The predominant strategy of Donald Trump’s campaign for reelection has been to grossly mischaracterize Joe Biden as a wild-eyed socialist bent on destroying America. That’s a preposterous accusation that voters have already rejected. But it hasn’t dampened Trump’s zealous crusade to smear Biden and bring down his favorable ratings to the lows where Trump has been languishing throughout his presidency.
On Thursday morning Trump’s (soon to be former) Senior White House Counselor and Director of Alternative Facts, Kellyanne Conway, held court with the Trump administration’s Ministry of Propaganda (aka Fox News) to articulate what has become a familiar theme this election season. Trump and his Republican confederates have been furiously assaulting Democrats and citizen protesters as anarchists and vandals, despite the fact that most of the demonstrations have been overwhelmingly peaceful, and much of the violence was actually perpetrated by right-wing StormTrumpers. Conway told the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends that inciting violence is now a key component of the Trump electoral strategy:
"The more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, the better it is for the very clear choice on who's best on public safety and law and order" — Kellyanne Conway makes a case that the killings of peaceful protesters will benefit Trump politically pic.twitter.com/ClJ6ArrbkE
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 27, 2020
Really? Conway is expressly admitting that violence in the streets is a political advantage for the Trump campaign. Which might explain why his supporters are engaging in violence everywhere they go. It isn’t a spontaneous response to events on the ground. It’s a pre-planned tactic to advance Trump’s floundering electoral prospects. And Fox News is a partner in this heinous scheme. Wednesday night Tucker Carlson actually defended the Trump-supporting shooter of demonstrators in Kenosha, Wisconsin:
Tucker Carlson: "How shocked are we that 17 year olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would?" pic.twitter.com/6jf59YW60U
— Brendan Karet ? (@bad_takes) August 27, 2020
Trump and company nevertheless insist that the unrest seen in many cities, due to the unthinkably numerous incidents of police brutality and murder of Black citizens, is what will occur across the country if Biden is elected. What they are are too dense to notice is that this is what is occurring right now in Trump’s America. Trump is making the ludicrous argument that if you don’t like what’s going on now, then vote for Trump on whose watch this all took place.
The absurdity of this “logic” is apparent to anyone with a functioning brain. That, of course, leaves out Trump’s cult followers who are already irredeemably lost in a perverse, reality TV simulation of the real world. And to those misfits, Conway’s confession that more violence will help Trump get reelected is an unambiguous call to arms. She is deliberately fueling the sort of incidents that just got two innocent people killed in Kenosha.
And make no mistake, Trump is the instigator behind all of this. He supports it and will contribute to it with the intention of exacerbating further tensions and tragedies. The problem for Trump is that he has very little left in his electoral arsenal. He cannot rehabilitate his repugnant public image. He cannot restore confidence after his negligent and incompetent mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic. And he can’t brag about the economy after leading the nation into recession.
So Trump is leaning on an array of dirty dealings: character assassination of Biden and other Democrats; cheating by vote suppression and assaults on election integrity; assistance from his Russian pal Vladimir Putin and networks of right-wing Internet bots; and setting cities aflame to foment fear borne of ignorance and racism. That’s how Trump is befouling democracy in 2020. And he doesn’t care about the consequences. So the rest of us need to care all the more.
UPDATE: Joe Biden addressed this issue today. In an interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN he quoted Conway’s remarks saying that Trump is “rooting for violence.”
— CNN (@CNN) August 27, 2020
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.