and 14 states have passed 22 new anti-voting laws since the 2020 election to further suppress the ballot. Trump supporters are running for positions that control the election process across the country which wield massive control over our democracy and could easily subvert the will of the majority. This is not just a matter of justice or creating consequences for actions that threaten our republic. The Big Lie is a continuous and imminent threat that requires action on every level of government.

We can’t afford to forget about January 6th.
We can’t afford to forget the Big Lie.