As the 2020 presidential campaign enters its final two weeks, Donald Trump is recognizing the futility of his hopes for reelection. The American people have clearly rejected his failed attempts to deal with the coronavirus, the economy, healthcare, etc. Likewise, they are repelled by his toxic divisiveness and flagrant ignorance.
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Given the voters' sharp disagreement with the policies of Trump, and the cowardly compliant Republican Party, there appears to have been a deliberate shift to a strategy of pure character assassination by the Trump camp. Since he can't change minds on substance, Trump is ramping up his most hostile and preposterous personalized rhetoric in an effort to drive down the favorables of his opponent, Joe Biden. He's actually been doing that for months without having any discernible effect. Biden's approval rating continues to stay in positive territory, far outstripping Trump's historically low disapproval.
Trump's attack plan now consists exclusively of bizarre allegations that more closely resemble the babbling of conspiratorial kooks than competent public servants. In recent days he has…
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- Retweeted crackpot QAnon claims that Osama Bin Laden is still alive and Biden killed SEAL Team 6.
- Demanded that Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Joe Biden be “locked up.”
- Aided and abetted Russian propaganda asserting debunked allegations against Biden.
- Called Biden and his family criminals.
- Lied that “we are rounding the turn” on the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, if you think that's as bad as Trump gets, you don't know Trump. On Saturday he spoke to the crowd at the Michigan stop of his Coronavirus Super Spreader Tour. And amid the onslaught of lies, insults, and whining, Trump laid this bit of fascism on his cult followers:
“If you're a moderate Democrat or a liberal who knows that your party has gone totally off the rails, you have a moral duty to immediately stop this lunacy. You must, by law, join the Republican Party.”
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By law? It boggles the mind trying to predict how Trump will justify this blatant totalitarianism. He can't say, as he often does, that it was a joke because neither he, nor anyone in the audience, were laughing. He can't say that it was the “fake news” trying to smear him because this is his own video that he himself posted on his Twitter page. What's more, it's perfectly aligned with so much of the other tyrannical outbursts he makes that it's hard to pretend it wasn't intentional.
These are the ravings of a desperate candidate who sees his inevitable downfall closing in on him. This week he suffered an embarrassing defeat when the competing TV town hall melodrama that he orchestrated resulted in Biden drawing millions more viewers. His longtime benefactor, Fox News Chairman Rupert Murdoch, predicted that Biden will win in a landslide. A Fox News poll found that a majority of voters say he doesn't have the “mental soundness” to serve. He nevertheless is taking refuge in his Fox News bunker. Even Trump's favorite pollster, Rasmussen, shows Biden winning by twelve points.
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Any other (sane) candidate would be seeking to wrap up the campaign in manner that might retain some dignity. They might be thinking about their future, or the future of their party. Suffice to say that Trump isn't thinking about anything but his obsessive craving for attention and control. And as it becomes clearer to him that he has neither, he will just spiral farther down the rabid hole, making his dire circumstances even worse. So buckle up, people. These last two weeks are gonna be a rollercoaster of crazy.
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