Michael Gerson has divided Republicans who remain loyal to Donald Trump and the 2020 ex-president election splits into two camps in his new Washington Post column published Monday.
“To be a staunch Republican, you have to be either a sucker or a liar,” wrote Gerson, a former speechwriter for ex-President George W. Bush.
“And because this defining lie (about the election) is so blatantly and ridiculously wrong, we can assume that most Republican leaders who adopt it fall into the second category,” he continued. “Knowingly repeating a lie – an act of immorality – is now proof of Republican loyalty.”
Gerson said that a “founding lie” like Trump’s electoral fraud conspiracy theory is “intended to remove followers of the messy world of facts and evidence,” “to replace critical judgment with personal loyalty” and “to encourage distrust of any source of social authority opposed to the changing will of the leader.
Trump supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan.6 “seemed sincere enough” with their views, said Gerson, who also noted that it was unclear whether the “congenital liar” Trump really believed in his lies.
“No, it is the elected Republicans who lie with their eyes open, out of fear or cynicism, who have the most to atone,” he concluded. “With the health of America’s democracy at stake, their apologies are shameful.”
Read Gerson’s full essay here.
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