Which is not good for the Trump campaign or the Republican Party.
The GOP convention and presumably Donald Trump’s presidential hopes depend upon the images created during these four days. In many respects, so do the ambitions of many Republican officeholders and political wannabees.
Coming out of this convention is the imagery of a raucous crowd hanging around a guillotine, wanting blood while screaming “Off with her head”, meaning Hillary’s.
Coming out of the GOP shindig are the visuals of a lily-white convention, very few minorities of any color or ethnicity. Four years ago, the Republican Party knew it had to expand its base, to win. The TV shots from the convention, coupled with Trump’s own past rhetoric, almost guarantees the party will be even more blanched than ever. It also means the radical right wing extremists will be play a major role in forming the new Republican Party establishment.
Coming out of the most important republican political event since 2012 is the Trump campaign doubling down, into what I wrote about yesterday--its “Trump Mode”. The Trump mode is never admitting fault or mistake and instead, going on the offensive accusing others for even insinuating culpability or vulnerability.
And, coming out of Cleveland’s signature moment is Chris Cuomo (and probably others) telling the world and especially Manafort, that he is lying about Melania’s campaign speech.
Why is this charge so important to Manafort, to Donald Trump and to the entire Republican Party?
Because the issue is not about Melania Trump and what many believe is plagiarism. The fact is--the words are very similar in identity, context, phraseology and meaning. They come out of a related event (political campaigns) where the wives of presidential hopefuls are lovingly praising their husbands. The issue is about denying and attacking. Melania told NBC that she wrote the speech with as little help as possible. The campaign is saying otherwise and not admitting any variance. The only thing they want to admit, it seems, is, they want to move on from the heat. They could have called this entire mishap a careless rookie mistake. The issue would have been history. Now, the media and others are calling them liars and peeling off the scab to expose the toxic Trump Mode pattern.
But, with the constant drumbeating of Manafort’s and other Trump surrogates negating what our very visual and hearing and our common senses tell us, sadly, the defining message coming out of this week’s confab is not of a new bold America. Not at all. It is the future of a dishonest administration and political. It is a future of an ongoing pattern failing to be candid over relatively really small issues. It is the legitimate prospects this pattern of negation, dishonesty and Trump attacks will continue. It is the frightening prediction that when a really important issue emerges, this country will never see transparency. Just combat.
Americans know when Hillary Clinton told us one thing about her email, changed her story and then told us something altogether different.
Americans know, whether Donald Trump, his loyal followers or Paul Manafort want to admit it—denying the obvious and attacking those questioning, is mode operandi for Trump.
As Cuomo stated this morning, this is what occurred when Trump denied making fun of a reporter. That is what occurred when Trump denied being John Miller, his so-called communications guy who called a magazine with self-promotional secrets. That is what happened when Trump and gang denied it retweeted an image of a Jewish star over a pile of money, despite the fact logic tells us, it was another dog whistle tweets to the far-right wingers and hate mongers.
Trump and his lieutenants have gotten away with negating, denying and lying for more than a year. They obviously believe they can simply continue doing the same as it tries to convince Middle America to trust him more than Hillary.
The problem, however, is—by maintaining this projection, it undermines their very argument against Clinton and her surrogates such as Elizabeth Warren. These are just two of many that Trump has called liars.
The more important problem for Trump is this. He is woefully inexperienced in the industry of government, despite years of his buying influence and paying top dollar. He needs to present himself as being above the business of government, the crooked deals, the lies and the cover-ups.
The pattern of Trump mode negates being the voice of truth. Instead, it presents the significant concern that he will continue this same apparent lifelong practice of denying and combating throughout a Trump administration. Even worse, it presents a future Trump administration on lockdown and combat. He has already said he wanted to go after the stinking “lyin” media. He has said he wants to have his future administration sign non-disclosure agreements.
As a result of these risks, the only words out of a Trump White House will be negation and combativeness by him and his enablers who will be sworn not to reveal. This is tantamount to compelling an administration to hide the truth. As a result, there are very real concerns that a Trump campaign will take an AR-15 and mowing down the 1st Amendment’s protection of freedom of speech.
The Trump Mode denying and combating is very serious. It cuts away the very floor from their attacks against Hillary’s own pattern of dishonesty. It creates the argument that Trump, like the Clintons, will deny and savage those standing in their way when they have a story to tell the public.
Trump’s son Donald Jr. told the world last night that when his father is told it can’t be done or that something is impossible, Trump responds by making it possible. That can be a very powerful trait, when used wisely.
But, should Trump never give an inch on revealing embarrassing facts, it is also human nature for others to dig in, to get them. The media increasingly knows that Trump cannot be believed. They will not move on. They will recoil and just dig deeper.
As history is our teacher, Trump and his administration will keep denying, hiding and blasting those simply seeking what they believe to be the truth.
This is not any way to make America Great.
This is the very essence of crippling America’s promising fate.
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