Election fraud is the GOP's new fundamentalism

To believe something in a fundamentalist style—and again, it can be anything, and indeed there are progressive fundamentalists galore—is to regard it as "necessarily true, and [therefore something which] cannot and need not be checked," Rauch argued. We all believe some things this way. The trouble arises when we believe too many things this way, especially relatively inconsequential things or matters of public import where fundamentalism can incline us to authoritarian suppression of inquiry and dissent.

Though some of the fraud story's fiercest advocates have openly grounded their belief in personal feeling alone, other Republicans convinced the election was stolen might here wish to object. "But we do want to check," they could protest. "What is Trump's 'full forensic investigation' if not the very 'checking' you demand?"

The trouble is that accepting this pushback requires ignorance or denial of the reality that checking already happened — that the fraud claim didn't withstand attempts to debunk it. Dozens of lawsuits brought by the Trump campaign and its allies failed, and some of the harshest rejections came from Trump-appointed judges (an excellent illustration of the checking method giving "the same result regardless of the identity of the checker"). Recounts in contested states like Wisconsin and Georgia confirmed Biden's wins. The "stolen election" theory was run through our normal processes. It was checked, extensively, including by people sympathetic to Trump's cause. It was wrong.