The normal mind is puzzled by people who believe ridiculous things such as the world being flat and QAnon. Those beliefs are so outlandish you have no choice but to think believers are out of their minds. When people continue to believe things that are not true, even after presented with evidence to the contrary, you are left to wonder if they are just being stubbornly uninformed. Such is the case with Republicans who continue to believe falsehoods about the January 6 Capitol riot and claims of voter fraud. Reuters conducted a recent poll involving both issues.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll revealed that 6 in 10 Republicans still believe that the 2020 election was “stolen,” which has resulted in a flurry of Republican-led legislatures invoking voter restrictions that make it harder to vote. They claim they are securing the elections, but there is no reason to secure them. In fact, Georgia even calls its bill an “election security bill.” Brian Kemp said the law “makes it easy to vote and hard to cheat.” The problem is that no one cheated in the last election. It is apparently hard for Republicans to accept their losses and instead try creating policy that benefits middle America. That would require work. Why work when you can just make it harder to vote? If Georgia’s bill is so wonderful, why did they reconvene to strip away Delta Airline’s jet fuel tax break because Delta’s CEO spoke out against the law? Freedom of speech is apparently only free when it benefits Republicans and their lies, which is at the root of the false voter fraud nonsense.
Donald Trump created this turmoil, and he continues stoking it today. He recently appeared on Fox News, claiming that the rioters posed “zero threat.” Tell that to Brian Sicknick’s family or the dozens of other officers who were injured, including the two who have sued Trump civilly. Not everyone is buying into this ridiculousness, but there are enough of them out there to drive Republicans to suppress votes. If these people would turn away from conservative leaning news and talking heads, they might be able to educate themselves, but they refuse to do so. Believing in these lies gives them something to stand for, even if it is not true. Many of their own families try to tell them the truth to no avail. Look at Paul Gosar, for example, who allegedly represents Arizona. His own family has disowned him because of his ridiculous beliefs, and according to People magazine, he is still at it.
Unless and until Republican “leaders” (using the word loosely) step up and tell these people the truth, they will continue to believe the lies. Unfortunately, Republicans are too busy capitalizing on the insanity to put a stop to it. As Reuters quoted him, John Greer, Vanderbilt University policy expert, summed it all up: “Republicans have their own version of reality. Democracy requires accountability and accountability requires evidence.” We must continue to fight for our democracy even in the face of this foolishness.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years