The Capitol attack on Washington on January 6, 2021 was a very determined and violent affair. On the other hand, the panel of inquiry of the US Congress, which is currently trying to reconcile this event politically, sometimes has to deal with almost philosophical issues. At the panel’s second public hearing on Monday, the main point of the matter was: What is a lie?
At first glance, the answer seems obvious: a lie is an untruth. By that logic, Donald Trump is undoubtedly a liar. After a clear defeat in the November 2020 presidential election, he claimed victory in front of the American people. To this day, Trump insists he is the real winner and the one betrayed by the Democrats.
The definition of a lie depends on a small adjective: knowingly
However, in most definitions of the word lie, there is a definite adjective: knowingly. Thus, knowing that the speaker is saying something untrue and doing so is a lie. Otherwise, if you take it seriously, he will not lie, he is talking nonsense.
A panel of investigators, including Democrats and Republicans who have no sympathy or understanding of Trump, tried to accuse the former president of lying on Monday. The charge is that Trump knew better than he lost the election. Nevertheless, he has his “big lie” – The big lie – Discovered by stolen victory, through which he rallied his supporters in Washington and attacked the Capitol there on January 6th.
The team has certainly succeeded in providing evidence for this study. The panel provided excerpts from conversations with those who were among Trump’s hopefuls for the winter of 2020, and no doubt they never believed the talk of a stolen victory. They would have no doubt expressed their views to the President who was in power at the time. Former Attorney General Bill Barr said he was unsure if all the evidence for voter fraud was simply “nonsense.” As his testimony continued, he used other jargon to categorize Trump’s statements about the election: stupid, stupid, utter nonsense, insane things.
Barry’s deputy at the time, Richard Donoku, made similar comments during questioning by the panel. In talks with the president, he also categorically denied allegations of fraud leveled by Trump after the election. Donoku said there were no suitcases full of prepared ballots, no secret counting rooms or the thousands of dead who were said to have cast ballots. “I told Trump: Sir, we have conducted dozens of investigations. Most of the allegations have not been proven. We have seen them in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nevada. We are doing our job. Most of the information sent to them is incorrect.”
The panel also investigated who provided Trump with false information about voter fraud. The panel has identified Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York and the president’s personal lawyer, as one of the main culprits. Giuliani walked around the White House drunk on election night and instructed Trump to declare himself the winner by the end of the vote count. That is what Trump did on the evening of November 3, 2020 – laying the foundation for him. The big lie.
If so, in the weeks leading up to the election, when Trump talks about the theft victory, he may be aware that he is talking about something untrue. It is an open question whether he really knew it, whether he got the facts and whether he was intellectually executed. Former Minister Barr raised doubts as to whether the President was still interested in the truth at the time. Whenever he denies a fraudulent claim, Trump will show another branch of what Giuliani told him. In the end, Barr said, Trump came to the conclusion that he was “disconnected from reality and really believed in these things.”
So philosophers can decide The big lie It’s not a lie because Trump believed it. However, politically it is secondary. The damage Trump has caused by his lies is irreparable. Millions of Republicans firmly believe that Trump’s victory has been stolen, and party members and senators, with the exception of individuals, have not dared to oppose this blatant lie altogether. On January 6, 2021, the United States experienced what this would lead to. Nothing guarantees that something like this will never happen again.
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