“To be a loyal Republican, one must be either a sucker or a liar,” wrote Gerson, a former speechwriter for ex-President George W. Bush.
“And because this defining falsehood (about the election) is so obviously and laughably false, we can safely assume that most Republican leaders who embrace it fall into the second category,” he continued. “Knowingly repeating a lie — an act of immorality — is now the evidence of Republican fidelity.”
Gerson said “a founding lie” like Trump’s election fraud conspiracy theory is “intended to remove followers from the messy world of facts and evidence,” “replace critical judgment with personal loyalty” and “encourage distrust of every source of social authority opposed to the leader’s shifting will.”
Trump’s supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 “seemed quite sincere” with their views, said Gerson, who noted it is difficult to know whether “congenital liar” Trump really believes his falsehoods.
“No, it is the elected Republicans who are lying with open eyes, out of fear or cynicism, who have the most to atone for,” he concluded. “With the health of U.S. democracy at stake, their excuses are disgraceful.”