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Trump, desperate for GOP GOTV, prevents his base from fracturing, and wards off RWNJ defectors

5 min read

Trump might not the necessary evil that he claims to be, “mainlining from Fox a daily picture of the protests”, and cares about nothing other than keeping his base, assuming that the battleground states will stay close.

The problem is that Democrats are never on the side of anarchists, nor are they on the side of fascists.


George Floyd protests. <a href=””>@StribJany</a> has the story. <a href=”″></a></p>— Christiaan Triebert (@trbrtc) <a href=””>July 28, 2020</a></blockquote>'>


— Christiaan Triebert (@trbrtc) July 28, 2020

For Trump, Fox News has two functions: With some exceptions, it largely functions as his “shameless propaganda outlet,” as Margaret Sullivan put it, aggressively inflating his successes and faithfully pushing his messages. When Fox occasionally departs from this role, Trump rages at it as a form of deep betrayal.

Yet for precisely this reason, Fox also functions as a kind of security blanket: It persuades Trump that he’s succeeding, which provides an effective reality distortion field against outside criticism.


— Washington Post Opinions (@PostOpinions) July 28, 2020

On Fox, protests show Trump’s glorious strength

Meanwhile, Trump is mainlining from Fox a daily picture of the protests that is highly distorted and narcotically numbing.
The Times reports that the rash of new protests over the weekend in cities such as Seattle and Oakland, Calif., were largely driven by reaction to Trump’s law enforcement invasion of Portland, Ore. The Seattle mayor claims this “escalated” matters across the country, and the Oakland mayor warns it will “incite more unrest.”
This is surely why Trump is sending in law enforcement in the first place — he believes inciting violent civil conflict will help his reelection. As one GOP strategist candidly tells the Times, Republicans are hoping to define Democrats “as being on the side of the anarchists in Portland.”
The crucial point here is that what Trump sees on Fox is surely persuading him that he’s succeeding in doing just that.
Fox personalities are claiming that electing Joe Biden will make civil violence “a staple of American life everywhere.” They are relentlessly doctoring Biden quotes to paint him as anti-police. And they are suggesting that Trump’s Mount Rushmore speech, which conflated protests with “far-left fascism” to justify sending in more law enforcement, represented the greatest oratory since Cicero.
All this surely reinforces Trump’s belief that this messaging is working for him. After all, the imagery of violence, when hyped this way, does make for powerful television. And Trump knows powerful television when he sees it!…

“I’m not sure there are many undecided people in this country, so it’s more a question of tending to your base and turning them out,” Barry Bennett added. “I get why he doesn’t like the Fox polling. But tweeting about that isn’t going to get you any votes.”

With fewer than 100 days to go until Election Day, President Donald Trump and his chief political advisers are barely lifting a finger to expand his coalition of potential voters. Instead, they are desperately attempting to turn out Republicans, prevent his base from fracturing, and ward off conservative defections that would seal his fate as a self-described one-term “loser.”

It’s an election strategy that has left others in the Republican Party equal parts perplexed and paralyzed—fearful of the president’s wrath but also confused about why he isn’t making any sustained effort to expand his electoral coalition.…



— Timothy Snyder (@TimothyDSnyder) July 28, 2020


— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) July 28, 2020


— Majority Report (@majorityfm) July 28, 2020


— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) July 28, 2020


— Peter Strzok (@petestrzok) July 28, 2020


— Pat Bagley (@Patbagley) July 28, 2020


— DPRK News Service (@DPRK_News) July 28, 2020


— David Carroll 🦅 (@profcarroll) July 28, 2020


— Barbara Malmet (@B52Malmet) July 28, 2020


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