A few days ago, I said it wasn’t a coincidence that Trump tweeted “liberate!” and then a few hours later, “liberate” protests appeared.
Turns out that the protests were staged and financed by the same folks that made up the Charlottesville crowd. The problem for Trump was that the ploy didn’t work. Trump lost a lot of support in Michigan and elsewhere.
Notice the last line: “So there’s a big push to get a new story moving.”
In other words, “Well, that didn’t work. Let’s try something else.”
It’s cynical. It’s manipulative. It’s the Trump administration.
The other part that’s pure Trump is that the protests were staged. Fake. Not real. Manufactured. Brought to you from the “fake” successful businessman who governs by bringing you new spectacle each day.
I tweeted this:
We can’t stop the Firehose of Outrageousness, but we can put on raincoats so that the tactics don’t work, and it all rolls off.
Raincoats keep us from feeding the Outrage Cycle and wearing ourselves out. We stay focused on getting absentee ballots.
When we’re spinning with outrage we are more likely to give up and conclude that “it’s no use.” Professor Snyder explains it as a way of looking at time: Outrage keeps us in the present and causes us to lose sight of the fact that there IS a future.
Then, exactly 12 hours later, right on schedule, Trump tweeted this:
There it was. We knew it was coming. Calculated to excite his base and enrage his critics.
Someone worried that his next attempt to distract would involve the military, but a military operation isn’t Trump’s style. He’s a coward. Wars cause property damage and that terrifies him.The last thing he wants is to get into a war with another country and have someone attack his properties. He also doesn’t want a bomb falling anywhere near him.
Consider what keeping a story like this in the news will do for him:
- He accomplishes something he wants to do: Close the borders
- It will fire up his base
- It will annoy his critics
- It isn’t a real crisis. It’s entirely manufactured, so he won’t have to worry that it will get out of hand
- There’s no actual danger to him.
- The tweet makes no logical sense. (Who is the “invisible enemy”? The virus?) The tweet will make perfect sense to admirers of Alex Jones. Everyone else will spend hours explaining the 10 things wrong with the idea.
- We will be talking about this and not his abysmal handling of Covid-19
Over the past few weeks, he’s been losing support. This appears calculated to build it back up.
He’d much rather have the national conversation be about this.
Precisely. Trump is a little confused. He’s thinking “America is FIRST so people want to come.” But we’re first in deaths and first in an incompetent government unable to contain a virus.
We should protect immigrants! Send them to a country with competent leadership!
[View as a Twitter thread]
Originally posted at Musing About Law, Books, and Politics.
Re-posted with permission.
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