T’s unloading lots of lies along the campaign trail…and fear mongering. It stokes the base of course. Demogoguery at it’s finest and a new low for our country.
President Trump has settled on a strategy of fear — laced with falsehoods and racially tinged rhetoric — to help lift his party to victory in the coming midterms, part of a broader effort to energize Republican voters with two weeks left until the Nov. 6 elections.
Trump’s messaging — on display in his regular campaign rallies, tweets and press statements — largely avoids much talk of his achievements and instead offers an apocalyptic vision of the country, which he warns will only get worse if Democrats retake control of Congress.
The president has been especially focused in recent days on a caravan of about 5,000 migrants traveling north to cross the U.S. border, a group he has darkly characterized as gang members, violent criminals and “unknown Middle Easterners” — a claim for which his administration has so far provided no concrete evidence.
“It’s a standard tactic to use fear as a motivating choice at the end of a campaign and the fact is the fork in the road is pretty stark,” said Scott Reed, senior political strategist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, noting the possibility of investigations or impeachment proceedings in a Democratic House.
Many of the president’s assertions are false or clear distortions of the facts. Trump is incorrect, for example, in his claim that Democrats will “destroy” both Medicare and Social Security, while he has made both programs “stronger.” There is also no evidence that Democrats are paying for the migrant caravan snaking its way north toward the southern border, while voter fraud remains exceedingly rare.
Barry Bennett, a former Trump campaign adviser, described the caravan as “a political gift.”
“I wish they were carrying heroin. I wish we had thought of it. It speaks to the dearth of our creativity, unfortunately,” Bennett said. “There are 7,000 people marching toward the U.S. border. One party wants to let them in. The other party wants to keep them out.”
Trump’s claim — again, without providing evidence — that Middle Easterners are “mixed in” with the caravan is an example of how some leaders blend a mix of fact and fiction to instill fear in their electorate, said Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a New York University professor who studies authoritarian rulers.
“This is the way propaganda works,” Ben-Ghiat said. “You put different enemies together that really have nothing to do with one another. He’s trying to create this image of a wave of people of color, or threats, who are coming to invade the border.”