The Corner

Politics & Policy

The Evolution of the Big Lie

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can only be maintained for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic, and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

Of course, Big Lies can be practiced by democratic republics as well as totalitarian states. But what we’ve seen over the last several months has been a troubling transformation in the nature of the Big Lies told in this democratic republic.

In the past, when a Big Lie was uncovered, the liars would immediately abandon its use. For example, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” hasn’t been uttered by anybody in the administration since the disastrous Obamacare rollout. But recently, there’s been a curious development: With the full-throated complicity of the mainstream media and various institutions, the political and the cultural Left continue to promote Big Lies that have been publicly proven demonstrably false. 

The Ferguson lie of “hands up, don’t shoot” was employed by the administration, congressional Democrats, mainstream media, academics, and activists for months prior to the Department of Justice report debunking the myth’s essential elements. Nonetheless, almost all the actors who perpetuated the lie continue to behave as if the false narrative remains fact. 

Before unraveling, the University of Virginia fraternity rape allegations as reported by Rolling Stone ambulated for months in support of the Left’s lie that college campuses are experiencing an epidemic of sexual assault. After the allegations imploded, the usual suspects nonetheless have behaved as if they’re oblivious to the mountains of evidence refuting the notion that college campuses resemble Syrian villages controlled by ISIS. 

Now we have major institutions falsely claiming that Indiana’s mini-RFRA is a license to discriminate. This is so even though the bill’s opponents aren’t able to point to a single case where such laws have protected or promoted discrimination. Yet the media, politicians, and other opportunists speak as if Indiana has somehow repealed both the Fourteenth Amendment and the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

This new Big Lie dynamic may be temporarily useful to the state and cultural elites, but it’s a threat to everyone’s freedom.




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