Anyone watching the Jan. 6 committee hearings should walk away thinking the committee has plenty of evidence that former president Trump lied about voter fraud and instigated the insurrection.
There are videos and the president’s own words showing Trump planned the attack to stop the election process. Campaign lawyers, election administrators and White House officials all testified they told Trump the election was accurate and fair. Attorney General Barr testified the Justice Department investigated Trump’s allegations and found them groundless.
In my experience, most people in Ottawa County have heard Trump’s Big Steal accusations and many believed them. Those continuing to believe Trump’s lie are engaging in confirmation bias, a predisposition to accept evidence, no matter how dubious, that supports their beliefs and then easily find reasons to put aside any evidence that doesn’t. Those employing confirmation bias can rarely answer the question, “what evidence is necessary to change your mind?” because no evidence will ever be enough.
All of us can resort to confirmation bias, particularly when changing our minds threatens other deeply held beliefs. It is the reason that religious arguments rarely go anywhere.
The important question of our time is whether we will split the union over a lie, even though all the evidence is against it or it motivated believers to besiege our Capitol causing death, injury and damage or it spurred believers to threaten election officials and their families. Sixty courts rejected the lie and all the recounts changed nothing, not to mention the lie enriched Trump’s PACT by tens of millions of dollars.
Making America Great Again can’t be based on fiction. What evidence would the committee need to provide to that neighbor flying a Trump flag for him to go out and lower it forever?