It could be that America has finally inoculated itself against this dangerous virus. No, not the coronavirus—but election disinformation. An encouraging trend in last week’s midterms was that the predictable lies and conspiracy theories slung around by Donald Trump and his acolytes apparently weren’t able to get a foothold outside the right-wing base the way they did in 2020.

Part of why Trump could sow such doubt about election integrity during the 2020 election was the sheer audacity of his phony claims. With zero evidence, he kept making the claims again and again, counting on the force of repetition and wishful thinking among Republicans to legitimize the lie. Perhaps because Americans had never before seen a president behave like this, too many made the mistake of assuming there must be something to it.

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