Front Burner

Timothy Snyder on the present and future of Trump's 'big lie'

As Donald Trump is impeached for the second time, historian Timothy Snyder on what he calls the outgoing president's “big lie,” and the effect it could have on American democracy for years to come.
Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as they push barricades to storm the U.S. Capitol. (Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images)

"Post-truth is pre-fascism." So wrote historian Timothy Snyder in his 2017 book, On Tyranny. He penned it in the lead-up to Donald Trump's inauguration, and he's been warning ever since: The United States is not exceptional, a coup could be attempted there, too.

Now, Trump's presidency is in its dying days. He has been impeached by the House again, this time for "incitement of insurrection." But the big lie, as Snyder calls it, that Trump seeded — that the 2020 election was stolen from him — what becomes of that lie now? 

Today on Front Burner, Snyder explores that question.