The Birther Theory, Effectiveness of

Trump instinctively understood the power of such wishful thinking — perhaps because he himself lived in a fantasy world, in which everything he touched turned to gold and he was always a “winner”, despite numerous bankruptcies. So those Americans who could not bear the idea that they had a Black president were fed the emotionally satisfying lie that Barack Obama was not born in the United States and was therefore not a legitimate president. Trump loyalists who could not accept the idea that he had lost the 2020 election were told instead that their hero had been the victim of electoral fraud. Senator Ted Cruz, who had once accurately called Trump a “pathological liar”, ended up defending Trump’s biggest and most consequential lie, about a stolen election, from the floor of the Senate.

The Age of the Strongman, Ch. 7, p. 127

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