Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Despicable Donald's Diatribe, Part 2: "scariest speech of my lifetime"

That's how Steve Benen (MSNBC/MaddowBlog) described Trump's speech in which he reacted to the Orlando massacre. What it reveals about Trump is frightening. Benen says "... the presumptive GOP presidential nominee had an opportunity to show what kind of leader he intends to be. He did exactly that – which is precisely the problem."

Relying on a prepared script and trying to read from a teleprompter, Trump relied on a combination of demagoguery, ignorance, and lies to present a platform that assaults American values in ways that should be disqualifying.

The falsehoods in his remarks came so often and so quickly, it was enough to push professional fact-checkers into retirement. Trump said the Orlando shooter was “born in Afghan,” for example, which is both untrue – the gunman was born in New York, not far from where Trump was born – and bizarre given that “Afghan” is not a place.

But this was just the tip of a mendacious iceberg. Trump lied about the number of refugees coming to the United States. He lied about the vetting process for refugees. He lied about NATO’s counter-terrorism efforts. He lied about Clinton’s approach to gun reforms. He lied about the Obama administration’s policy on intelligence gathering.

Armed with the transcript of Trump's speech, I tried to do my own fact-checking. I had to give it up to protect what's left of my political sanity in this insane election year. It was borderline gibberish, all buzzwords and bullshit with some fear-mongering thrown in. And that was the best Trump could do with a teleprompter?

Benen continues.

This, however, isn’t what made Trump’s speech so frightening. Rather, more important than his uncontrollable lying was the desperation with which the Republican candidate hoped to sow the seeds of distrust, suspicion, and fear. ...

... we’ve all heard ugly and divisive speeches from political demagogues, but remarks like these from a major-party presidential nominee aren’t normal. On the contrary, they’re terrifying, Trump is the first nominee in generations who desperately wants Americans to be afraid – if that means a near-constant stream of lies, so be it – so that they’ll put aside their better judgment and invest their trust in his authoritarian instincts.

Trump is crossing every line, abandoning every norm, and thumbing his nose at every American principle presidential hopefuls have traditionally honored. If this works, and voters decide to reward such deceitful fear-mongering, the country will never be the same.

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