Wednesday, November 25, 2015

American Fascists: Why Donald Trump gets away with BS

The Huffington Post has a good article listing all (I think) of Donald Trump's false claims. Now he has taken a page from Ben Carson's play book and, when his "facts" are challenged, he asserts his sources are known only to him. For example:

It's not terribly problematic for a candidate in a GOP presidential primary to insist that the press corps is not telling voters the true story, whether it be about guns, border crossings, 9/11 or Muslim surveillance. Republican primary voters reflexively distrust the news media, which helps explain why Trump never backtracks when called to explain the source of his information.

(Do those voters trust Faux?)

But no matter. His base is convinced he will be a "strong leader." Once that belief takes hold, all the fact checking is seen as liberal media attacks and is therefore discounted. Greg Sargent explains in the Plum Line (Washington Post).

Members of the media are wringing their hands so hard over this perplexing question that their skin is practically peeling: How is it possible for Donald Trump to tell so many blatant lies, shrug off our fact-checks, and continue rising in the polls?

Easy: Because in the minds of his supporters, Trump has converted even the simple act of dismissing pointy-headed media fact-checks into a sign of his "strength." Trump’s big insight is not simply that the details don’t matter. It’s that getting mired in the details is itself a sign of weakness.

... Trump’s supporters have been persuaded that he will be a "strong leader." Once that decision has been made, any liberal media fact-checking of Trump’s statements, particularly criticisms that seem "politically correct," only confirm that original impression. Trump’s willingness to "say what needs to be said," in spite of media attacks on him, only further illustrates that he’ll do whatever it takes to accomplish whatever it is his supporters think he’s promising to accomplish when he vows to "make America great again."

Placing trust in a "strong leader" has not worked out so well, history tells us. The German populace fell for that line in the 30s. But Trump's base probably discounts history.

It is happening here and now.

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