While America Hunkers Down, Trump Exploits the Crisis to Campaign for Reelection

Remember back in the olden times when there were Democratic primaries that dominated the news? There was a “Super” Tuesday and people were anxiously and excitedly exercising their civic duties to vote for the candidates of their choice. That all seems like so long ago. And now they are anxious for a completely different reason.

Donald Trump Virus

The remaining candidates in the Democratic presidential race – Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders – have purposefully put the brakes on their official campaign activities. That’s the responsible thing to do when a global pandemic has erupted and is spreading rapidly throughout the nation and the world. However, while the Democrats are acting responsibly, Donald Trump has chosen to behave in a manner that is consistent with his narcissistic psychoses. Even while the entire country is focusing on how to survive during these challenging times, Trump is focusing on himself and his own best political interests.

Let’s face it, Trump’s presence is utterly irrelevant at the daily Coronavirus Task Force briefings. He has no useful knowledge or experience to offer. To the contrary, he most often unleashes blatantly false “information” that his own advisers have to later refute. He wastes valuable time either attacking legitimate journalists who are asking pertinent question, or embracing propagandists whose questions are nothing more than overt suck ups. Much of his comments are simply boasting about what he asserts are unprecedented accomplishments and victories that exist only in his self-serving imagination. And he insists on presenting an absurdly rosy scenario that ignores reality and dangerously understates the risk we all face. It’s one thing to offer hope, but another to deliberately mislead.

There is only one reason that Trump is showing up at these briefings, and that is to advance his reelection prospects. He has turned what should be a vital information channel into a crass campaign PR affair. That’s why he avoids any discussion of the hardships that the American people are enduring. and it’s why he so brazenly exalts himself and his phony achievements. These are nothing but extended political ads for Trump. They are also Trump’s replacement for the cult rallies that he can no longer have.

In addition to Trump’s cynical commandeering of the press briefings, he has likewise devoted his Twitter account to his reelection effort. In the past week Trump has tweeted hundreds of times. The vast majority of those have been retweets of two varieties: Fox News bootlickers lavishing undue praise on him. And messages from his Republican Senate comrades (more than 50 in three days). It is impossible to miss the fact that Trump incessantly retweets only GOP members of Congress bragging about legislation to address the health – physically and financially – of the American people. It’s as if there aren’t any Democrats working on these bills, despite the fact that they authored most of them.

The lengths that Trump is going to to make Democrats invisible is further evidence of his politicization of this crisis. He will need a Republican majority in congress if (gawd forbid) he is reelected in November. So these retweets are another thinly veiled campaign tactic on Trump’s part. Virtually every reference to Democrats on his Twitter feed is negative. That is not how a conscientious leader would work to bring the nation together in turbulent times.

The bottom line is that Trump isn’t interest in bringing people together. He’s only interested in extending his power and disparaging his perceived enemies. He may think he’s clever by trying to disguise his political ambitions in staged press briefings and innocuous tweets, but the only people he’s fooling are his glassy-eyed cult disciples and – unfortunately – some members of the press.

If the media were living up to the principles that govern a free press, they would cease to cover his briefings live. There would be nothing lost by taping the events and spending a few minutes fact-checking before putting them on the air. But it would prevent more disinformation from being disseminated to the public. And it would stop Trump from unscrupulously hijacking otherwise vital communications to get free ad time.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

And then there’s this…..

GOOD CALL: Political Pundit Trump Predicts America is Getting More Anti-Trump

The daily schedule of alleged president Donald Trump is typically a short list of non-presidential activities such as as golfing, tweeting, watching Fox News, and headlining cult rallies filled with lies and hatred for his perceived political foes. And as of late Trump has taken a keen new interest in election punditry with his unique analyses littering his Twitter feed.

Donald Trump

In recent weeks Trump has posted repeated commentaries on the progress of the Democratic primary season. He is mostly expressing a bizarre and obviously disingenuous concern that Bernie Sanders is being treated poorly by a party that is rigging the primaries against him. In addition to that Trump frequently opines on how his recent tribulations with impeachment have actually benefited him and his Republican cohorts. But on Monday morning, Trump contributed what may be his most accurate prediction for the Democratic campaign yet:

To be clear, the accuracy of this tweet is not that either Sen. Chuck Schumer or Rep. Jerrold Nadler are at risk for being defeated. They are both expected to have overwhelming victories in both their primaries and in the general election. And every poll indicates that Nancy Pelosi will retain her position as House Speaker, and even pick up additional seats. The smart money is betting on Democrats assuming the majority in the Senate as well. So Schumer is well positioned to topple Mitch McConnell as Majority Leader.

However, what Trump may not have noticed about his prediction is that he is asserting that the nation is becoming even more progressive and, therefore, more anti-Trump. That’s the only plausible conclusion from his assertion that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez could take Schumer’s Senate seat and win statewide. Likewise, Trump’s opinion that a candidate to Nadler’s left would enjoy a victory in New York’s 10th district suggests that being farther to the left is an asset. So Trump is essentially saying that the farther a candidate is from Trump, the better their prospects for victory. I can’t say that I disagree with that.

To validate that point, Quinnipiac University released a new poll that has decidedly terrible news for Trump. They report that his “favorability rating is underwater, as 42 percent of registered voters have a favorable opinion of him, while 55 percent have an unfavorable view of him.” This doesn’t exactly affirm his delusional belief that being impeached increased his popularity or his chances of being reelected. On the latter point, Trump is shown in this poll to be trailing every one of his top Democratic opponents. According to Quinnipiac:

  • Bloomberg tops Trump 51 – 42 percent;
  • Sanders defeats Trump 51 – 43 percent;
  • Biden beats Trump 50 – 43 percent;
  • Klobuchar defeats Trump 49 – 43 percent;
  • Warren wins narrowly over Trump 48 – 44 percent;
  • Buttigieg is also slightly ahead of Trump 47 – 43 percent.

In addition to his electoral woes, America is convinced that Trump is a criminal who got away with his crimes with the help of his Republican accomplices in the Senate. The poll shows that “Despite the acquittal, voters say 55 – 40 percent that the Senate voting to acquit President Trump does not clear him of any wrongdoing in the Ukraine matter.” What’s more, “Voters say 59 – 35 percent that the Senate impeachment trial was conducted unfairly.”

If this is what Trump means when he says that “My poll numbers look great,” he is as mentally unstable as ever. Perhaps more so. He recently exhibited a severe case of paranoia by lashing out at enemies that he sees everywhere, saying that “I View Everybody as a Threat.” And he has embarked on a totalitarian style purge of his administration, including his own appointees. So it isn’t just America that is more anti-Trump. In his diseased mind, it’s even his own White House.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

The PURGE: Trump Never Learns Anything, Remains Unrepentant and Unrestrained

In the aftermath of Donald Trump’s impeachment, a flurry of frantic Republicans scurried out to insist that their irresponsible votes to let Trump off the hook for flagrant abuse of power were justifiable because Trump had learned his lesson and would sin no more. That will resonate throughout history as one of the best example of terminal naivete.

Donald Trump Zombie

It didn’t take Trump forty-eight hours to prove that he has no conscience or decency. He lashed out at his critics in Congress and then proceeded to embark on a totalitarian style purge of members of his administration who dared to tell the truth about him. And as if his frightening mental infirmities weren’t apparent enough, he stood before the press for an episode of his “Chopper Talk” parade of lies and put his clinically severe case of paranoia on full display saying that “I view everybody as a threat.”

Indeed he does. That’s why he fired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, his brother Yevgeny, and his ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland (who secured that post after donating a million dollars to Trump’s inaugural committee). And by rushing to exact this vengeance on his perceived enemies, Trump put the nation’s security further at risk, because he has no one to fill those positions at a critical time.

Now Trump is (predictably) claiming that he didn’t know Vindman, and is maligning his service to the country by commenting on his personnel record at the National Security Agency. First of all, that could be illegal as those records are confidential. Not that Trump cares about the law. But true to form, Trump is lying. Vindman’s service record in the Army and the White House is exemplary and without blemish.

These initial purges are surely just the beginning of Trump’s wholesale clearance of patriots who value honesty, service, and the principles that make America great. There is even discussion in the White House to fire Michael Atkinson, the inspector general of the intelligence community. This would be one of the most egregious acts of power-grabbing authoritarianism in U.S. history. And by the way, Atkinson was appointed by Trump in 2017. So how has Trump followed up on that Friday Night Massacre? He is gloating and celebrating what he mistakenly believes will be a political plus for him the Republican Party.

As with everything Trumpian, it all boils down to how it reflects on him personally. He has no regard for the welfare of the country or the people he is purposefully slandering. He leads off with his infantile nicknaming of Nancy Pelosi, mocking her for once losing the speakership. But he fails to recognize that she got it back in the most recent election that was a powerful rebuke of Trump and the GOP. The fact that Trump is focusing on politics at this time is evidence of how he trivializes the catastrophe he just suffered. It is also an indication of how scared he is, so he needs to deflect from the more serious aspects of his having been impeached forever.

Furthermore, Trump’s electoral analysis couldn’t be more delusional. Every poll shows that the House of Representatives will remain firmly in the control of Democrats who are predicted to pick up more seats. And numerous Republican senators are gravely at risk for losing their seats, even more so since the impeachment began. Their votes will not help them either as the vast majority of the America people wanted the Senate to hear witnesses, not to mention they want Trump removed from office.

The tyrannical aspirations of Trump have never been more obvious. And the prospects for his future betrayals and violation of the law are increasing exponentially as he descends further into his delusion, panic, and desperation for survival and the worship of his cult followers in congress, the press, and the public. This will not end well for him – or them.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump’s Reality TV SOTU: From ‘American Carnage’ to ‘The Mentality of American Decline’

Donald Trump has outdone himself again. His 2020 State of the Union address was a steaming heap of negativity, institutionalized hate, and flagrant lies. He has followed up his infamous “American Carnage” inaugural address with a speech that was rife with disrespect for the nation and its diverse people. By disparaging our recent history as “the mentality of American decline,” he is proving again that he despises what actually makes America great.

Donald Trump TV Set

Trump’s SOTU most closely resembled another episode of his reality TV game show past. He was handing out medals, staging family reunions, and most of all, bragging about himself and insulting his predecessors. He set the tone at the beginning by refusing to shake Pelosi’s hand. and the Republicans tainted the affair politically with chants of “four more years.” The awarding of the Medal of Freedom to Rush Limbaugh, a notorious racist, misogynist, and knee-jerk partisan wingnut, is a massive depreciation of the honor that award used to represent.

Trump went on a morning-after tweet rampage aimed at his hurt feelings because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped up a copy of his speech. Of the 28 tweets he posted early Wednesday morning, 23 were about Pelosi’s fully justifiable act of conscience. Let that sink in. He was far more upset with Pelosi than he was satisfied with his own oratory. And it takes a lot to get Trump to divert from glorifying himself. But what will surely be most personally unbearable to the Narcissist-in-Chief is that the ratings for the SOTU declined 21% from last year. Although that won’t stop him from lying about it, like he did so brazenly in 2018.

Throughout the speech Trump validated what is the most recognizable element of his presidency: full-throated, shameless, deliberate lies. He covered so many subjects with his falsehoods and fabrications that it was hard to keep count. Here are just a few of the smugly delivered dishonesties:

“…our values are renewed, our pride is restored.”
Trump is widely regarded at home and abroad as an embarrassment. And his “values” of racism, misogyny, greed, and reverence for foreign tyrants, are not generally considered a source of pride.

“I moved rapidly to revive the U.S. economy, slashing a number of job killing-regulations, enacting historic and record-setting tax cuts, and fighting for fair and reciprocal trade agreements.”
The U.S. economy was growing faster under Obama than it has under Trump. And what he calls “job killing-regulations” were actually protections for workers, healthcare, and the environment.

“Our agenda is relentlessly pro-worker.”
The Trump administration has presided over the most anti-worker policies in decades, including altering overtime rules, obstructing collective bargaining, and placing a higher percentage of tax burdens on working Americans, while cutting them for corporations and the wealthy.

“…lifting our citizens of every race, color, religion and creed very high.”
It was Trump who defended neo-Nazis and white nationalists as “very good people.”

“Seven million Americans have come off food stamps.”
What Trump means is not “come off” food stamps, but being thrown off.

“After decades of flat and falling incomes, wages are rising fast.”
The only rise in wages is due to the increase in the minimum wage enacted by Democrats in the states and localities. Trump and the GOP have been ardent opponents of that.

“The United States has become the No. 1 producer of oil and natural gas”
Actually, the U.S. achieved that milestone in 2012, under Obama.

“We are restoring our nation’s manufacturing might.”
Not exactly. The truth is that manufacturing in the U.S. is currently in recession.

“…replace the disastrous NAFTA trade deal.”
What Trump continues to conceal is that the USMCA is just NAFTA with a few minor changes.

“Our new [healthcare] plans are up to 60% less expensive, and better.”
The plans to which Trump is referring are covering very few people. And they are less expensive because they hardly cover anything at all.

“We will always protect patients with preexisting conditions.”
This is just a blatant lie. Trump ran on repealing the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), and the protections for people with preexisting conditions therein. He has joined a lawsuit that is aimed at declaring Obamacare unconstitutional. And neither he, nor the Republican Party, have an alternative, even after ten years of opposition.

“We have now completed over 100 miles.”
Not a single mile of new border wall has been built. And Mexico still isn’t paying for it.

“The cost of prescription drugs actually went down.”
This is another blatant falsehood. The cost of prescription drugs actually went up.

“…radical politicians have chosen to provide sanctuary for these criminal illegal aliens.”
Wrong. Not a single politician is advocating sanctuary for criminals. Local authorities have jurisdiction over these matters, and they are protecting the rights of law abiding undocumented immigrants.

“My administration is also defending religious liberty…America has always been a Christian nation.”
Trump is not defending religious liberty unless you are Christian. In fact, he’s imposing religious barriers for non-Christians in schools and those who wish to emigrate. And the Founders explicitly declared that America is not a Christian nation, but one that “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

“I announced a groundbreaking plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.”
Trump’s “groundbreaking plan” was contrived without even talking to Palestinians. Consequently, they have rejected it along with the Arab League. It is going nowhere.

“My administration is restoring the rule of law.”
This may be the most ludicrous and flaming dishonesty of the whole speech. Donald Trump has been impeached for breaching the Constitution. He committed extortion against a foreign ally in order to coerce him to help Trump steal an election. He engaged in witness tampering by threatening and firing career public servants and even military officers. He violates campaign finance and self-dealing laws on a daily basis. And he has obstructed justice by withholding subpoenaed documents and prohibiting the testimony of administration staff. This is not the conduct of someone who claims to be “restoring the rule of law.”

Nancy Pelosi did the right thing by ripping up Trump’s speech. It is a document that extols the division of the American people, while disseminating pure propaganda. It seeks to glorify Trump in the most trivial terms, emulating his fictional reality TV character. And the behavior of the Republicans in the chamber, who rose to applaud after every piffling lie, only cements their reputation for being fully indoctrinated members of the Cult of Trump.

Meanwhile, this is how all of Trump’s speeches should be done.
https://twitter.com/ChiVoltage66/status/1225049136392740866/

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump Gloats Over Iowa Caucus Glitches While Covering Up Prior GOP Debacles

There is no point in trying to understate the unfortunate problems delaying results from the Democratic primary in Iowa. It’s the sort of thing that only reflects badly on the party, despite the cause and/or blame still being unknown. However, there are ways to overstate it. And Republicans are doing their best to demonstrate that with wild and unsubstantiated conspiracy theories.

Donald Trump, GOP

Chief among the mudslingers, of course, is the always hysterically hyperbolic master of harangue, Donald Trump. He eagerly embraced the botched returns as a welcome deflection from his impeachment affair. The morning after the Iowa caucuses, Trump took his usual post on the Twitter machine and blasted out missives intended to malign his Democratic rivals who had nothing to do with the glitches.

Trump’s attack began with a tweet calling the caucus “an unmitigated disaster” and declaring “a very big victory” for himself. He followed that up with a bizarre tweet asking “When will the Democrats start blaming RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA?” No Democrat has even hinted at that although, it is not unreasonable to assume that Russia would exploit this event after the fact to cast aspersions on Democrats on behalf of their “useful idiot” in the White House. Then Trump closed with this:

Naturally, Trump had to draw a comparison between himself and the object of his obsession, Barack Obama. And just as predictably, Trump misrepresented the truth. While he did garner more votes, his percentage trailed that of Obama (Obama 98.9% vs. Trump 97.1%). However, Trump’s boast that “The Democrat Party in Iowa really messed up, but the Republican Party did not,” was very short-sighted.

In 2012 the Iowa Republican caucus had its own fiasco. Immediately after the results were tabulated the party declared Mitt Romney the victor. Two weeks later they announced that there was no clear winner. That was followed by another announcement that Rick Santorum had actually won. And even then they said that the real winner might never be known. It took them two weeks to arrive at that non-decision.

And that’s not all. Trump himself was suspicious of the results of the 2016 Iowa GOP caucus. In fact, he regarded it as so tainted by fraud the entire vote should be nullified:

Consequently, it’s ludicrous, hypocritical, and dishonest for Trump and the GOP to be feigning shock and outrage over the comparatively minor problems with this year’s Democratic caucus. At least there was no incorrect result announced, and no fraud alleged. And it will be resolved in less than 24 hours. But “ludicrous, hypocritical, and dishonest” could be the official tagline for the Trump presidency and for today’s Republican Party. So what, other than that, should we have expected?

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

HUH? GOP Concedes ‘Overwhelming’ Proof Trump is Guilty – of Being ‘Inappropriate’

The writing is on the proverbial wall. It appears that Republicans in the Senate are poised to conclude their cover up of Donald Trump’s criminal behavior. The vote on whether to allow the testimony of additional witnesses (such as Trump favorite, John Bolton) will likely fail. That would make this first impeachment in history not to include witness testimony. This travesty of justice was set in place with the announcement by retiring Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander that he would vote against further witnesses and documents.

Donald Trump, Presidenty

Alexander’s principle argument is that the decision to remove Trump from office should be made by the American people at the ballot box, not by the Senate. If so, he needs to explain why the Framers included impeachment in the Constitution. And his argument doesn’t even address the prospect of an election being subverted by a president who intends to cheat, making it impossible for the people’s choice to prevail.

However, Alexander isn’t even being asked to remove Trump from office yet. The question at present is only whether to permit the introduction of new witnesses and documents. Alexander could still decide later not to remove Trump. In the meantime, he’s preventing the American people, who he thinks should make the decision, from hearing all of the evidence. So he’s advocating that the people make an uninformed decision. That’s something that Trump will surely appreciate, because it’s what he does all the time.

Alexander’s full statement on his decision is a bundle of hypocrisies and contradictions. he actually concedes that “the House managers have proved” their case with “a mountain of overwhelming evidence.” So Alexander has seen sufficient evidence to declare Trump guilty. “There is no need for more evidence,” says Alexander, “to prove that the president asked Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter,” and that “There is no need for more evidence to conclude that the president withheld United States aid.”

In other words, there is no need for further evidence to establish the quid pro quo that Trump used to coerce Ukraine, but has denied repeatedly, despite having actually admitted it on national TV. Alexander was not alone in his assessment of Trump’s guilt. Senators Toomey, Collins, Romney, Murkowski, and Portman are among those who have considered approving more testimony (but will likely vote no anyway). However, Alexander’s vote appears to be based on something entirely different than the facts that he himself has presented:

“It was inappropriate for the president to ask a foreign leader to investigate his political opponent and to withhold United States aid to encourage that investigation. But the Constitution does not give the Senate the power to remove the president from office and ban him from this year’s ballot simply for actions that are inappropriate.”

Really? Does Alexander know what the word “inappropriate” means? For the record, it means “not suitable or proper in the circumstances.” For example, cussing in front of children. Or wearing sweats to funeral. Or bragging that you can grab women by their genitals because you’re a celebrity.

It is a shameless depreciation of Trump’s flagrant criminal activities to dismiss them so cavalierly. The effort to impeach Trump and remove him from office is not because he committed “actions that are inappropriate.” It’s because he violated the law, the Constitution, and the moral duty to serve the public interest. And any Senator that votes to deny witness testimony – and to acquit Trump – is complicit in his crimes and the cover up. Which is, to say the very least, inappropriate.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

IT’S A CULT! Trump’s Assault on the Press has Poisoned a Generation of Republican Chumps

The impeachment of Donald Trump has passed another milestone as the House Judiciary Committee voted to send two Articles of Impeachment to the full House. Article One is “Abuse of Power” and includes Trump’s extortion of a foreign leader, as wells as his efforts to coerce a foreign government to interfere with an American election. Article Two covers “Obstruction of Congress” and Trump’s attempts to cover up the crimes he committed in Article One.

Donald Trump

The prospect of being only the third U.S. president ever to be impeached is gnawing at Trump and driving him to bizarre behaviors such as Thursday’s 123 tweet day, a record for the Tweeter-in-chief. And on Friday Trump’s tweetstorming raged on with an emphasis on how adored he thinks he is by the American people. He posted several tweets alluded to that imaginary popularity, including the following:

The reality is that Trump is struggling in recent polling, including that of his favorite pollster, the utterly biased and disreputable Rasmussen, where he’s dropped three points since the impeachment hearings began. But Trump has even bigger problems as his support narrows to the fringe confines of his most loyal cult disciples. This fact of Trump’s sad life is borne out in a new survey by the Pew Research Center. Their study of how the media is perceived by different sectors of the population reveals that…

“On item after item, Republicans consistently express far greater skepticism of the news media and their motives than Democrats. […] Even more telling, the analysis reveals that divides emerge within party – particularly the Republican Party – based on how strongly people approve of Trump’s performance as president.”

It’s no secret that Trump has conditioned his followers to despise the constitutionally protected free press, which he calls “the enemy of the people.” But even among Republicans, the degree of animosity spikes in concert with the degree of Trump worship. The Pew study found that “The vast majority (79%) of Republicans say journalists have low or very low ethical standards.” Of those about one-third (31%) say journalists have very low ethical standards. However among the most fervent of Trump’s GOP supporters 40% say journalists’ ethics are very low. So the Deplorable set is far more distrusting of the media than their Republican chums.

This is undoubtedly the result of constant disparagement by Trump. He can’t seem to go a single day without instructing his hordes to hate the press. And that hostility is clearly transferring from Trump to his truest believers. But even so, this support is not nearly in the range that Trump says it is. According to Pew, it isn’t 95%, but only about 64% of GOPers who “strongly” approve of how Trump is handling his job as president. Even if you add the “somewhat approvers” (18%) it still only comes to 82%.

So no matter how you slice it, Trump is passing off fake numbers to boost the perception of his alleged acclaim and to massage his fragile ego. The good news for Trump is that his most faithful devotees will believe whatever he tells them. The bad news is that they are a small and dwindling cadre of dimwits.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

The Real Horror Show: Trump vs Trump on Democrats and the Economy

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its report for the month of November on Friday morning. Its top-line numbers looked pretty good, although there are caveats that need to taken into consideration, such as the fact that in November 42,000 striking GM auto workers went back to work at the conclusion of the strike.

Donald Trump Rally Trash

Nevertheless, Donald Trump does what he always does whenever there is some ostensibly good news reported: He takes credit for it. Of course, there is nothing in Trump’s record that can be plausibly cited as having any impact on the labor market. In fact, virtually every initiative that might help American workers has been bottled up in congress by GOP Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, including infrastructure projects and a minimum wage increase. But didn’t stop Trump from tweeting that…

As usual, Trump is speculating about imaginary world that would be a utopia were not for his political foes conspiring against him – and America – at every turn. That is the textbook reaction of a malignant narcissist who has convinced himself of his indisputable supremacy. What it is not, however, is anything recognizable as the truth.

Many studies have been published that prove that the economy almost always does better during Democratic administrations than Republican. Nine of the last 10 recessions have been under Republicans. And since World War II, 24.4 million more jobs created under Democratic presidents. Also, real GDP growth was 44% higher under Democratic presidents. Meanwhile, unemployment has been 18% higher under GOP presidents.

That said, perhaps one of the most relevant voices in this debate is that of Donald Trump who, in 2004, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that “I’ve been around for a long time and it just seems that the economy does better under the Democrats than the Republicans.” Here he is in his own words:

So Trump may have correctly labeled the economic hard times our country has endured as a “horror show,” but he has forgotten who the real monsters are. It isn’t really surprising that Democrats have performed better economically. The Republican agenda is tightly focused on corporations and the wealthy who horde their prosperity. Only when the middle class prospers does the broader economy succeed. The Republican economy is currently running record deficits and running on fumes that will eventually choke the nation into recession. And if the country wants to return to its past healthy economic environment, it had better reject the Republican facade of growth and embrace the real world results of the Democrats.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

The Cult of Trump: A Majority of Republicans Prefer Trump Over Abraham Lincoln

For the past three years Donald Trump has presided over a bizarre movement that is unprecedented in American politics. While there have been a few presidents who have attracted strong and loyal followings, there has never been anything remotely similar to the worshipful devotion of Trump’s Deplorables.

Donald Trump Messiah

There is only one way to describe the pious assemblage of Trump supporters: IT’S A CULT! It is a small group of idolaters who see only virtue in a man whose base immorality could not possibly be more evident. He is known for serial infidelity, including an affair with a porn star while his third wife and newborn were at home. His penchant for lying has produced documentation of more than 13,000 false or misleading statements since taking office. He employs rhetoric that is rife with hostility, bigotry, and infantile insults. He wallows in undeserved pridefulness, turning every public comment into self-exaltation and taking credit for achievements he had no part in, or that don’t even exist.

Nevertheless, his believers remain convinced that he speaks only the truth and that, to them, his brutish bullying is a testament to strength. No matter what he does or says, they view him with a glowing halo hovering above his head. They live in a world of deception and willful obedience to a false god. Trump has even referred to himself as “The Chosen One.”

In light of that, it is disturbing that a new poll (posted below) finds that a majority of Republicans (53%) say that Trump is a better president than Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln, of course, was the president who faced down the slave-owning states of the South as they sought to preserve their culture of human bondage by seceding from the union. He was also the first Republican to be elected president. His accomplishments have made him an icon of American politics.

Meanwhile, Trump has tried (and failed) to build a border wall, caged immigrant babies, exploded the national debt, freed corporations to pollute, conspired with foreign tyrants against the U.S., and maligned the free press as “the enemy of the people.” Trump has distinguished himself as the most unpopular president in history, never registering 50% favorability. And yet his fellow Republicans continue to see him as a king, or a god, whos is all-knowing and infallible.

This delusional mindset among Republicans exceeds mere political partisanship. When Republicans sought to impeach Bill Clinton for extramarital sex, many Democrats condemned his behavior and even voted to censure him. But there is no such open-mindedness among today’s GOP. They march in lock-step reverence for their Dear Leader. Another recent poll found that 57% of those opposed to impeaching Trump say that no new evidence would change their minds. Last month a poll revealed that a majority (55%) of Republicans for whom Fox News is their primary news source say there is nothing Trump could do to lose their approval. If this isn’t a cult, then nothing is.

As for Trump, he is as convinced of his sainthood as his disciples. He frequently posts tweets that celebrate his standing among Republicans. And while it is undoubtedly high, it isn’t nearly the 95% that he repeatedly claims. It’s hard to tell if Trump is propagating falsehoods about his party popularity, or if he actually believes his own PR. Either way, it’s poisoning the public pool of knowledge with flagrant lies. And it is surely keeping his followers in line as they bow down to what they perceive as his holiness.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Fox News Poll Proves that Trump Voters are Willing Captives of a Cult

In the past couple of weeks, Donald Trump has been crowing about what he says is unprecedented unity within the Republican Party. He couldn’t be more wrong. Trump repeatedly cites a 95% approval rating for him by GOP voters. That’s a false stat for which he never bothers to provide a source. Most other polls put it in the low 80s at best, and it’s heading down. Even Trump’s favorite, ultra-biased pollster, Rasmussen, is showing him near his lows for the year.

Donald Trump, MAGA

However, there is an argument that Trump can make regarding the devotion of his dwindling cadre of supporters. They are enraptured by their Dear Leader to a degree unseen since the Manson Family. And a new poll by Fox News confirms that the worshipful adoration of Trump’s glassy-eyed followers is a powerful force, albeit only effective on a small minority of the electorate. The Fox News poll reveals that a majority 53% of voters want Trump to be impeached. And 49% want him impeached and removed from office. But the most notable figures in this poll address the subset of Trump supporters:

“Among those opposing impeachment, 57 percent say nothing could change their mind, while 34 percent say new evidence could make them support impeachment. […and…] over half of Republicans (53 percent) say it is generally okay for the president to ask foreign leaders for help in going after his rivals.”

So a majority of those who are currently against impeaching the President won’t change their minds regardless of the evidence. That means even if a smocking gun is found that incriminates him for treason, they will still back Trump. These are the people that Trump was talking about when he said that he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and not lose any support.

This is not the sort of movement that is generally associated with a political campaign. It is the defining characteristics of a cult. Trump’s followers don’t care whether he broke the law, or breached his oath of office, or violated the Constitution. They don’t even care about his policies that are demonstrably worse for them than for the public at large. They only care about genuflecting before “The Chosen One” (as he calls himself).

The poll has other bad news for Trump that is also ignored by his faithful Deplorables. It found that he is underwater on immigration (40% approve, 57% disapprove), foreign policy (37-56), and health care (35-53). He has a slim 3-point margin (49-46) on the economy. What’s more, Trump is shown to be losing to the top four Democrats included in the survey: Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Hillary Clinton. Although why Fox polled Clinton is a mystery, or perhaps wishful thinking.

Trump spent much of Sunday morning tweeting about his pathetic victimhood. Which is a peculiar position for someone who occupies what is often called the most powerful office on Earth. Much of his whining featured praise for the One America News Network (OANN), a channel so tiny that Nielsen doesn’t track their ratings. This must be part of his campaign to drive his followers away from Fox News, which he said doesn’t deliver for US anymore,” and declared that We have to start looking for a new News Outlet.”

So the cult is shopping around for a network that will be more complimentary and obedient. It’s hard to imagine that Fox News wasn’t sufficiently fulfilling that objective. But then, Fox is having problems of its own as their ratings have sharply declined lately. That’s more likely due to viewers tiring of the bias and lies, than to Trump’s temper tantrums. But he certainly isn’t doing Fox any good. Which just happens to be quite good for the rest of us.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.