On January 6, 2021, thousands of supporters President Donald Trump gathered at a rally organized to challenge the result of last November’s presidential election, which was based on the false assertion that the Republican actually won but nefarious forces intervened.
Trump spoke to the mob at the National Mall, near the White House in Washington DC, in a 70-minute address in which he exhorted them to march on Congress, which was meeting to certify Democrat Joe Biden’s victory.
The attack on the Capitol building began moments after Trump’s speech was greeted by the throng’s thunderous applause.
Trump’s discredited claims that the 2020 election was stolen, widely known as his “big lie” but still largely accepted by vast numbers of deluded Americans.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll in April found that 55% of Republicans falsely believed Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election was the result of illegal voting or rigging.
Sixty percent of Republicans incorrectly agree that the election was stolen from Republican Donald Trump.
Trump also lashed out at Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for refusing to buy into his lies and conspiracies about the last election. He also attacked former Vice President Mike Pence for fulfilling his constitutional duty to oversee the certification of the election in Congress and former Attorney General William Barr for saying there was no election fraud.
The nation’s perception of last November’s election — the real one in which Trump lost and President Joe Biden was fairly elected — is stained by the nonsensical but powerful lie of which Trump has successfully convinced many of his supporters.
“There is no way they win elections without cheating,” the former President said of Democrats, at a packed event entitled — with Orwellian overtones — the “Rally to Protect Our Elections.”
The one-term, twice-impeached ex-commander-in-chief related created false stories of election fraud across the country, even though dozens of judges have ruled that there was no election fraud in more than 60 legal cases.
Trump’s mastery of demagoguery and the complicity of a right-wing propaganda machine has created one of the most dangerous problems haunting this divided nation’s deeply polarized politics — the fact that flat-out lies and bizarre conspiracy theories actually represent sincerely held beliefs of a large minority of the electorate.
“Does everybody here understand that the 2020 election was a total disgrace?” said the ex-President at a rally in Arizona, which resulted in a frenzied chant of “Trump, Trump, Trump,” demonstrating how effective his wholesale lying has become.