Harry S. Motherfucking Truman wrote:...That brings me to another danger which threatens our democracy from within, and that is the "big lie." The "big lie" is a weapon of political warfare which was developed by the Communists and perfected by Hitler, and is now being used on a worldwide scale by the Soviet Union.
The technique of the "big lie" consists of two things. It consists first of making a charge against one's opponents which is frightening and horrible and so extreme that nobody could believe that a decent person would make it if it were not true. Hitler explained this very clearly. He said that if a lie is bold enough people will think there is some truth in it because it would never occur to them, in their own experience, to lie on such an exaggerated scale.
The second part of the "big lie" technique is to keep repeating the lie over and over again, ignoring all proof to the contrary.
The "big lie" technique is immoral and subversive. It is not a weapon which democratic society can afford to use. It violates the rules of the political game which underlie our constitutional form of government. It violates them in just the same way that riot and revolution violate them.
We have no place for this sort of thing in America. If we permit its use, our constitutional form of government can be destroyed. It is a tool used by Hitler and Stalin, and it is just as un-American as they are.
Unfortunately, there is a tendency in this country today to resort to the use of the "big lie" in order to reap personal and partisan advantage. It is a "big lie," for example, to say that we tolerate Communists and other disloyal persons in our Government. It is a "big lie" to attack one of the greatest generals and patriots whom this country ever had and call him a traitor.
A man who uses the weapon of the "big lie" is not a good man. He should be rejected by all good citizens, regardless of party. Partisan feeling often runs high in election campaigns. That is understandable. But it should not lead us to permit the use of this dangerous Communist technique in American politics.
--Harry S. Truman
September 17, 1952
LINK TO TRUMAN LIBRARY HERE