By Julie Kelly
May 6, 2021
Six months later, the “Big Lie” won’t die.
The Left and NeverTrump have tried everything in their collective power to punish critics of the 2020 presidential election: Social media accounts, including those belonging to Donald Trump, have been deplatformed. Republican lawmakers have been cut off by longtime donors, threatened with legal recourse, and worse.
Nonviolent Trump-supporting Americans who traveled to the nation’s capital on January 6 to protest dubious election results in swing states now face criminal charges. Nearly 75 million Americans are considered potential “domestic violent extremists” by their own government and nearly half their countrymen agree.
Lives and careers are being destroyed—and the Biden regime is only getting started.
The news media portray election doubters as conspiracy theorists or QAnon cultists. CNN’s Jake Tapper this week threatened to ban from his show any Republican who peddles the “Big Lie” about election fraud. Speaking on the same network responsible for perpetuating any number of lies related to Donald Trump, from tales of Russian election collusion to disrespectful MAGA-hat-wearing Catholic teenagers, Tapper had a major meltdown.
“The lie about the election on its own is anti-democracy, and it is sowing seeds of ignorance in the populace, and obviously has the potential to incite violence,” Tapper ranted. “But beyond that is, if you’re willing to lie about that, what are you not willing to lie about?”
Tapper insisted that history would harshly judge politicians who “lied” about the election. “History sees you being a coward. They are afraid of Republican voters who have been lied to by a very sophisticated propaganda machine led by President Trump but augmented by plenty of others.”
Beleaguered Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), a martyr to the very same people who just a decade ago wanted her father charged with war crimes, now clings to political relevance based on her nonstop condemnation of the January 6 protest and her election fraud denialism. Naturally, Cheney found an appropriate outlet for her latest tantrum—the opinion pages of the Washington Post—where she attempted to lecture a Republican Party with a voter base that wants nothing to do with her.
“[F]ormer President Donald Trump has repeated his claims that the 2020 election was a fraud and was stolen,” Cheney wrote in an op-ed published Wednesday. “Trump repeats these words now with full knowledge that exactly this type of language provoked violence on Jan. 6.”
Like so many NeverTrumpers, Cheney dutifully tied the events of January 6 to alleged delusions about an unfair and unlawful election. So, brainwashed MAGA Man, you think the 2020 election wasn’t on the up-and-up? Then you’re no better than the deplorable insurrectionists who “stormed” the Capitol that day, warns Cheney and her fellow travelers at National Review.
Tens of millions of Americans still refuse to submit to this endless bullying campaign. According to recent polls, the percentage of Republicans who still view the 2020 election as illegitimate is the same as it was six months ago. Now, as then, nearly three in four Republicans do not think Biden won the election; 70 percent of Republicans in a CNN poll taken late last month said Joe Biden “did not legitimately win enough votes to win the presidency.”
Election integrity remains a top priority for Republican voters. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis just signed a bill preventing the very COVID-justified election rules that benefited Joe Biden and Democrats last year. “We’re making sure we’re enforcing voter ID,” DeSantis, a 2024 presidential frontrunner, said in an interview Thursday morning. “We’re also banning ballot harvesting. We’re not gonna let political operatives go and get satchels of votes to dump them in some dropbox. We’re also prohibiting mass mailing of balloting.”
Similar measures are in the works in several Republican-controlled states. Texas and Arizona have passed several proposals that will tighten election requirements; Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a massive election reform bill in March that enraged Democrats across the country including Joe Biden.
Which is why Democrats, the media, and NeverTrumpers like Liz Cheney must keep the “Big Lie” taunt alive. The cowardice of congressional Republicans notwithstanding, political leadership at the state level and rank-and-file Republicans are working to ensure a redo of the 2020 election doesn’t happen again—most would rather be considered liars than craven bystanders while the country burns.
Unfortunately, the “Big Lie” faces more headwinds than just a Jake Tapper tantrum or a Liz Cheney op-ed: Joe Biden’s Justice Department is poised to use its power to halt election reform in advance of the 2022 election. During a congressional hearing this week, Attorney General Merrick Garland made clear he would use the agency’s Civil Rights division to fight Republican-backed election laws in court, especially those requiring photo identification.
“The question on voter ID is what kind of disparate impact it has on voters of different races, colors and language groups, and whether it violates the Constitution by having a disparate impact on people’s ability to vote,” Garland told a House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday. “The Supreme Court has held that voter ID as a concept is constitutional. And the issue is what, in any individual cases [sic], the record shows about whether it deprives certain groups protected by the 14th Amendment right to vote.”
Garland’s Civil Rights division now is getting involved in the ongoing audit of votes in Maricopa County, Arizona. The head of the division sent a letter to the Arizona Senate president expressing concern about the “security of ballots and potential voter intimidation” related to the review.
The “Big Lie,” of course, isn’t that the 2020 election was stolen; the “Big Lie” is that it was fair and lawful. The Left can keep weaponizing that phrase all it wants but Republicans aren’t buying it.