Column: Trump was in full demagogue mode on Tuesday. It was terrifying
President Trump spoke in Phoenix on June 23. (Associated Press)
President Trump was particularly offensive on Tuesday when he outlined the subjects of his 2020 campaign to followers in Phoenix. It was also a frightening signal of how he plans to split the country further to keep his job.
We are involved in an enormous "struggle for the future of our country," he said. It is the struggle against "an oppressive leftist ideology driven by hate and trying to resolve all disagreements" - and which the country will take over if Joe Biden is elected president.
Trump sounded like many scary demagogues before him, but he sounded like nobody like Senator Joe McCarthy - fighting, admonishing, culminating against a monolithic, un-American enemy. Trump's words come from a playbook that has worked well in the past: they come for you, his words imply. For your cities, your houses and your freedom. I can protect you.
"The radical left, they hate our history, they hate our values and they hate everything we appreciate as Americans," he said in Arizona. “The left crowd is trying to destroy our legacy so that it can replace it with a new repressive regime that they control alone. They tear down statues, profane monuments and purify those who think differently. It is not the behavior of a peaceful political movement. It is the behavior of totalitarians, tyrants and people who do not love our country. You don't love our country. "
And who would allow that? Joe Biden, the "helpless puppet" of the left.
"If Joe Biden becomes president, an encouraged left will launch a major attack on American life," Trump said in Tulsa this weekend. "You know that. They will expel anyone who disagrees with them."
In Tulsa and Phoenix, Trump painted a picture of an America in which people would tear down monuments and attack churches, conquer city streets and set buildings on fire. The "chaos in Seattle," he said, "will come to any city near you, any suburb, or any church in America when the radical leftists take command."
This is Trump in its most hysterical form, but it's hardly surprising. Since his polls are falling, the corona virus is not going down, and there is a very real possibility of double-digit inflation on election day, fear is his ally. And so he becomes more and more desperate and his rhetoric becomes more feverish - and more dangerous.
With a straight face, he tied Joe Biden - a moderate, experienced and respected Democrat in all respects - to anarchists and alleged Antifa activists. He has brought together peaceful demonstrators against police brutality and lawbreakers and mixed them all into a large pot of marauding, violent revolutionaries. He confused the political debates on campus with totalitarianism. It doesn't matter in his statement. These enemies of freedom want to "defuse and abolish". They want to tear down statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. They want to "destroy our legacy". You want "chaos". They are "rioters".
"In Joe Biden's America, rioters, looters and criminal aliens have more rights than law-abiding citizens," Trump said in Tulsa.
Behind this, of course, is the subject of race. This is a president who speaks to the mostly white voters who make up his base and who inexplicably accused Barack Obama, the first black president of the United States, of "treason" a few days ago. He has divided the country into us against her since his earliest days in politics because he is an experienced manipulator of complaint and resentment politics. When he talks about "hoodlums" it is not difficult to hear the dog whistle.
And who are the people on his side? Americans who choose to be warriors for "Faith and Family, God, Land and Freedom".
Of course, the titan's struggle against the radical left was only part of what Trump was talking about in Phoenix. He used offensive terms for COVID-19 again. He talked about his success in building the wall. He accused the Democrats of encouraging non-citizens to vote. He repeatedly suggested that Joe Biden had dementia. ("Joe Biden doesn't know where the hell he is," he said. And "Sleepy Joe lost it.") Expect him to continue addressing these issues in the coming months.
The campaign is now seriously underway and it is clear that Trump, in desperation to win, will say it all. After attacking the media for four years and discrediting the experts and undermining facts, science and truth, he will now present his alternative version of reality to anyone who is gullible enough to listen.
The Americans must take the opportunity to open their eyes and reject his demagogy. It is time to reverse the mistake we made in 2016 and end this failed presidency.
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