Trump has falsely proclaimed since at least 2015 that any election he lost must be rigged in order to protect his fragile ego, while knowingly understanding that repeating any lie over and over again causes people to believe in lies. Even though the Trump appointed Director of Cybersecurity, Chris Krebs, declared the 2020 election the most secure ever and with over 60 lawsuits including one brought before the Supreme Court finding zero evidence of voter fraud, many people refuse to accept the truth because of the constant lies. As a result, ordinary Americans were radicalized by the “BigLie” that Trump won the election by a landslide and that Joe Biden is not the legitimate president, and engaged in violence!
According to, “The Capitol Rioters Aren’t Like Other Extremists” by Robert A. Pape and Keven Ruby (The Atlantic 2/2/2021) the majority of the January 6, 2021 insurrectionists were not white nationalists, white supremacists, neo-Nazi anti-semites, anti-government militia extremists. Astoundingly, more than 80% were “normal” Trump supporters made up of middle class often middle aged-people without ties to the far-right.
According to Pape and Ruby, many of those arrested without far-right ties proclaimed that they “…were following Trump’s orders to keep Congress from certifying Joe Biden as the presidential-election winner.” One arrestee stated “I am incredibly proud to be a patriot today, to stand up tall in defense of liberty and the Constitution, to support Trump and MAGAforever, and to send the message: WE ARE NEVER CONCEDING A STOLEN ELECTION.”
Pape and Ruby found that the average age of arrestees was 40 and that 40% were business owners or held white-collar jobs which included CEOs, shop owners, doctors, lawyers, IT specialists and accountants. Only 9% of this group was found to be unemployed. Surprisingly, most did not come from deep-red strongholds. In contrast, they report that the majority of far-right extremists are under 35 years old with 25% unemployment and almost none working in white collar jobs.
Pape and Ruby conclude that “the Capitol riot revealed a new force in American politics-not merely a mix of right-wing organizations, but a broader mass political movement that has violence at is core…” made up of ordinary Americans seduced by the “Big Lie.”
Successful, respectable, hardworking, law abiding Americans were tricked into behaving unlawfully and to engage in sedition by the “Big Lie.” Trump, Republican enablers and right-wing media need to be held accountable for lying to the American people. Ordinary Americans have committed crimes, been arrested or lost their jobs due to their lie-fueled actions on January 6th, some even unnecessarily lost their lives that day! Words have consequences!
Even Trump supporters who didn’t attend the protest-turned-insurrection and those on the “other side” (whoever that is), have been negatively affected by these lies. Families members and good friends no longer share a common reality or truth resulting in unnecessary division, division based on lies. It is disruptive to peaceful existence and civil discourse. All media needs to be held to standards of truth and accountability! Lies are destroying America and democracy! If your news source pushes you toward violence, change the channel or website!
Reality check: One term, twice impeached President Trump lost the popular vote in both the 2016 and 2020 elections, by 2.8 million votes in 2016 and by more than 7 million votes in 2020. His slim 2016 electoral college win was by only 78,000 votes across three counties in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan. During his four year term, he did nothing to win over the moderate voters needed to secure a 2020 victory. He lost fair and square at his own hand!