90 Miles From Tyranny : The Left Keeps Accusing Conservatives Of “The Big Lie” – A Term Invented By Hitler As He Prepared To Persecute German Jews.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

The Left Keeps Accusing Conservatives Of “The Big Lie” – A Term Invented By Hitler As He Prepared To Persecute German Jews.

It’s been in your social feed, on your televisions, and in the newspapers a dozen or more times today alone: the term “The Big Lie,” used by an elected official, pundit, or columnist to describe any challenge to the official narrative about the 2020 U.S. Presidential election.

For example:

  • President Joe Biden has accused President Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz, and Sen. Josh Hawley of a “Big Lie” ;
  • Rep. Mazie Hirono went on Anderson Cooper to accuse the Republican senators of a “Big Lie“;
  • Dominion Voting Systems has alleged a “Big Lie” in their lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani;
  • Jake Tapper has used the term repeatedly on Twitter and on air to describe allegations of fraud in the 2020 election.
Bloomberg explained the analogy in September: “Adolf Hitler and Goebbels, his minister of propaganda, espoused a technique known as the ‘Big Lie,’ which involved repeating a colossal falsehood until the public came to believe it was true.”

Historians Timothy Snyder, Fiona Hill, and Ruth Ben-Ghiat have affirmed this usage of the term. Snyder whimsically explained to NPR how a “big lie” works: “The big lie fills in this space which used to be taken up by a lot of little truths, by hundreds and thousands and millions of little truths,” Snyder said. “We’ve let that slip away. And then the big lie comes in and fills in the gap.”

But that’s not what “Big Lie” means, nor where it came from.


Many attribute the concept of the “Big Lie” to Joseph Goebbels, who is popularly believed to have said: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

But did Goebbels actually say that?

“We can find only one refereed scholarly article that cites the quotation, and with no reference. A [LexisNexis] Academic search provides three published articles employing the fabrication, two of which are from BusinessWorld, in the Philippines, and one from The Washington Times,” wrote Quentin Schultze and Randall Bytwerk in a 2012 paper published by the Institute of General Semantics.

“None of the three dozen books citing it on Google Books has a publisher with a reputation for editorial diligence.”

Schultze and Bytwerk discovered the earliest usage of the quote from a 2002 article raising questions about the commercial plane flown into the Pentagon. By 2006, Google searches returned 300,000+ results for the quote—and still no primary attribution. The quotation proved handy on both the left and the right, first to critique the...

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