“No one has ever doubted that truth and politics are on rather bad terms with each other, and no one, as far as I know, has ever counted truthfulness among the political virtues,” wrote Hannah Arendt in 1967. Today, concerns run especially high over the fraught relationship between truth and politics, as majorities of Republican voters in some polls reportedly believe the “Big Lie” peddled by Donald Trump and many other political and media elites that the election was stolen from Trump through widespread fraud. Much of the discussion of the Big Lie has been ahistorical: It has focused on the strange and disturbing particularities of the present moment. But how unique is this kind of political lie in the United States? What does it reveal about American democracy? And how much of a threat do lies pose to the democratic order?