There’s a lake made of whiskey, and one made of stew. You can paddle all around them in a big canoe. On the Big Rock Candy Mountain The Big Rock Candy Mountain
Just a quick recap for clarity. What is The Big Lie, and how does it work? It is a falsehood with no factual basis, repeated over and over in an informational vacuum, until the victims will give up and believe anything, just so long as you shut up!
Trump’s Big Lie was that the 2020 election was stolen by the Democrats through massive voter fraud, mostly absentee and mail in ballots. He got lucky twice. First, by their natures, Trump’s base are not The best and the brightest. We’re not talking about medical researchers and acclaimed philosophers for the most part. And two, a far right media complex like FUX News, OAN and NewsMax gave Trump the informational vacuum needed to hammer the message home.
Trump didn’t wait to lose to start The Big Lie, instead he was proactive. As far back a about June of 2020, Trump started hammering home the singular theme that if he lost the 2020 election, the Democrats stole it through massive voter fraud. And once he actually lost, it became almost his soul talking point. Don’t bother voting, your votes won’t count.
But the longer it goes on, the bigger the risk, and the GOP knows it. Since the election was certified for Biden, GOP leaders and advisors like McCarthy, McConnell, and Graham have pretty much tried everything but rolling him over on his back and everything his belly to get Trump to stop with the Big Lie. They don’t want to dwell on the loss, they want to hammer the Democrats going into 2022. And they need Trump’s supporters motivated to do that, not distrusting the validity of their votes. But if Trump stops talking about it, it’s an admission that he lost, and he cannot do that, so he persists.
As we get closer to the 2022 midterms, this keeps nagging at me. Is it possible that Trump sold the Big Lie too well, and turned his own voters off? There is empirical evidence to support this. It was 5 weeks from election day to the Georgia special elections for Senate, and Trump hammered the Big Lie daily, even making it a standard in his Georgia campaign speeches. And just enough GOP voters stayed home to give the Democrats the Senate.
And Steve Kornacki on MSNBC just provided more evidence. In a new USA Today poll taken in Georgia, 85% of Democrats said that the Capitol Riot was an attempt to overthrow the results of the election, but 68% of GOP voters said it happened to Stop a fraudulent election. You know, like stolen? As in your votes don’t count?
This is problematic for the GOP, on two counts, each of which can be fatal on its own. One, midterms are lower turnout models than Presidential years, and motivation is key. Trump is telling people to stay home. And worse yet, Trump made mail in ballots the ultimate villains of the voter fraud, and in response, GOP legislatures are falling all over themselves to eliminate of restrict mail in ballots. But the traditional base is older people, and they’re not very likely to go out in shitty November weather because they couldn’t get mail in ballots. Besides, their votes don’t count anyway, right?
The second one? Well, the GOP has nobody to blame but themselves. Thanks to their own docile, spineless stupidity, Trump’s base is now their base. And Trump is a one trick pony. I have been saying for 6 years now that if Trump ever disappeared, he’d take his base right along with him, they’d crawl back under thier rocks. Trump is their only draw. This is why the GOP puts up with his shit.
But it doesn’t work, and we know it! In 2018, Trump did everything in his power, including endorsing a slate of candidates, and the Democrats picked up 40 seats. And look at all of the Trump wanna Be’s that Trump endorsed and campaigned for in 2018, 2019, and 2020, Trump has no coattails at all. Trombies want their Trump, accept no substitutes.
To me, this is going to be the great unknown wild card of 2022. If the Democrats pass the voting rights bills, the base is going to be motivated. And historically, Trump doesn’t do well in absentia. In 2019, when the Democrats won the Kentucky governorship, Trump campaigned like hell. But results showed that in the critical southeast and west coal counties, GOP turnout was down 15-25% from 2016 when Trump was on the menu. The same thing happened with the Georgia special Senate elections.
Trump used The Big Lie to get elected, to stay govern, and to try to stay in power through a coup against his own government. Wouldn’t it be fitting if that same Big Lie kept or even increased the Democrat’s House and Senate majorities, and even went so far as to show the GOP that His Lowness wasn’t even a viable candidate in 2024? Don’t touch that dial.