Friday, August 25, 2017

Foremost Tactic

In his speech in Phoenix, President Trump grotesquely misled the American people about his comments delivered during the events in Charlottesville, Virginia.  He bragged about being a better student at better schools and living in a bigger apartment than the "elites," whomever they are. He knocked and tried to undermine public schools and "Obamacare," condemned Senators Flake and McCain, and had little positive to say about anyone or anything other than convicted criminal Joe Arpaio, police, and the Pentagon, the latter because, well, that's what "populists" do.

The most significant vitriol, however, was reserved for the media, as in

We're all, like, we have a certain sense. We're smart people. These are truly dishonest people. And not all of them. Not all of them. You have some very good reporters. You have some very fair journalists. But for the most part, honestly, these are really, really dishonest people, and they're bad people. And I really think they don't like our country. I really believe that. And I don't believe they're going to change, and that's why I do this. If they would change, I would never say it.

The only people giving a platform to these hate groups is the media itself, and the fake news.

Given that the speech was as disjointed as hateful, it included other criticism of the press, an indispensable part of the President's strategy. Members of a generally hard-working, middle-class group seeking facts, they represent what many Trump supporters- prone to emotionalism and impulse- most hate and fear.

The more doubt the President sows in what journalists do, the more confusion is sown in voters, and truth eventually becomes virtually impossible to distinguish from fiction. Trump's other motive, as Jon Meacham has observed is as a "pre-emptive strike on the media for whatever bad news might be coming.

Donald Trump may go. He will not go quietly, and will attack his critics far more than he will defend himself. There will be no reprise of "to have served in this office is to have felt a very personal sense of kinship with each and every American."

This in turn lays bare the silliness of cable news talk over possible opposition to the President's renomination in 2010.  Once Mueller's report is released, it will become increasingly obvious that Trump will not be able to run for re-nomination. And in the unlikely event he does, revelations in the investigation- coupled with events over the next two years- will drive the possibility of a GOP challenge to the President more than anything which has occurred thus far.

The linchpin of President Trump's strategy is to undermine confidence in legitimate media. If he is able to do that, the eventual introduction of Articles of Impeachment will provoke the response in his followers predicted by Roger Stone, and which the Donald Trump believes he needs.

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