We LIVE on or around Planet Earth

All of us are in the FLOW

All of us are MOVING in the

EARTH rotates on it’s N/S axis
Giving us Night and Day

0.5 km/s caused by the Earth’s rotation on its axis

We rotate around the SUN every year
Giving us our seasons

The Earth moves at about 30 km/s in its orbit around the Sun.

This is a lot faster than the 0.5 km/s caused by the Earth’s rotation on its axis!

While the SUN and the whole SOLAR system is moving around the center of the Milky Way galaxy at about 230 km/s.

The Milky Way galaxy moves:
In the Local Group (20 galaxies) at 40km/s
And the Local Group moves
in the Local Supercluster at 600km/s

30 km/s + 230 km/s + 40 km/s + 600 km/s =
900 km/s

So 900 * 60 * 60 = 3,240,000km/hr

For Americans that’s: 2,013,242 miles/hr

YOU are in the FLOW

Let the politicians say what they want, it doesn’t matter.


Shortly after the universe was born, it was plunged into darkness. The first stars turned on when hot gas coalesced around clumps of dark matter, then contracted and became dense enough to ignite the nuclear hearts of infant suns.

As those early stars began breathing ultraviolet light into the cosmos, their photons mingled with primordial hydrogen gas, causing it to absorb background radiation and become translucent. When that happened, those hydrogen atoms produced radio waves that traveled through space at a predictable frequency, which astronomers can still observe today with radio telescopes.

The same process is going on in modern stars as they continue to send light into the cosmos. But the radio waves produced by those first stellar gasps have been traveling through space for so long that they’ve been stretched, or redshifted. That’s how astronomers identified the fingerprints of the earliest stars in radio waves detected by a small antenna in western Australia.

Earliest stars of the universe

An updated time line of the universe shows the first stars being born by about 180 million years after the big bang. `

Take a look at this SITE to learn about the early UNIVERSE and COSMIC REIONIZATIONS.

KIDDIES here are MY punch-lines from a story written by Bob Dylan:

Half the people can be part-right all of the time
Some of the people can be all-right part of the time
But all of the people can’t be all-right all of the time
I think Abraham Lincoln said that
I’ll let you in my dream if I can be in yours
I said that …. Bob Dylan

Carry On in the FLOW
I said that …. Ted Pateas

Aircraft wing

I just flew from JFK to CDG on an Airbus 330 in a first class seat and connected in Paris to an Air France 220. On the AF flight I was on standby and got the last seat available, 28 A. I had a good view of the wing and although it was raining I got some interesting shots of the left wing. Here is what it looked like just before we started taxiing out:

Notice the rear of the wing is all in line. On the way to the runway, the pilots set the flaps for takeoff. Here is an image of that:

You can see that the flaps have been extended.

Later we landed at Berlin Brandenburg and the flaps were extended for landing. You can see the flaps were extended further giving the wing the ability to fly the plane at about 135 miles per hour to help the pilots land and then stop the aircraft on the runway.

In the shot above, you can see the aileron at the left end of the wing. There is another aileron on the right wing and when the pilots want to turn the aircraft, they roll the yoke into the turn. If they want to turn left, the left aileron will elevate, that will reduce the lift on the left wing while the right aileron will be lowered increasing the lift on the right wing and the aircraft will go into a roll to the left. The aircraft will start turning to the left. When they get to the heading they want, the pilots will center the yoke and the aircraft will roll level.

Above the flaps there are spoilers. The two spoilers to the left are in flight spoilers and they can be raised in flight to slow the aircraft down. Using them causes some loss of fuel efficiency because they prevent the aircraft from slowing down by cruising forward with the throttles closed. The pilots in Berlin tried to avoid using inflight spoilers to preserve fuel efficiency.

The spoiler to the right, close to the fuselage is a ground spoiler and comes up on the ground along with the flight spoilers to help force the airplane to slow down.. The image below shows the spoilers up on the runway after landing

Below is a view is a Pan Am plane with flaps extended for landing.

In the shot above you can see the stabilizer, which rotates to trim the aircraft as the weight changes while we burn fuel in flight. That gets set by trim switches in the cockpit. Behind the stabilizer there are elevators that the pilots use to start a descent or a climb. And standing vertically is the rudder and on the back end there is a panel that can be used to trim the aircraft if you loose power on an engine.

So, you now have an idea how pilots control a plane in flight.

FLOW ~~~~

Married women were asked how many children they had borne, and children born between January and April of 1950 were tallied on special “infant cards” — another 17 questions long.

The infant cards were not retained. But answers from the census forms were coded onto punch cards and tabulated, for the first time ever, on a UNIVAC I computer, 16,000 pounds and 5,000 vacuum tubes of calculating muscle. Then the census forms were photographed, transferred to nearly 6,400 microfilm rolls and shipped to the National Archives for a 72-year rest.

A “climate of opinion” is established in civilisations, and we will visually demonstrate that it is this climate, rather than direct borrowing or transmission, that is the underlying force guiding intellectual inquiry.

This climate would be, of course, as capable of influencing scientific inquiry as it is of guiding any other conceptualization.

How does this work in the cosmic web?

How did it work in the Big Bang which was neither big nor gave a bang.

That is the WORK of VP Berlin, to visually demonstrate that this “climate of opinion” works in Human history and explore how it can work in the Cosmic Web.

Sitting alone in my home on L’Ecluse Lane, I envisioned what could have come before the “Big Bang” and the thought occurred:



We are ALL in the FLOW …

This I-Phone weighs 1/4 of a pound and IT has more than 10 times the computing power of the UNIVAC I, which weighed 16,000 pounds. If we take that process forward 75 years how much will the computer weigh and what will it’s computing power be? We won’t get down to the size of a Proton but it would be a very small and somehow run in Quantum Computing. and that would be astronomically higher in computing power than this I Phone.

“Quantum computing will be a significant advancement in the way we use computers, and will revolutionise many areas of society. This leap from classical computing will be able to be utilised for a massive variety of research and industry tasks, such as weather forecasting, business intelligence (Pandey & Ramesh, 2015), and medical research (Parsons, 2011). All this advancement, however, does not come without cyber security risks, and many cryptographers believe that “we are in a race against time to deploy post-quantum cryptography before quantum computers arrive” (Bernstein & Lange, 2017). 

The threat of quantum computing to secure encryption is legitimate, provided that post-quantum cryptography is not rigorously developed and deployed before quantum computers are able to break current encryption.”

But what will they do for Homo Sapiens living on Earth NOW ? Will they help us find ETHICS ? Will they help us in FINANCIAL DISTRIBUTIONS ?

These computer technology changes will lead to what in visual descriptions of place and time?

Will we be able to trace all religions through all time and show the life style that was lived ?

RELIGIONS in all their forms…. :









    How many factors do you have to play:
            DESCENT vs MILES over the ground.
            RUNWAY in use
            MILES and TIME to fly

    DO IT ALL BY HAND FLYING THE PLANE, CLOSE THE THROTTLES and touch them again at 700 feet above the ground, just as you put the gear down… you are in the FLOW …..

(Pan Am Internal German Service IGS,
never hurt a passenger in 43 years of flying.)

The quotes below came from:

Deduce the existence of something without using any existential premises. Logicians should feel no more ashamed of their inability to perform this deduction than geometers should feel ashamed at being unable to square the circle.

“for from nothing to being there is no logical bridge” (1911, 40). James concludes: “The question of being is the darkest in all philosophy. All of us are beggars here, and no school can speak disdainfully of another or give itself superior airs” (1911, 46).

Relativistic-quantum-field-theoretical vacuum states—no less than giraffes or refrigerators or solar systems—are particular arrangements of elementary physical stuff. The true relativistic-quantum-field-theoretical equivalent to there not being any physical stuff at all isn’t this or that particular arrangement of the fields—what it is (obviously, and ineluctably, and on the contrary) is the simple absence of the fields!

The fact that some arrangements of fields happen to correspond to the existence of particles and some don’t is not a whit more mysterious than the fact that some of the possible arrangements of my fingers happen to correspond to the existence of a fist and some don’t.

And the fact that particles can pop in and out of existence, over time, as those fields rearrange themselves, is not a whit more mysterious than the fact that fists can pop in and out of existence, over time, as my fingers rearrange themselves.

And none of these poppings—if you look at them aright—amount to anything even remotely in the neighborhood of a creation from nothing.


It’s 3/20/22, Covid is wriggling, Russia is attacking Ukrainia with more than 4 million people having fled to neighboring countries. On Tuesday there will be a national election in Hungary with Orban, an authoritarian leader who is pro Putin now, running against a small city mayor who is pro NATO and the European Commission and democracy. No free press, the Judiciary in his control, the universities controlled by him, Orban is the favorite. We will see.

With this post I am trying to learn how to use WordPress to help me build this blog. Now I want to send all my readers to a different post/page. Let’s see if I can do that.

Yes, I can do that with a menu. I will create that now.

I created a menu and installed it on the blog. Now you will see CONSILIENCE listed on the home page because of that menu. Aha!!

Be well and enjoy spring and summer.

CONSILIENCE … February 2022

You may have no idea what this word means, but all the homo sapiens on Earth are headed towards it.

It requires looking at our behavior through the windows of biology, neuroscience, chemistry, electrical signals and cultures. It requires that we look at the environment with historical truths of physical changes and their results.

If you want to get a good grounding in understanding CONSILIENCE, I recommend that you read Edward O. Wilson’s book CONSILIENCE. I have read it several times and it has helped my understanding of complexities.

We want to offer some REAL information into this blog, so here we go.

Here is a schematic of the homo sapien brain. This is the tool through which we view the cosmos.

We will have to USE our brains, with the brains of all the Homo Sapiens who share this Earth with us. To get to CONSILIENCE, we will have to AGREE that there is a Universal Reality that we can examine through Scientific research and through dialogues we can get to a consiliatory conclusion of what this Universe we live in MIGHT look like, if our Science is accurate.

We will NEED to understand that our decisions and our behavior are influenced by our INDIVIDUAL understanding of what kind of Universe we live in, what it’s history has been, how our individual cultures were formed and how our Global Universal understanding is being achieved through Global Scientific research.

Let’s take a look at what the world has so far uncovered, in studying the Universe that we live in.

This an image of the Universe’s Cosmic Background Radiation. There is an interesting story about the two scientists at the Bell Labs who discovered it 1n 1965, but that will have to wait, because in 1992, the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite made the first detection analogous to seeing “mountains on the surface of the Earth”: it detected cosmological fluctuations in the microwave background temperature. That experimentation was aided by the (WMAP) Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe that was launched in 2001. When ALL the analysis was done, the scientists discovered a very SMALL difference in temperatures. The hot regions are 0.0002 degrees Kelvin hotter than the cold regions.

That caused Stephen Hawking to say it was the World’s most important discovery, because THAT was the reason we have galaxies in our Universe. WMAP wins the Fundamental Physics Award awarded to Charles L. Bennett, Gary Hinshaw, Norman Jarosik, Lyman Page Jr., David N. Spergel, and the 27 member WMAP Science Team.

Here we can see an image of the timeline of our Universe. Look at the left side and you can SEE the subatomic Flow and the Plank time that occurred immediately after the Big Bang. Notice that the afterglow LIGHT pattern emerged 400,000 years after the BB. The green sliver is the Cosmic Background Radiation.

You can read about this in the Professor Loeb’s web site: Professor Loeb wrote: “I look up into the sky at night, I often wonder whether we humans are too preoccupied with ourselves. There is much more to the universe than meets the eye on earth. As an astrophysicist I have the privilege of being paid to think about it, and it puts things in perspective for me. There are things that I would otherwise be bothered by—my own death, for example. Everyone will die sometime, but when I see the universe as a whole, it gives me a sense of longevity. I do not care so much
about myself as I would otherwise, because of the big picture.”

Here is the big picture of the birth of the Universe.



That is my only answer. Start at the Quantum level and climb into the Universe. What other thought can rise to the level of axiology?


The philosopher asks whether something is of value because it is desired, as subjectivists such as Perry hold, or whether it is desired because it has value, as objectivists such as Moore and Nicolai Hartmann claim. In both approaches, value judgments are assumed to have a cognitive status, and the approaches differ only on whether a value exists as a property of something independently of human interest in it or desire for it. Noncognitivists, on the other hand, deny the cognitive status of value judgments, holding that their main function is either emotive, as the positivist A.J. Ayer maintains, or prescriptive, as the analyst R.M. Hare holds. Existentialists, such as Jean-Paul Sartre, emphasizing freedom, decision, and choice of one’s values, also appear to reject any logical or ontological connection between value and fact.


In truth, Nothingness is, for the existentialists, possible existence, as the negation of the reality of fact. Sartre wrote: “The possible is the something which the For-itself lacks in order to be itself”; it is what the subject lacks in order to be an object; thus, it does not exist except as a lacking.

The same is true of value, which is such insofar as it does not exist. For even when value occurs or is perceived in certain acts, it lies beyond them and constitutes the limit or the goal toward which they aim. Analogously, knowledge, in which the object (the in-itself) presents itself to consciousness (the for-itself), is a relationship of nullification, because the object cannot be offered to consciousness except as that which is not consciousness. Furthermore, another existence is such insofar as it is not mine; thus, the negation is “the constitutive structure of the being-of-others.”


Here is a playlist to use in wondering! Copy it and go to it through your browser.

If anybody thinks of a better thought than FREEDOM to use in axiology, please let me know.

Challenger 28 January 1986

Today, 10 March 2021, there was an obituary for, Allan McDonald, one of the Morton Thiokol engineers, who worked so hard to keep the Challenger from being launched. There was a problem with the O ring design of the missile.

Here is an image of the missile they were using:

The solid-fuel booster rockets whose failure is a cause of the Jan. 28 explosion of the space shuttle Challenger were made by Morton Thiokol Inc. at a sprawling mountain production site a few miles east of Brigham City, and 10 miles from Promontory Point, where the western and eastern legs of the transcontinental railroad were joined in a historic ceremony May 10, 1869.

These solid fuel rockets were transported on railroad cars. And, the tunnels for these cars were built to cover the tracks that were built, the way the English built tracks. The English used the ox-cart tracks left by the Romans when they invaded England. Julius Cesar invaded in 55 BC and the Roman Empire was in England from 43 BC to 410 AD. So, the missiles were built to the width of ox-carts.

These missiles had O ring seals that could not be accurate when the launch occurred after an extended period of cold weather. These seals shrank too much to offer the protection that was needed to keep the missile together. The engineers and the scientists all knew that. NASA knew that.

The scientists and engineers could say what they wanted to say, but nobody was listening. It was like Trump with: “the pandemic will go away”. The politicians wanted that teacher in space so Reagan could show the world how COOL he was.

Because, the REAL cause of the disaster was that President Ronald Reagan intended to speak by radio to the teacher that NASA had placed on the astronaut’s crew, during his State of the Union speech that he intended to give on national TV on January 28th. I know that because WBAI reported it when this disaster struck. You can’t find it in the history of the disaster but the kids know how to do the hacking. They will find it!

The five astronauts and two payload specialists that made up the STS 51-L crew aboard the space shuttle Challenger in January of 1986. Crew members are (left to right, front row) astronauts Michael J. Smith, Francis R. (Dick) Scobee and Ronald E. McNair; and Ellison S. Onizuka, Sharon Christa McAuliffeGregory Jarvis and Judith A. Resnik.

Christa McAuliffe—Payload Specialist, Teacher

As the other payload specialist, McAuliffe was a social studies teacher at Concord High School in New Hampshire when she was selected from more than 11,000 applicants to join NASA’s Teacher in Space Project in 1985. She received a bachelor’s degree in history and education from Framingham State College in 1970 and eventually received her master’s in education, supervision, and administration from Bowie University in 1978.

While in space, McAuliffe was planning lessons to teach her students from the shuttle. Among the lessons, she was slated to give a presentation about space travel titled “Where We’ve Been, Where We’re Going, Why.” After the explosion and her death, several honors were bestowed on her posthumously.

The most serious impact of Ronald Reagan on education was his failure to affirm public education as an essential need for strengthening the nation. He wanted to talk to Christa McAuliffe on national TV to boost his image.

Training tales 1966

VR-3 assigned me to be an instructor aircraft commander in February of 1966. I did all kinds of training. I did annual training, aircraft commander upgrade training, tactical training and instrument training. Here are a few tales of the training I did.


We would go out on paratroop drops and we did that at low level. We would leave McGuire and fly at 500 feet across the Delaware river, turn left and flying up the coast over the Atlantic, parallel to Seaside Heights, NJ and then head in for a drop at the Lakehurst drop zone. We would raise up too 1200 feet and the Navigator would give the jump sign and out the paratroopers would go. One of the Majors who we dropped brought some cornstalks back to VR-3 for the navigator who put him in the cornfield. Below a C-130 dropping a test dummy at Lakehurst.


The Tactical Air Command gave us orders to train our pilots to come into Vietnam airfields at 1200 feet above the airport’s altitude and make a breaking turn over the approach end of the runway in order to prevent ground machine gun fire hitting our planes on the approach. To accomplish this maneuver we would close our throttles over the runway and make a descending turn. We would hold off putting our gear down until we got slow enough to extend them for landing. With the throttles closed, when the C-130 went through 1000 feet above the ground a warning horn would sound to indicate the throttles were closed and the gear was not down. We briefed our pilots to allow that horn to keep blowing as a reminder to lower their gear.

I did this training with many of our pilots, including the Four Stripe Commanding Officer of VR-3, Captain Montunnas. I gave him the briefing NOT TO SILENCE the horn. Well, when we hit the end of the runway, he went into the turn and started slowing down and descending. When we went through 1000 feet the horn started to sound. He said: “Silence the horn.” I didn’t because of my briefing but he said it again. This time, I silenced the horn. I reached across and turned off his radio reception with the tower. Then I told the tower I was an instructor and knew the landing gear was not down and asked them not to say anything about that on the radio. Then, I turned his radio back on. We kept coming in for the landing and when we got to about 150 feet above the ground, I said: “I have the airplane. Look at your gear.” So, we had to go back out and do it again.


I went out one Sunday morning with several pilots who needed to make some instrument approaches. To do that, I would go to Atlantic City airport where there were two runways and various navigational radio facilities. We were too heavy for landing when we first got there, so I asked the pilot flying to enter a holding pattern. As he did that, which he did correctly, I started setting the ADF radio for an ADF approach. I was looking down at the ADF tuner. The plane was at 20,000 feet and we were 20 miles out over the Atlantic. We were working Atlantic City radar control. All of a sudden, I felt a large bump and looked up. All I saw was the side of a Navy P-3 airplane. It was a turbo prop like the C-130 and was also at 20,000 feet. He was heading from Navy New York to Jacksonville, Florida and he was east of his flight path by at least 10 miles. I got through the flight work with the first pilot flying and then called it off and went back to McGuire. That was as close as I ever got to having a mid-air collision.


I had to demonstrate that the C-130 could be stopped in 800 feet. To demonstrate that I went to the Willow Grove Naval air station in Pennsylvania. If you look at the image below, you can see the first taxiway to the right. That was 800 feet from the end of the run way and I would land on the end and taxi off on that taxiway, to prove that not could be done.


I was asked to upgrade a 1st pilot to be an aircraft commander. The pilot was a graduate of the Naval Academy and was a full Lieutenant. He was a wonderful guy and really great to be around, but he was not a very good pilot. The most demanding maneuver in the aircraft commander upgrade training was to make an approach to an airport with two engines inoperative on one wing and then making a circular landing to another runway, as if the approach got you to the airport but you had to circle to land into the wind on another runway. Normally, I would do that at Atlantic City, but to make it easier for him I decided to do it at McGuire where there was only one runway. So, we had to make the approach to one end of the runway and then fly up the runway, turn around and face the opposite end of the runway for landing.

I briefed him that the pilot would not put the gear down until we were facing inbound to the runway for landing because you can not control the C-130 at slow speeds on only two engines. Well, we made the approach and arrived at the airport and started down the field to the opposite end of the runway. When we got abeam the end of the runway, he called:”Gear Down.” At this point we were not facing the run way, we still had to turn 180 degrees. I did not put the gear down. He had the #1 and #2 engines working and he had to turn to the right into the “dead engines”. As we started into the turn, he called for the gear again. This time, I put the gear down. As they came out, it was harder and harder for him to keep the turn going. By this time we were at about 400 feet above the ground. He said: “We can’t get turned to the runway.” I said: “What are you going to do?” He said: “Go around.” I said: “Good.” At which point he pushed the 2 “good engines” throttles up. The left wing raised high in the turn. We were at about 200 feet above the ground. I said:”I have the aircraft.” I pulled the power off the two engines and then added power on all four engines and climbed out of there.

He asked what we were going ton do next and I said we are going to land and we are going to have a debriefing. As we were leaving the airplane the mechanic who was sitting between us whispered in my ear “Mr. Pateas, you don’t mind if I never fly with you again.”

When we did the debriefing I told him that nI would not recommend him for upgrade to aircraft commander.

Voter Fraud 6 January 2021

What happened at the Capitol today was disgusting and a shock to American democracy. Trump was the actor in this show but he didn’t event the idea of the “stolen” election. It has been around since the civil war and has to do with white supremacy. Here is an article written in the NY Times on Saturday the 16th of January 2021. It was written by Jamelle Boulle. Everybody who reads this blog should read this article and understand it’s impact on life in America.


To explain the attack on the Capitol, you can’t just turn your focus to Donald Trump and his enablers. You must also look at the individuals and institutions that fanned fears of “voter fraud” to the point of hysteria among conservative voters, long before Trump. Put another way, the difference between a riot seeking to overturn an election and an effort to suppress opposing votes is one of legality, not intent. And it doesn’t take many steps to get from one to the other.
Conservative belief in pervasive Democratic Party voter fraud goes back decades — and rests on racist and nativist tropes that date back to Reconstruction in the South and Tammany Hall in the North — but the modern obsession with fraud dates back to the 2000 election. That year, Republicans blamed Democratic fraud for narrow defeats in New Mexico, which George W. Bush lost by just a few hundred votes, and Missouri, where the incumbent senator, John Ashcroft, lost his re-election battle to a dead man.
Ashcroft’s opponent, Mel Carnahan, was killed three weeks earlier in a plane crash, but his name was still on the ballot, with his wife running in his stead. Shocked Republicans blamed Ashcroft’s defeat on fraud. At Ashcroft’s election-night party, the state’s senior Republican senator, Kit Bond, said, “Democrats in the city of St. Louis are trying to steal this election.”
In 2001, as the newly minted attorney general under President George W. Bush, Ashcroft announced a crackdown on voter fraud. “America has failed too often to uphold the right of every citizen’s vote, once cast, to be counted fairly and equally,” he said at a news conference that March:
Votes have been bought, voters intimidated and ballot boxes stuffed. The polling process has been disrupted or not completed. Voters have been duped into signing absentee ballots believing they were applications for public relief. And the residents of cemeteries have infamously shown up at the polls on Election Day.
The Republican National Committee supported this push, claiming to have evidence that thousands of voters had cast more than one ballot in the same election.

Over the ensuing years, under pressure from the White House ahead of the presidential election in 2004, the Justice Department ramped up its crusade against voter fraud. Of particular interest was ACORN, a now-defunct advocacy organization that was working — as the presidential election got underway — to register hundreds of thousands of low-income voters. Swing-state Republicans accused the group of “manufacturing voters,” and federal prosecutors looked, unsuccessfully, for evidence of wrongdoing. Later, Karl Rove would press President Bush’s second attorney general, Alberto Gonzales, to fire a number of U.S. attorneys for failure to investigate voter fraud allegations, leading to a scandal that eventually led to Gonzales’s resignation in 2007.
ACORN and voter fraud would remain a bête noire for Republicans for the rest of the decade. Conservative advocacy groups and media organizations produced a steady stream of anti-ACORN material and, as the 2008 election campaign heated up, did everything they could to tie Democratic candidates, and Barack Obama in particular, to a group they portrayed as radical and dangerous. ACORN, Rush Limbaugh said in one characteristic segment, has “been training young Black kids to hate, hate, hate this country.”
During his second debate with Obama, a few weeks before the election, the Republican nominee, John McCain, charged that ACORN “is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.” And his campaign materials similarly accused Obama, Joe Biden and the Democratic Party of orchestrating a vast conspiracy of fraud. “We’ve always known the Obama-Biden Democrats will do anything to win this November, but we didn’t know how far their allies would go,” read one mailer. “The Obama-supported, far-left group, ACORN, has been accused of voter-registration fraud in a number of battleground states.”
McCain and the Republican Party devoted much of the last weeks of the election to a voter fraud scare campaign with ACORN as the villain. And while, in the wake of the election, these allegations of illegal voting never panned out, the conservative fixation with voter fraud would continue into the Obama years and beyond.

Not that this was a shock. As an accusation, “voter fraud” has been used historically to disparage the participation of Black voters and immigrants — to cast their votes as illegitimate. And Obama came to office on the strength of historic turnout among Black Americans and other nonwhite groups. To the conservative grass roots, Obama’s very presence in the White House was, on its face, evidence that fraud had overtaken American elections.
In 2011, Republicans in Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin capitalized on their legislative gains to pass new voter restrictions under the guise of election protection. Other states slashed early voting and made it more difficult to run registration drives. One 2013 study found that in states with “unencumbered Republican majorities” and large Black populations, lawmakers were especially likely to pass new voter identification laws and other restrictions on the franchise.
The 2012 election saw more of the same accusations of voter fraud. Donald Trump, who had flirted with running for president that year, called the election a “total sham and a travesty” and claimed that Obama had “lost the popular vote by a lot.” According to one survey taken after the election, 49 percent of Republican voters said they thought ACORN had stolen the election for the president.
ACORN, however, no longer existed. It closed its doors in 2010 after Congress stripped it of federal funding in the aftermath of a scandal stoked by right-wing provocateurs, whose accusations have since been discredited.
The absence of any evidence for voter fraud was not, for Republicans, evidence of its absence. Freed by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Shelby County v. Holder, which ended federal “preclearance” of election laws in much of the South, Republican lawmakers passed still more voter restrictions, each justified as necessary measures in the war against fraud.
Prominent Republican voices continued to spread the myth. “I’ve always thought in this state, close elections, presidential elections, it means you probably have to win with at least 53 percent of the vote to account for fraud,” Scott Walker, then the governor of Wisconsin, said in a 2014 interview with The Weekly Standard. “One or two points, potentially.”
Rank-and-file Republicans had already been marinating in 16 years of concentrated propaganda about the prevalence of voter fraud by the time Donald Trump claimed, in 2016, that Hillary Clinton had won the popular vote with millions of illegal ballots. If Republican voters today are quick to believe baroque conspiracy theories about fabricated and stolen votes, then it has quite a lot to do with the words and actions of a generation of mainstream Republican politicians who refused to accept that a Democratic majority was a legitimate majority.

The narrative of fraud and election theft that spurred the mob that stormed the Capitol would be unintelligible without the work of the Republican Party, which inculcated this idée fixe in its voters. “Stop the Steal” wasn’t a Trump innovation as much as it was a new spin on an old product line that, even after the violence on Jan. 6, Republicans are still selling.