Source: MPR News
Last week, a violent crowd of Donald Trump supporters overwhelmed police and forced their way into the U.S. Capitol building, where they broke windows and doors, rummaged through lawmaker’s possessions, and took selfies on the evacuated Senate floor.
Why? Because for months, the president has told them — falsely — that the 2020 election was stolen from him. In fact, just hours before the extremists stormed the Capitol, President Trump had told them to go there and encouraged them by saying, “you will never take back our country with weakness.”
Experts say what the country witnessed in horror last week is the culmination of years of disinformation spread largely by the president and his supporters. No longer confined to the fringes of society or the darkest corners of the web, 2020 is the year conspiracy theories went mainstream.
A new NPR/Ipsos poll is proof. It found one-third of Americans believe Joe Biden only won the 2020 election due to fraud, despite the fact that multiple sources — including the U.S. Justice Department — found no evidence of fraud that could have changed the outcome. Almost 40 percent say there is a “deep state” working to undermine President Trump — a major tenet of the QAnon conspiracy theory.
It’s really more than Trump. It’s Fox and its kin. It’s the recruiting tactics of ISIS employed by the radical right.