How do President Trump’s truest believers explain their certainty he won the 2020 election?
They don’t. It doesn’t need explanation. They just know it. They feel it. And they have public figures — pundit and politician alike — willing to validate those feelings and channel them via political performance art into a perpetual motion machine of grievance, animosity, dreampolitik, and fundraising.
The notion that populist variants of the American right run on feelings more than fact or reason is not new, of course (nor is it a phenomenon exclusive to the right). Stephen Colbert introduced “truthiness” the better part of two decades ago, and President Trump’s whole political career is constructed on emotion.