In Richfield, Ohio, someone on Team Trump was able to find enough of the thirty-something percent of Americans who still support Donald Trump to almost fill an entire room as they gathered to watch him give a speech that was supposed to be about infrastructure.
Trump has attempted, at least, to fashion himself as a sort of “populist” president, ostensibly occupying his time with the concerns of “everyday Americans” who are blue-collar workers, religious moms, and so-called “values voters.”
He gets away with it, for the most part, with his base. That’s because his first job is as a professional liar.
America knows that the majority of Trump policies benefit the ultra-rich, and that’s by design. Not just because Trump is a Republican, and that is what the GOP has exclusively evolved into — a money-making service for the wealthy — but because that’s the class that Trump himself comes from.
But the biggest reason that Trump is able to do and say whatever he wants and not alienate much of his voting base is that he knows how to appeal to their fear, racism, xenophobia, and most of all, their love of guns.
And that’s how it is that in the middle — heck, near the beginning — of a speech about rebuilding America using American goods and American labor, Trump turned instead to the Second Amendment. He was getting almost no applause for the infrastructure yawn-fest, since everyone knows about the tariffs on steel and the fact that he couldn’t get his stupid wall funded if his life depended on it.
So because the real news lately has been about Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, and the rest of the hero kids from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and their effort to effect at least some small change in gun reform, Trump knew just what kind of red meat to throw to his base.
Unfortunately, in doing so, he had to tell a major lie about a proponent of gun control: Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who wrote an op-ed for the New York Times calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment.
Not many people have actually called for that, although you’d never know it listening to Republicans and the NRA. They are (and have been forever) convinced that all Democrats want to confiscate all guns. That’s laughably false, but persistent enough a rumor that paranoid conservatives eat it up by the spoonful.
And really, repealing the Second Amendment doesn’t actually mean necessarily outlawing guns. It would just mean that the “right” to own one would not be enshrined in the Constitution, and that individual states could make laws regarding the regulation of guns as they saw fit.
But none of that matters in the mind of a conservative who wants to believe whatever they want to believe. Never mind the fact that it was the Supreme Court’s most conservative member in recorded history, Antonin Scalia, who argued that the Second Amendment was not unlimited in terms of what kind of guns Americans could own.
But Stevens himself is ALSO a life-long Republican, appointed by a Republican, and most often siding with the other Republicans on the court.
Today, in front of hundreds of Buckeyes at a job training site, Trump lied and said that Justice John Paul Stevens was a Democrat. That’s a little worse than when Fox News “accidentally” puts a “D” after a congressman’s name on their shows if a Republican has gotten into trouble. It was on purpose, and it was a bald-faced lie, designed to make people hate the “other side” of the debate.
We just can’t stand for this anymore.
Watch Donald Trump lie to Americans’ faces here:
Featured image via screen capture