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Democracy

Expert on tyranny explains the Trump 'Big Lie' you've been hearing so much about lately

Expert on tyranny explains the Trump 'Big Lie' you've been hearing so much about lately

In October, the Washington Post shared an updated count of the lies or misleading claims President Trump has made since he was elected. The count, as of August 27, was 22,247 claims in 1,316 days. Why did the count only go through August? Because the president's pace had accelerated to more than 50 lies or misleading claims per day, and the fact-checking team couldn't keep up.

And it's not just the Washington Post. Fact checkers across the media landscape have repeatedly lamented that it's impossible to keep up.

All politicians stretch the truth sometimes, some more often or egregiously than others. But the frequency, nature, and shamelessness of President Trump's lying is in an entirely separate category than most politicians. This is not an opinion or even a judgment; it's an axiomatic fact.

The problem is, a shocking number of people overlook his lies, believe his lies, or in some cases, even love his lies. Opportunistic politicians and idealogues have seen him rise to power through lies, have seen the adulation he receives from his base for his lies, and have decided it's worth it to hitch their wagon to his lies. That's largely how we've ended up here, in a broken government and political culture where the president's supporters rally behind the lie that he won the election with a not-insignificant number of them willing to die or kill to defend that lie.


Yale historian Timothy Snyder calls the claim that Trump won the election a "Big Lie." Snyder, who specializes in the history of Central Europe and the Holocaust and has written books on tyranny, explained what that means in a Twitter thread.


Snyder wrote:

"The claim that Trump won the election is a Big Lie.

A Big Lie changes reality. To believe it, people must disbelieve their senses, distrust their fellow citizens, and live in a world of faith.

A Big Lie demands conspiracy thinking, since all who doubt it are seen as traitors.

A Big Lie undoes a society, since it divides citizens into believers and unbelievers.

A Big Lie destroys democracy, since people who are convinced that nothing is true but the utterances of their leader ignore voting and its results.

A Big Lie must bring violence, as it has.

A Big Lie can never be told just by one person. Trump is the originator of this Big Lie, but it could never have flourished without his allies on Capitol Hill.

Political futures now depend on this Big Lie. Senators Hawley and Cruz are running for president on the basis of this Big Lie.

There is a cure for the Big Lie. Our elected representatives should tell the truth, without dissimulation, about the results of the 2020 election.

Politicians who do not tell the simple truth perpetuate the Big Lie, further an alternative reality, support conspiracy theories, weaken democracy, and foment violence far worse than that of January 6, 2021."

Everyone who lives in objective reality understands that Trump did not win this election. There was no widespread fraud, and not enough small instances of fraud (which have occurred on both sides in every single election throughout history) to even come close to changing the outcome of the election. The election officials charged with carrying out the elections in every state, both Republican and Democrat, have said so. International election observers that Trump invited to witness our elections have said so. The federal agency charged with election security under Trump's own administration has said so.

Investigations into allegations have borne no fruit, and nearly all of the affidavits and "testimonies" (notably, not given under oath) we've seen have been from people describing normal voting and tallying processes that they don't fully understand. Voting machine companies have now launched billion-dollar defamation lawsuits against Trump allies who pushed conspiracy theory-laded lies about voting machines. The courts have been decisive in their rulings against the president and his allies, who are now 1 and 64 in lawsuits attempting to prove both fraud and unconstitutionality in some states' election processes.

The facts are not in question; it's only what people believe or want to believe that is in question.

Psychologists have explained that the president will never concede because his narcissistic nature and pathology will not allow it. He will double down on the Big Lie for the rest of his life. That's a problem—but it's not the only one.

A Big Lie can't succeed without support. Those in power who have gone along with this lie have breathed life into it, which also fuels the anger and resolve of those who believe the lie. Every person who has supported and disseminated this lie since election day bears responsibility for the attack on our U.S. Capitol and for how close we came to witnessing a massacre of our lawmakers last week. Every single one.

The bombardment of thousands of lies over the past four years have wounded and weakened our body politic. But the Big Lie slashed an artery and our democracy is bleeding out. Every single enabler of this lie needs to stand up and say "It wasn't true. We were wrong," as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding. Not just the politicians, but the media personalities who know the truth but supported the "Stop the Steal" message anyway. The only immediate remedy is to decisively end the lie, to clamp down on it hard and fast. Damage has been done and will need to be assessed, but right now the goal is survival.

That requires putting the truth and the country before any and all political or popular ambition, which some have proven time and again they will not do. But if there's ever been a time to swallow your pride and do the right thing, it's right now.

Doorbell camera catches boy's rant about mom's chicken

When you're a kid you rarely have a lot of say in what you get to eat for dinner. The adult in your house is the one that gets to decide and you have to eat whatever they put on your plate. But one little boy is simply tired of eating chicken and he doesn't care who knows it. Well, he cares if his mom knows.

Lacy Marie uploaded a video from her doorbell camera to TikTok her son. The little boy is caught on camera taking the trash out venting about always having to eat chicken. He rants all the way to the trash can, being sure to get it out of his system before he makes it back into the house.

"Chicken. No more chicken. Tell me you like, we have chicken every day. Eat this, eat that, eat more chicken, keep eating it," the 10-year-old complains. "It's healthy for you. Like, we get it. We have chicken every day."

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Doctor explains why he checks a dead patient's Facebook before notifying their parents

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Photo from Tedx Talk on YouTube.

He checks on your Facebook page.

Losing a loved one is easily the worst moment you'll face in your life. But it can also affect the doctors who have to break it to a patient's friends and family. Louis M. Profeta MD, an Emergency Physician at St. Vincent Emergency Physicians in Indianapolis, Indiana, recently took to LinkedIn to share the reason he looks at a patient's Facebook page before telling their parents they've passed.

The post, titled "I'll Look at Your Facebook Profile Before I Tell Your Mother You're Dead," has attracted thousands of likes and comments.

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"Welcome to being an adult. Maybe you weren't told this by your parents, but this is through my trial and error."

@johnfluenzer/TikTok

8 things you should be doing as an adult. Spoiler alert—none of them are fun.

Who among us hasn’t come into full adulthood wishing they had known certain things that could have made life so so so much easier in the long run? Choices that, if made, ultimately would have been much better for our well-being…not to mention our wallets.

But then again that is all part of growing older and (hopefully) wiser. However there is something to be said about getting advice from those who’ve been there, rather than learning the hard way every single time.

Thankfully, a man who goes by @johnfluenzer on TikTok has a great list of things young people should start doing once they become adults. Are any of his suggestions fun, cool or trendy? Not at all. But they are most definitely accurate. Just ask any 30+-year-olds who wished they had done at least four of these things.
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This is the best mother-daughter chat about the tampon aisle ever. Period.

A hilarious conversation about "the vagina zone" turned into an important message about patriarchy from mother to daughter.

A mother and daughter discuss period products.


Belinda Hankins and her 13-year-old daughter, Bella, seem to have a great relationship, one that is often played out over text message.

Sure they play around like most teens and parents do, but in between the joking and stealing of desserts, they're incredibly open and honest with each other. This is key, especially since Melinda is a single parent and thus is the designated teacher of "the ways of the world."

But, wow, she is a champ at doing just that in the chillest way possible. Of course, it helps having an incredibly self-aware daughter who has grown up knowing she can be super real with her mom.

Case in point, this truly epic text exchange took place over the weekend while Bella was hunting for tampons at the store.

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27-year-old who died of cancer left behind final advice that left the internet in tears

"Don't feel pressured to do what other people might think is a fulfilling life. You might want a mediocre life and that is so OK."

Photo courtesy of Remembering Holly Butcher/Facebook used with permission.

Holly Butcher left behind her best life advice before she passed away at 27.

The world said goodbye to Holly Butcher, a 27-year-old woman from Grafton, Australia.

Butcher had been battling Ewing's sarcoma, a rare bone cancer that predominantly affects young people. In a statement posted on Butcher's memorialized Facebook account, her brother, Dean, and partner, Luke, confirmed the heartbreaking news to friends.

"It is with great sadness that we announce Holly's passing in the early hours of this morning," they wrote on Jan. 4, 2018. "After enduring so much, it was finally time for her to say goodbye to us all. The end was short and peaceful; she looked serene when we kissed her forehead and said our final farewells. As you would expect, Holly prepared a short message for you all, which will be posted above."

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