From Donald Trump at his campaign rally last night:
We want walls that you can see through in a sense. You want to see what’s on the other side.
That’s called a “fence,” Mr. President.¹ But how can we ever have a fence if Trump refuses to say the word? Say the word! Say the word!
I didn’t listen to Trump’s rally last night. My toenails needed tending, I think. So I went looking for a transcript this morning. “Trump Ranted For 77 Minutes in Phoenix,” said the headline in Time, but I managed to read the whole thing in about five minutes. That’s efficiency!
Honestly, though, pulling out a few quotes here and there just doesn’t give you a sense of how this thing went. The remarkable part is that he just told lie after lie after lie with barely a pause for breath. And everyone in the audience, most of whom probably don’t follow this stuff in gruesome detail,² believed him. His 15-minute rant about Charlottesville—which he had prepared notes for—was just a flat-out lie about what he said, when he said it, and what he was criticized for. After that he lied about CNN turning off their cameras. He lied about the size of the protest outside. He lied about job creation. He lied about his tweeting. He lied (yet again) about the New York Times apologizing for its campaign coverage of him. He lied about the media ignoring big stories. He lied about auto companies bringing jobs back to America. He lied about how much illegal immigration has declined. He lied about extreme vetting. He lied about Obamacare. He lied about how close he was to repealing it. He lied about defense spending. He lied about clean coal. He lied about economic growth. He lied about corporate tax rates.
It was a 77-minute spittle-flecked presentation of alternate reality. And above all, it was a continuation of his war on the media. His goal is to convince all of his followers, not just the true believers, that everything in the mainstream press is a deliberate fiction and they shouldn’t believe any of it. And it’s working pretty well:
Republicans are very close to believing that literally nothing they hear is true unless they hear it from Trump. This is the road to catastrophe if it keeps up.
¹Unless it’s made of transparent aluminum, of course. Did anyone get a screenshot of the formula for that on Scotty’s little Macintosh?
²Or follow it on Fox News, which is probably worse.