The Big Lie

I wrote this a couple of months ago.

Trump’s last stunt, and it was a media stunt, was the Big Lie. The election was stolen, he shouted. Trump must have literally repeated this claim over million times. At one point over 69% of Republicans thought that the election was stolen. Why did they think that the election was stolen? Because Trump, Fox News and other right wing media talking heads parroted the same phase over and over and over again.

The Arizona GOP believed the lies that Trump was shoving. They didn’t believe their own election officials who had meticulously reviewed claims of fraud and found no significant irregularities. There had to be fraud because Fox News and Donald Trump said there was. The Arizona GOP, in spite of the objections of the Arizona Democrats, decided that they would recount the votes, again, themselves. They did not want to hire a real “election” company that had experience dealing with election ballots because any independent company was probably biased against Trump. Instead, they hired a GOP company (Cyber Ninjas. Yes, that’s the real name of the company!) that was friendly to Trump but had no experience in counting ballots. They were going to recount the ballots of the Democratic strong hold – Maricopa County.

Out of thin air
Sometimes lairs base a lie of some sliver of truth. This was too much trouble for Trump and his gang. They simply made stuff up like your 6-year-old who was caught with their hand in the cookie jar, the exact same cookie jar that you told them not to touch. Lying is the recurring theme of the Big Lie. Of course, a single lie is not enough. You need a pile of lies. So, they shoveled more garbage at us. Lie after lie.

168,000 ballots were printed on the incorrect paper and therefore needed to be thrown out according to Trump. This was a total lie. This number was pulled out of thin air. Sharpie markers which were used in the election were thought to “bleed-though” and ruin other ballots. Never mind that Maricopa studied this exact scenario years earlier and found no contamination of adjacent ballots. Then there was the claim that 74,000 votes just magically appeared. This was more nonsense. These were early mail in ballots. There was no funny business. One of the most consistent claims were that the voting machines were hacked. There was NO evidence that the machines were hacked. None. The voting machines are NOT hook up to the internet so they couldn’t be hacked from the outside.

Reviewing these ballots, again, was the biggest snipe hunt ever. (When you go camping, you send the newest, most gullible campers to find the mysterious snipe. The animal doesn’t exist which the point of the joke.) So, the final report from the Cyber Ninjas has been received. The company that was not qualified to review the ballots found nothing. They did not find widespread fraud. There was not a problem with the Sharpie markers. There weren’t ballots printed on incorrect paper. As a matter of fact, they found about 400 votes for Biden that he didn’t previously have.

When are the lies going to stop? Never. This is Trump. It is exactly what makes Trump, Trump. Never apologize is his code of ethics if you want to call it that. Never admit that you were wrong. These are signs of weakness in Trump’s eyes. There is no lie too big or too awful to tell. Trump never changes his point of view in the face of facts. He is already doubling down on his election lies. What did Biden steal? Biden did “steal” disillusioned Trump voters in large numbers. These were voters who were tired of the blizzard of lies.

Texas passed a new anti-abortion law. Texas has boldly stated that woman can’t have an abortion for any reason after 6 weeks. Many women have no idea that they are pregnant at 6 weeks. It is just a fact. Abortion should be legal and rare. Women/girls should be given access to sex education and every birth control method that is legally available. Limiting abortion is an attack on women who don’t have privilege. Rich women can always get an abortion that is safe, clean and effective. This law and others like it degrade women. Women should be allowed to make their own decisions with their own bodies. When was the last time that Texas passed a law that limited a man’s ability to have sex?

Gabby Petito
I’m positive that you have heard of Gabby Petito. She was not rich. She wasn’t a pop star. She didn’t win a medal at the Tokyo Olympics. She was an average White American who had fallen in love and had a volatile relationship. She went missing during a cross country trip with her boyfriend. Her boyfriend returned to his Florida home without her. Every network on the planet seemed to cover this story. There is nothing wrong with the media covering a missing person. As a matter of fact, wide media coverage can sometimes help find a missing person. In our society, the problem is that White women seem to be the only people that matter. Mary Johnson, a Native American woman, went missing in November of 2020. She got almost no media coverage. Keeshae Jacobs, a Black woman, has been missing since 2016. She also got almost no media coverage. There are plenty of men who are missing and they don’t get any media coverage.

The final piece to Gabby’s puzzle is that the police were notified of the couple fighting. An officer was sent to the scene. Gabby was visibly upset. She was crying. We know this because of the policeman’s body cam. (Thank God for body cams.) The police officer separated the couple for the evening. So that they could “cool down.” We all know how this story ends. Right? The police officer had an opportunity to save a woman’s life. Instead, he acted like he had never had any training in domestic abuse, and he had never seen an episode of NCIS, CSI or Criminal Minds. Gabby’s body was found in a remote area of Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest. Gabby’s boyfriend has evaded police for over 2 weeks and is still in hiding. As an advanced society we must protect our most vulnerable, don’t we? We failed Gabby.

Immigration and Haiti
Recently, NPR (National Public Radio) did a long segment on the reasons why Haitians immigrate to the United States. They also described a prolonged and harrowing journey which for some Haitians start in Brazil. They then travel through the jungles of Columbia into Panama. They walk thru Mexico to the US border. The journey can take years. The whole story was extremely sad. Haiti is the poorest country in this hemisphere. The fact that Haitians abandon their own country because of earthquakes, hurricanes, lack of infrastructure, no job opportunities, no education opportunities, heart crushing poverty, government corruption and widespread drug violence should be no surprise to any American who loves the opportunities that we have in this country. The question is what should we do as Americans when tens of thousands of Haitians show up at our southern border? Piling hundreds of them into a plane and sending them back to Haiti does not seem to be the right answer. When we round them up with horses and dogs seems to treat them more like cattle and less like human beings.

I’m not sure what the right answer is. I know we cannot support unlimited immigration. Yet, we are the land of opportunity. Please understand that conservatives really don’t want to fix this problem. Instead, they want to complain about it, forever. So, how many emigrants should we take? 10,000? 50,000? 100,000? What should their qualifications be? Should they all be nuclear physicists? Should they all be willing and eager to do menial labor? I don’t know. I have no idea what the answer is. But we need to figure this out. We need to figure it out together. We need to show our children and our grandchildren that we have the capability of compassion.

A friend of mine posted a link on Twitter to an article written by Stephanie Land. Stephanie Land is a best-selling author of Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay and a Mother’s Will to Survive. Stephanie is currently living the good life. She is married. She has two kids and one stepchild. She lives in a nice house in a nice neighborhood, but it always wasn’t like that. There were times in Stephanie’s life when she was hungry. She was homeless. She gave the “good food” to her kids. She ate leftovers or nothing. Interestingly, Stephanie understands that she has a heartwarming story. She is a White woman. She is college-educated. She went through tough times and came out the other end. Stephanie’s article in Time Magazine points out that life should not be this hard for the poor in the United States. A living wage would go a long way to fixing hunger and homelessness. This brings me back to the word that I used earlier – compassion. For the United States to be a truly great nation, we need to be more compassionate to ourselves and to others.

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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