Destructive political lies have legs. Trump's fantasy that 2020's election was rigged caused Capitol insurrection and is corrupting 2022 vote.

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At the risk of exaggerating a connection to today’s American political environment, bald-faced lies disingenuously and persistently applied over time destroyed Germany’s pre-World War II Weimar Republic.

The lies were spread by the racist Nazi Party’s fascist leader, Adolf Hitler, in a cynical and diabolical propaganda campaign inflicted on the German people during years of hardship after Germany suffered a humiliating loss in World War I.

Eventually, those lies became broadly sprinkled in German minds across the nation, and then—when Hitler completely controlled mass communication and bombarded the populace with Nazi messaging—officially disseminated falsehoods became deeply embedded dogma and widely accepted as truth.

Hitler’s lies: the shame game

Tugging on German shame amid societal wreckage in the First World War’s wake, Hitler began to tell his countrymen that they were in fact the “master race,” not a pathetic, bankrupt people on the losing end of world affairs. Jewish elites and communists among the populace, he (fraudulently) insisted, had betrayed the nation and caused its catastrophic defeat in 1918.

In fact, Germany just lost, fair and square, if war can ever be said to be that.

The term “scapegoat” was invented for just such an ignoble blame game.

Fast forward to the present, and, instead of a German strongman, we have an American wannabe-monarch, Donald Trump, who continues to insist—more than two years after he was thrashed in the 2020 presidential election—that he actually won.

Read: Dominant Hitler gene found in Trump supporters

And, wait for it, there’s scapegoats (Hint: he’s not among them): “radical leftists,” the liberal media and imagined election fraudsters.

In fact, Trump’s boorish behavior and amorality had completely turned off if not existentially terrified a majority of Americans, causing 7 million more of them to vote for eventual winner Joe Biden than him.

Let me stress, there is still zero evidence of widespread Democrat-inspired election fraud to corrupt the election but tons of evidence that Trump tried to overturn it.

Trump lies only 2020 election fraud

Indeed, the only evidence of widespread fraud related to the 2020 election involved—and still involves—broad attempts by Republicans, directed by Trump, afterward to overturn the results of that vote, which the former president’s own top election officials called “the most secure election in American history.”

Lies can have strong legs, unfortunately, even if propagated by an autocratic political charlatan, whether it be Hitler, Mussolini, Pol Pot, Pinochet, Lenin, Saddam, Trump, or the like.

Trump’s lies continue to spread across the land, as Hitler’s did in Germany’s Weimar Republic era, and our 21st-century democracy—knocked almost senseless in the lie-fueled January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol—remains on life support.

This is underscored in a chilling new analysis of 2022 midterm election candidates by the ezine Five ThirtyEight, titled “60 Percent Of Americans Will Have An Election Denier On The Ballot This Fall.”

As Five ThirtyEight reported on September 9:

There are a lot of election deniers on the ballot. Out of 529 total Republican nominees running for office, we found 196 who fully denied the legitimacy of the 2020 election. These candidates either clearly stated that the election was stolen from Trump or took legal action to overturn the results, such as voting not to certify election results or joining lawsuits that sought to overturn the election.

That’s more than a third of all GOP candidates in this critical midterm election—nominees whose basic, shared platform is an easily debunked falsehood.

Are Republican voters really that clueless to not see they are being shamlessly gaslit?

Oh, but it’s worse. The ezine added:

Moreover, an additional 62 candidates raised questions around the results of the 2020 election. These candidates haven’t gone so far as to say explicitly that the election was stolen or take legal action to overturn it. However, they haven’t said the election was legitimate either. In fact, they have raised doubts about potential fraud.

GOP candidates ‘taking baby steps’ away from Trump

New York Times columnist Frank Bruni, in a piece published September 8, opined that whereas the “morally corrupt” fraudulent-election claims probably were “a political asset” in GOP primaries, they will have a different vibe in November’s general election.

“As Republican nominees pivot toward [the general election], at least a few of them are realizing that it’s a different ballgame—and that Trump is trouble. They’re taking baby steps away from the world’s biggest baby.”

Meanwhile, Trump’s lies continue to spread across the land, as did Hitler’s did in Germany’s Weimar Republic era, and our 21st-century democracy—knocked almost senseless in the lie-fueled January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol—remains on life support.

Why? Lies.

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Rick Snedeker

Rick Snedeker is a retired American journalist/editor who now writes in various media and pens nonfiction books. He has received nine past top South Dakota state awards for newspaper column, editorial,...