The Big Lie

On last night’s episode of Full Frontal With Samantha Bee, Bee again showed off her skills in unpacking an issue with clarity, attention-to-detail and searing wit, evocative of John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight takedowns.

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Samantha Bee this week turned her attention to “The Big Lie” of widespread illegal voting, which the President-Elect’s fragile ego has continued to push, despite winning the election, to account for losing the popular vote to Hillary Clinton.

As Bee points out, this “threat” of illegal aliens stealing votes was not invented by Trump. It has been a long-standing Republican strategy used to justify stricter voting laws, like photo ID requirements, which in turn disproportionately restrict the voting rights of Democratic-leaning constituencies. “Republicans win if they keep people from voting," says Bee, tracing decades of thinly-veiled comments by conservatives to this effect.

 

 

Bee points the finger squarely at the GOP for the lie which Donald Trump, mistruth-aficionado, has taken and run with as a means to insulate himself against the scary fact that he was not the most popular candidate for POTUS:

“If Trump manages to smash America’s institutions, it will only be because GOP termites have been gnawing away at the foundation for years with baseless claims of election shenanigans. Remember, all the party wanted was an excuse to pass voter restrictions. But once you put a lie out there, it grows and takes on a life of its own.”

“For the record, massive voter fraud is a lie. But this lie didn’t spring Athena-like from Donald’s collapsing pumpkin of a head. He is a marketer. His big lies are like his buildings. He doesn’t build them; he just slaps his brand on them and tricks the press into promoting them for free.”

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Among Bee’s litany of evidence, the scariest quote comes from GOP figure and Heritage Foundation Founder Paul Weyrich, who sums up the strategy’s utter disregard for democracy:

“They want everybody to vote. I don't want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people, they never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.”

Next time you’re thinking of spending decades peddling a theory, be careful.

You never know when an egomaniac with 16 million Twitter followers is going to use it to deny reality.

Photo credit: TBS 

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