When you don’t need the majority of the media companies in America to maintain your grip on power, you can say whatever you want to your base and know with absolute certainty they’ll never find out you are lying.
Today, Donald Trump regurgitated the long-debunked claim that there was massive voter fraud in California, telling his fans deep in Trump country (West Virginia) that “millions and millions of people” voted illegally in the state that went overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton in 2016.
“In many places, like California, the same person votes many times,” said Trump. “You probably heard about that. They always like to say ‘oh that’s a conspiracy theory.’ Not a conspiracy theory, folks. Millions and millions of people.”
Here was Politifact’s take on the lie that they rated “Pants on Fire“:
No one from Trump’s office has shown evidence of “serious voter fraud” in California.
Trump may be drawing on an unsupported claim that 3 million “illegal aliens” cast votes in this year’s election. That allegation was made on Twitter by Gregg Phillips, who has worked for the Republican Party and has a voter fraud reporting app.
PolitiFact reported that Phillips has not released any corroborating evidence and noted that public information undermines his statement. It rated his claim False.
On Nov. 8 in California, there were reports of election glitches, such as the wrong names being placed on some absentee ballots and long lines at some polling places.
But state and local election officials, along with independent observers, say there have been no reports of widespread voter fraud in the state.
So no, there is no evidence of “millions and millions of people,” voting illegally, and Trump knows he can’t prove it. Sadly, he’ll never have to as no one in the crowd watches anything other than Fox News or listens to anything outside of the Right Wing Talk Radio bubble that still insists Trump is “winning” at everything he does. Trump can call facts lies and lies the truth with impunity, knowing Sean Hannity and co. will leap to his defense and accuse the media outlets that do report on his lying of lying themselves. It’s a self serving feedback loop that cannot be broken in the modern media age. Trump has figured out how to use the hyper partisan nature of politics in America to permanently wall off a solid third of the country from ever having to contend with reality — a brilliant trick that has kept him in power despite his shockingly low approval rating.
The lies may well serve him now, but come this November and 2020, reality will inevitably come crashing down, and the blue wave sweeping the country will finally end this horrible freak show once and for all. Tick-tock, Mr. President. Tick-tock.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.