Republicans dupe their low-information voters again — this time on the Capitol siege
Donald Trump's rabid base of GOP voters continue to consumes disinformation at a voracious pace. Not only do six in 10 Republicans believe the election was "stolen" from Trump, according to new Reuters polling, about half either believe the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol attack was largely peaceful or was staged by left-leaning activists "trying to make Trump look bad."
Sure, Trump supporters in para-military gear waving Trump flags and donning an endless amount of Trump paraphernalia literally climbed the walls of the Capitol in an assault that left five dead and injured more than a hundred police officers. But was it really that violent? And hey, it's not like Trump ever promoted violence at his rallies. So it all seem very dubious, no?
Just last week, Trump told Fox News that the Capitol siege posed "zero threat" to U.S. lawmakers working to certify the election results that day. Meanwhile, GOP senators like Ron Johnson of Wisconsin are busy selling the notion that Trump supporters wouldn't hurt a fly but Black Lives Matter protesters are where the real danger lies because, well, the obvious—the Trump supporters are overwhelmingly white. No small bit of racism there.
Obviously, the GOP can just get away with this stuff because Republican voters insist on continuing to be the most gullible group of lemmings known to man. The information is out there. The videos are compiled. The footage of Trump revving up his supporters at a same-day rally to go to the Capitol and "fight like hell and if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore" is there for anyone to consume.
But it's just far too much to ask of Trump supporters that they open the door to reality enough to let just a hint of light into the dark corners of their minds.
In the same poll, some 59% of Americans said Trump bore some responsibility for the deadly Capitol assault. But Republicans were, well—exceptional—with only three in 10 agreeing with the statement.
"Republicans have their own version of reality," John Geer, an expert on public opinion at Vanderbilt University told Reuters. "It is a huge problem. Democracy requires accountability and accountability requires evidence."
Accountability also requires some measure of personal responsibility that far too many Republican voters seem to be incapable of exhibiting.
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