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History will judge the Republicans who keep quiet about the Big Lie | Robert Reich


i I have a serious question for the people in power in America who continue to deny the results of the 2020 election and promote Trump’s Big Lie: What are you telling yourself to yourself? How do you justify yourself in your mind?

I don’t mean to be snarky or snarky. I am genuinely interested.

If you are in public office and deny the results of the 2020 election, do you tell yourself that despite the overwhelming evidence that Biden won and the lack of evidence of fraud, you are still sincerely doubt the result?

But you should know that 60 federal courts found no merit in Trump’s claim, nor did any of the so-called government “audits,” and even Trump’s attorney general found the claim baseless.

Or do you tell yourself that this will be over soon – that Trump will be gone, that the big lie will be gone, that your party and America will soon move on?

But you should know that you are wrong. The big lie grows. It has metastasized into a cancer that is dividing the nation and eating away at our democracy.

Or do you tell yourself that you have no choice but to support lies if you want to keep or gain political power?

Even if this is true, is power so intoxicating to you – so important as an end in itself – that you will do anything for it?

Where do you draw the line? When will Trump be re-elected and impose martial law? When does he or another Republican president ban public criticism of his administration? When he calls for violence against those who oppose him?

And what do you make of the actions your party is taking based on big lies: vote suppression, voting machine hijacking, claims that state legislatures can override voter certification benefits, the rejection of the January 6th commission’s findings?

You took an oath to uphold the constitution. How do you protect yourself in your mind?

I’m asking you, Kevin McCarthy. And you, Lindsey Graham, and Marco Rubio, and Rick Scott, and Josh Hawley, and Ted Cruz, and Ron Johnson. And others.

And I’m asking those of you who have significant power in the Republican Party who were silent in the face of it all – people like you Mitch McConnell and you, Mitt Romney: what is your excuse for your silence?

And I’m asking those of you who are currently running for office who are denying the results of the 2020 election and pushing other aspects of Republican authoritarianism – like you, J.D. Vance and Blake Masters, Mehmet Oz, Herschel Walker, Doug Mastriano, and Kari Lake: What do you say to yourselves? How do you justify yourself? Why do you even run?

And I ask the billionaires and CEOs who fund these people: How do you rationalize spending millions, even tens of millions, helping them get or stay elected?

I ask you, Peter Thiel, and you, Stephen Schwartzman, and Ken Griffin, and Steve Wynn, and Mike Lindell, and Patrick Byrne, and others: Is this really how you want to spend your fortune? Is this your legacy to the nation?

And I ask all the people who are making money off this rot – the TV hosts, producers and media moguls who are raking it in by poisoning America’s minds with brazen lies – what do you say to yourself in private?

I ask you, Rupert Murdoch, and you, Tucker Carlson, and you, Sean Hannity, and you, Laura Ingraham: How do you protect yourself from yourself?

I don’t expect you to answer me. That’s a question you have to answer for yourself, one-on-one.

But before you do, can I have a word of confidence?

Whether you’re a politician who supports the big lie, a billionaire who supports it, or a broadcaster who promotes it, it’s not too late to get off the road you’re on.

However, if you continue to promote or facilitate these lies, you are undermining our democracy. The crisis you helped create is getting worse. You bear part of the responsibility for what happens next.

When the history of this difficult time is written, future generations of Americans will judge your actions and your silence harshly.

They will remember your cowardice and your self-justifications. They will remember your lust for power and moral blindness. They will remember your involuntary ignorance or your willful failure to stand up for democracy in this dangerous time.

Future generations will judge what you have done. And if the democratic experiment called America continues to crumble because of what you did or failed to do, you will live in shame.


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