Gene Lyons: For Democrats, Trump The Continuing Gift |
Let it be recorded that on the 20th anniversary of September 11, future life president Donald Trump skipped the solemn memorial services held in honor of the 2,997 victims of the Al-Qaida terrorist attacks in favor of shilling for a pay-per-view boxing match.
And not a real boxing match, but a sad sack display in which 58-year-old former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield got smashed to the canvas by an MMA fighter he allegedly knocked out 30 years ago. years.
False sport, false ex-president.
False billionaire, by the way. Obviously, Trump needs the money. Perhaps if they had hosted the 9/11 ceremony in Mar-a-Lago or one of its financially struggling golf courses, the great man could have turned up.
Also on September 11, Trump gave a televised speech praising followers of the Unification Church (formerly known as “Moonies”), the Korean sect founded by self-proclaimed messiah Reverend Sun Myung Moon. .
Another salary, without a doubt.
Everyone understands that Trump’s narcissism will not allow him to appear in public as a former president, as did Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama and their wives, who have joined President Joe. Biden and First Lady Jill Biden in prayers for the dead. .
Whatever happens, Trump will never appear in public with Biden. To do so would give legitimacy to the 2020 election results which make him a big loser and undermine the fantasy he calls the “grand theft”. On September 10, Trump appeared on the conspiratorial website The Gateway Pundit. “I think they will withdraw accreditation from the elections,” he said. “They know it was rigged.”
Exactly who “they” are has been left to the imagination of viewers. With any method of decertification Trump imagines.
He may be a world-class ignorant, but Trump’s sick ego has led him to a great truth: There are an irreducible number of gullible dupes in the world. If you tickle their prejudices, they will send you money.
“Our media is as corrupt as it can be,” he explained, “but people know what’s going on and another poll is out. Seventy percent believed the election had been, to put it mildly, tampered with. “
The actual number in a recent Politico poll was 66% of Republican voters who believe the 2020 election was rigged. The only “people” Trump recognizes. But the Republican Party is shrinking, partly because of the Conservative “Never Trumpers” bailout and partly because of demographic shift, as older white voters die and those 20 and over increasingly vote Democrats.
Bottom line: 66% of Republicans make up only 29% of US voters, and down. Less than a third. Enough to populate Trump’s Red State rallies and keep him afloat financially for now. But not enough to keep the illusion alive indefinitely.
That’s a big part of why we saw Trump and his protégé, radio talk show host and future California governor Larry Elder cry foul before the vote count even began in the recall election. of that state.
You almost think they expected to lose.
In order for True Believers to write checks, it is necessary to keep the Big Lie in play. But this is also why – and this is important – struggling Governor Gavin Newsom has done all he can to transform the world. recall vote in a referendum on the big bad wolf.
“Trumpism is still alive across the country,” Newsom said at a rally in eastern Los Angeles with black campaign volunteers. “Is it any surprise that the entire Trump organization is behind this recall?” “
In another campaign event with Vice President Kamala Harris, Newsom linked the reminder to the “January 6 insurgency.” He added that Senior Republican Larry Elder “would take us off that same COVID cliff as Texas and Florida, Tennessee and Alabama and Georgia.”
Add Texas’ new abortion ban to the mix, and Democrats have a trio of powerful issues that impact voters personally and spur turnout – always a big deal in off-year elections.
And not just in California. Democrats in the gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey are also running hard, not only against the dreaded specter of Trumpism – but also against Trump-accented governors. Ron DeSantis from Florida and Greg Abbott from Texas.
In Virginia, former governor Terry McAuliffe, who is running to replace limited-term Democrat Ralph Northam, makes much of Trump’s support for Republican Glenn Youngkin. The GOP candidate ran ads disparaging the tactic. Without rejecting the rider.
“With COVID, people are terrified, horrified – a lot of people are just disgusted that people don’t get vaccinated,” McAuliffe told the Washington Post. “And they’re terrified of Texas [abortion] law, ”he added.
In a pure Jersey-style swing, Gov. Phil Murphy recently faced rowdy anti-vaccines. “You’ve lost your mind! Murphy said. “You are the ultimate fool, and because of what you say and defend, people are losing their [lives]. “
The two Democrats seem comfortably in the lead.
And they owe everything to Trump, DeSantis and Abbott.
Arkansas Times columnist Gene Lyons is a recipient of the National Magazine Award.