By Jason Taylor
Having tried to reason with the Breitbart and Fox News crowd, there is only one apparent weakness to Trump. His upcoming failures. He will never completely lose the MAGA/Drain the Swamp crowd. They are full of bluster and will vote against anything labeled with a “D” no matter what the issue is.
The only thing that will change is that by alienating the educated, more moderate GOP he fails to get a majority vote on anything. After failing long enough, then disillusionment with Trump will begin, and his blaming others will lose its efficacy. A coalition of Democrats and moderate Republicans has and can continue to nullify Trump, as well it should.
Trump worries me. His supporters frighten me. They chose an inexperienced, thrice-married, narcissistic, failed businessman. Now they revel in his willful ignorance, his childish tantrums, and his lies — or they excuse these behaviors. Many Trump supporters seem to be more close-minded, more angry and defensive than ever. They are invested in his lies. Their sense of aggrieved entitlement matches his. Trump didn’t invent the mindset; he’s just using it to mask his ignorance and attend to his needs.
The Republican party professed outrage when the president used their party to launch his presidential bid, yet acquiesced over time and assimilated him into their fold with the raucous approval of the Republican primary voting base. The GOP knew how toxic the nominee-to-be was, yet, after expressing the obligatory shock at being appalled at his behavior, they embraced him, even if they did wrestle with their consciences.
The president’s enablers are his base, followed by Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, John Kelly and James Mattis who try to explain and excuse the president’s abnormal behavior. The president’s pathological lying is beside the point to his supporters. They know who he is and are okay with what America has become.
62 million Americans weighed the alternatives last November and cast their ballots accordingly. Lying was less of a crime than the use of a private email server. Lying was preferable to conforming to the niceties of political correctness. Lying was pardoned if it demeaned the black president and sullied the public service record of his opponent. Lying was condoned if it targeted minorities and women whose rightful place in American society was always a cause for resentment. Bearing false witness has now become as American as apple pie.
The tendency to compare a politician to Hitler is known as Godwin’s law, coined by Mike Godwin, and Charles Blow at the New York Times always does a superb job of adding proper context. As Godwin commented in 2015, “If you’re thoughtful about it and show some real awareness of history, go ahead and refer to Hitler when you talk about Trump. Or any other politician.”
We also shouldn’t leave Joseph Goebbels out of the Trump and Republican discussion given the colossal untruths and hot air that form the bedrock of the Grand Old Prevarication party.
“Success is the important thing. Propaganda is not a matter for average minds, but rather a matter for practitioners. It is not supposed to be lovely or theoretically correct. I do not care if I give wonderful, aesthetically elegant speeches, or speak so that women cry. The point of a political speech is to persuade people of what we think right. I speak differently in the provinces than I do in Berlin, and when I speak in Bayreuth, I say different things than I say in the Pharus Hall. That is a matter of practice, not of theory. We do not want to be a movement of a few straw brains, but rather a movement that can conquer the broad masses. Propaganda should be popular, not intellectually pleasing. It is not the task of propaganda to discover intellectual truths.”
― Joseph Goebbels
As Trump and the GOP trash America with Birther Lies, Trickle-Down Lies, Healthcare Lies, and fake Presidents, they do a masterful job incinerating the American common good.
Last night I heard a pundit explain that Trump’s lies escalate in direct proportion to the fear he’s feeling. That may be true, what about the fear Americans are feeling by his policies and his threats? From the DACA teen studying at Yale whose dad was whisked away at a traffic light to the chemo patient who depends on the ACA that’s being destroyed before our very eyes. Lest we forget a Tax Bill designed for the rich. Our social fabric is being torn apart.
Trump’s lies are also scary because he spouts so many as if he’s getting them from some netherworld. I’m sometimes astounded by their gall — it’s a sad moment indeed when Trump resorts to the cudgel that whatever he’s doing, President Obama was worse. Of course, his lies are easily verifiable but so what? If an audience likes what they hear and chooses to accept it all carte blanche, there’s not much the rest of us can do to convince them otherwise.
And this is where I get infuriated at the wedge this man has driven through American society. All to protect his fragile “ego,” as if that were the overriding goal for America. I don’t believe Donald Trump can stop the lying or the false promises — it’s in his DNA to build himself up at expense of truth. But just once, I wish his base would stop believing so willingly. But, I don’t see that happening. Not right now.
Trump has no credibility, no moral authority and no legitimacy left. All he contributes to the country these days is chaos, hatred, and division.