Letter to the Editor: The big lie vs. the truth

To the Editor:

Donald Trump was the most untruthful president in American history. Fact checkers have documented 30,573 false or misleading statements made by him during his term in office.

The lies ranged from unimportant ones - like the size of his inauguration crowd, to serious ones - like the COVID virus would simply disappear on its own and we need not worry about it. His pandemic lies and mismanagement contributed substantially to the more than 400,000 COVID deaths.

His most dangerous falsehood, however, was the Big Lie:  that our national election was not fairly conducted and that he, not Joe Biden, had won the election. This lie was the worst, because, if true, it would destroy our democratic system. Democracy only works if the voters decide who will lead us.

Trump continued to repeat the Big Lie after the election whenever he spoke. Sadly, Republicans leaders who knew better failed to speak out loudly and clearly to debunk his false claims, and media commentators like Sean Hannity and Lou Dobb of Fox News amplified the lie.

After numerous investigations all his claims were shown to be without merit.

Christopher Krebs, the Republican Head of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency, reported that “there is no evidence” any voting systems were compromised and that the 2020 election “was the most secure in American history.”  The Republican Attorney General William Barr said after investigating election complaints that FBI agents and U.S. attorneys “have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”

And yet, President Trump continued to repeat the Big Lie and encouraged his supporters to overturn the election, leading to the attack on the Capitol January 6 in which people died and 140 Capitol Police officers were injured. Because of his actions President Trump deserves to be impeached, found guilty and barred from ever holding office again.

As Republican Representative Liz Cheney put it, President Trump “assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President. . . . There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”

Irrespective of the outcome of the impeachment trial, however, it is more important for Republican leaders to defeat the Big Lie by clearly and frequently stating that President Biden won in a fair and honest election. If large numbers of American continue to doubt the integrity of our elections, American democracy may not survive.

Thomas  W. Hill
Lansing and Cedar Falls

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