Quantcast
Connect with us

Trump’s myth-making mistake: He’s running against an opponent who doesn’t exist

Published

on

Thanks for your support!
This article was paid for by reader donations to Raw Story Investigates.

This article was paid for by Raw Story subscribers. Not a subscriber? Try us and go ad-free for $1. Prefer to give a one-time tip? Click here.

Terry H. Schwadron
Terry H. Schwadron
Down in the polls, Donald Trump is betting that voters will decide that Joe Biden will look worse.To me, just how Trump is doing that is more than concerning: Trump is choosing an unsubstantiated, scattershot campaign based on myths and false associations that present dangers that just are not borne out.

If Trump actually believes in Trumpism, anti-immigrant policies, preservation of racist symbolism, his tariff-laden approach to foreign trade and security issues, his bull-in-a-china-shop approach to foreign affairs and support of only the wealthy, he should stick to those.  Obviously, he should knock off his braggadocio about leadership during the coronavirus, since we are losing that fight Bigly.

ADVERTISEMENT

Still, calling out Biden as a demon who will invite widespread riots and social rot seems unnecessarily over the top. They just disagree about approaching divisiveness and direction as president.

Let’s agree that there has been a continuing fountain of media commentaries about the gap between the world as Trump sees it and the realities of coronavirus, joblessness, recession-like economics, international and domestic racial strife.

But as the Trump campaign is suggesting in its ads, in Trump’s remarks, written and ad-libbed, if you don’t like what you have now, it’ll be worse under Biden, whom Trump constantly seeks to belittle and to paint alternately as a doddering fool or an extreme leftist.

Meanwhile, the Left, which now has become a disorganized amalgam of anyone anti-Trump, is most happy that Biden is not Trump, and somewhat only reluctantly accepting of a Biden who is making efforts to include enough progressive stances in his quiver to keep Democrats united.

Still, the consensus seems to be that Trump is having trouble making his dystopian view of Biden-as-leader stick.

ADVERTISEMENT

Unpretty politics

We can also agree that politics as is practiced in these United States has never been pretty or straightforward. Exaggeration, partisanship, monied interests, gerrymandering and other electoral tricks are always part of the scene — whether foreign actors are involved or not.

But here’s a typical line of attack, this one from a Breitbart.com news report picked up and promoted thematically by Tucker Carlson on Fox and social media: “Joe Biden’s radical proposal for the Democrat Party platform for 2020 seeks to put an end to America’s suburban communities by forcing low-income housing into every neighborhood and flooding every community with immigrants, legal or otherwise.”

Yes, general platform-type statements for the Biden camp include support for expanding affordable housing and enforcing Fair Housing Act provisions, that there should be a comprehensive approach to immigration and that we should do whatever is possible to address racial, income and class distinctions.

ADVERTISEMENT

But ending suburban communities? Hardly. If anything, Biden’s current successes in polling seem to ride on more suburbanites switching camps to support him. It’s a sample of the turning and twisting – something both sides are good at – of well-intended aspirations to make them sound like anti-choice, anti-individual, anti-local decision-making.

Trump ads show cities on fire, threatening public safety and abetting violent crime, and assert that Biden wants to eliminate policing altogether.

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump messages

Trump held an expansive “press conference” in the Rose Garden this week that was, by multiple accounts, a rambling monologue mostly attacking Biden (31 times) and Democrats. By most measures, it was more campaign rally talk than national policy.

To Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank, it was “an hour-long diatribe against Joe Biden, attributing a platform to his Democratic opponent that bore hardly any resemblance to anything occurring in the real world.”

Among Trump’s contentions: Biden will incentivize illegal alien child smuggling,” “abolish immigration enforcement,” “abolish our police departments” and “abolish our prisons, I guess.” Democrats are even “calling for defunding of our military,” Trump said. Democratic mayors possibly “wouldn’t mind” if terrorists “blow up our cities.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Biden’s energy plan “basically means no windows” in homes or offices by 2030, he said, and “cold office space in the winter and warm office space in the summer.”

Milbank asked: “Um, Biden would abolish windows? “I’m not making this up!” Trump said, mid-jeremiad. (Actually, he was).”

While presidents have used their office to campaign for reelection, “Trump’s reinterpretation of that approach was downright bizarre.”

A long fall

I think we’re ready to vote now, but we must endure four more months of this type of depressing make-believe. It falls to us to hear all this (or switch off the messaging altogether) with some skepticism.

ADVERTISEMENT

It seems a shame because even Trump acknowledges that these two candidates represent a very clear choice in a variety of actual policy positions, from climate change and environment to foreign policy to the role of race in society and income inequality. They have legitimate differences without resorting to made-up exaggerations meant to gin up fears.

As Trump grows more cornered politically, we can anticipate that he will make up more outrageous untruths to advance his own cause by denigrating Biden’s.

For his part, Biden has presented ads depicting a mix of very positive, low-key assurances of caring about people during coronavirus as well as out and out attacks on the very practices that Trump presents as effective leadership. While opinionated, there appear to be fewer let’s pretend moments in Biden’s messaging. Instead, Biden is open to criticism about his actual record over 45 years in government, about his flexibility and responsiveness to a growing push to the Left and a persistent problem with gaffes.

The polls to date, which can be wrong, but are interesting for their trend differences,  seem to reflect much more anti-Trump than pro-Biden, if that makes a difference.

ADVERTISEMENT

Bring on November.

This article was paid for by Raw Story subscribers. Not a subscriber? Try us and go ad-free for $1. Prefer to give a one-time tip? Click here.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

2020 Election

‘Incompetent moron’ Chuck Todd ripped for letting Trump official claim Democrats want more COVID-19 deaths

Published

on

"Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd is under fire -- once again -- after letting Donald Trump's trade adviser Peter Navarro claim on NBC that Democrats want more Americans to die during the coronavirus pandemic to boost their chances at the polls in November.

Instead of pushing back the NBC host known for his lack of follow-up questions let the comment slide by responding, "I take your point."

Todd's failure to call out the Trump aide for what one Twitter commenter called a "disgusting" comment led to an avalanche of criticism for the MBC political director who recently saw his weekday show cut back to make room for more commentary by colleague Nicolle Wallace.

Continue Reading

2020 Election

Mike Pence praised by evangelical conservative for being ‘like a very supportive, submissive wife to Trump’

Published

on

In a deep dive into how Donald Trump has managed to hang onto Christain evangelicals despite his multitude of moral failures, one Christian conservative told the New York Times' Elizabeth Dias that Vice President Mike Pence doesn't get enough credit for being supportive of the president.

Speaking with Christians in Sioux Falls, Iowa, Dias found Trump support remaining strong despite his ongoing travails unsuccessfully battling the coronavirus pandemic and the collapsing economy that shows little signs of rebounding.

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

Trump facing massive electoral vote wipeout as campaign continues to flounder: MSNBC election analyst

Published

on

Based upon current state-by-state polling, which is naturally subject to change, MSNBC's resident election analyst predicted Donald Trump will suffer an embarrassing defeat in November unless his campaign can come up with something to stop his collapsing approval numbers.

Standing before a US map, analyst Steve Kornacki broke down for host Yasmin Vossoughian the president's uphill battle to get within striking distance of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

"What we have here is our first look from NBC at what the electoral map looks like right now," he explained before adding, "Things could change."

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image