Truth and the GOP

Published: July 15, 2022

By Jim Lichtman
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Note: I am currently out of town. A new post will appear on Wednesday. Thanks for your continued support.

The first pictures released by NASA from the new James Webb space telescope give us a spectacular view of how galaxies looked 13 billion years ago. Nothing we’ve ever seen from our planetary past comes close to what we are seeing and thousands more pictures will greatly expand our knowledge of the universe.

How do these images come about?

“The JWST looks out on the universe in infrared light, allowing it to cut through dust that obscures photos taken in optical wavelengths, Axios reports. “This allows the telescope to see galaxies that are farther away — and further back in time — in order to piece together how the earliest galaxies formed after the Big Bang.

But one thing is missing from news stories.

I haven’t heard a word from galaxy deniers. I’ve searched. I can’t find any.

While 70 percent of Republicans continue to believe the election was stolen; nearly half say they don’t want the Covid vaccine and don’t trust the Centers for Disease Control, we haven’t heard anything from galaxy skeptics?

Climate deniers. Holocaust deniers. Election deniers. Believe it or not, there are even AIDS deniers. The battle over truth continues to grow.

“In red states,” The New York Times reports, “the focus has been on protecting conservative voices on social media, including those spreading baseless claims of widespread electoral fraud.

“In blue states, lawmakers have tried to force the same companies to do more to stop the spread of conspiracy theories and other harmful information about a broad range of topics, including voting rights and Covid-19.

“‘We should not stand by and just throw up our hands and say that this is an impossible beast that is just going to take over our democracy,’ Washington’s governor, Jay Inslee, a Democrat, said in an interview.

“Calling disinformation a ‘nuclear weapon’ threatening the country’s democratic foundations, he supports legislation that would make it a crime to spread lies about elections. [Inslee] praised the $28,000 fine levied against the advocacy group that challenged the integrity of the state’s vote in 2020.”

Nonetheless, recent data continues to show how the cancer Trump has injected into our democracy continues to metastasize.

“More than 100 Republican nominees for statewide office or Congress this year have falsely claimed that election fraud helped defeat Donald Trump in 2020,” The Times reported last week. “Almost 150 members of Congress — more than half of the Republicans serving there — went so far as to vote to overturn the 2020 election result.”

Despite testimony from Trump’s White House counsel Pat Cipollone, former attorney general Bill Barr, and other insiders that there was no election fraud, and that the president had no legal basis to seize voting machines, “claims of election fraud have become the mainstream Republican position. In some places, winning a nomination virtually requires making such statements. In other places, the claims appear to carry little political cost, at least in the primaries. And very few elected Republicans have been willing to denounce the falsehoods.”

For all their talk about standing by the Constitution—including their oath of office—Republicans refuse to stand by the truth. What will they tell supporters when all the lies come crashing down?

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