“Accused of targeting democracy, Trump turns to ‘no puppet’ tactics”

Important point from Steve Benen:

With this in mind, Trump is aware of the fact that he’s running for the nation’s highest office effectively as an opponent of democracy. He also realizes that a growing number of observers — journalists, scholars, voters, et al. — have noticed. The Republican’s response to the burgeoning controversy, however, is eerily familiar. The Associated Press reported over the weekend:

Former President Donald Trump on Saturday attempted to turn the tables on his likely rival in November, President Joe Biden, arguing that the man whose election victory Trump tried to overturn is “the destroyer of American democracy.” Trump’s allegations about Biden, a Democrat, echo the ones that Biden has been making for years against his predecessor.

In the same remarks, delivered in Iowa, the frontrunner for the GOP nomination also accused Democrats of having “fascists” among their ranks, adding that Democrats are trying “to crush free speech, censor their critics,” and “criminalize dissent.”

With a straight face, Trump went on to tell his audience, in reference to his opponents, “They’ve been waging an all-out war on American democracy — and becoming more and more extreme and repressive.”

For those with even a passing familiarity with reality, the rhetoric was plainly bonkers. But Trump wasn’t simply trying to deceive, so much as he was trying to confuse.

The point of rhetoric like this is to muddy the political waters. The Republican wants to create conditions in which average voters — who might not keep up on day-to-day developments in the news — grow lost in a cacophony of accusations. One party says Politician X is attacking democracy; the other party says Politician Y is attacking democracy; and many are left to assume that the truth is somewhere in between.

Share this: