These hucksters capitalize on the man and his controversies; the hell with winning elections!
Don’t we all Republicans want to win elections? You’d think so, but there’s a cadre of media talking heads and GOP activists and politicians for whom Donald Trump is good business regardless of whether Republicans win – and Trump knows how to play them, and us voters.
Let’s take the latest controversy around Kanye West, the musician/actor who has made anti-Semitic comments, bringing white nationalist Nick Fuentes with him to a dinner at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago.
Republican leaders and groups, along with Jewish organizations, are denouncing Trump and demanding he apologizes and distances himself from West and Fuentes. So far, as is normal for Trump, no apologies at all – just acting dumb and saying he invited West but didn’t know who Fuentes was.
This has been in the news cycle for a week, and that’s Trump’s aim in all of this – I don’t believe Trump is an anti-Semite, has been a great friend of Israel, worked with Jews in his business, and has a daughter, Ivanka, who married a Jew, and converted. However, he has many times before been cornered for accepting the support of wacko groups like Qanon, white supremacists like David Duke, and the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys.
Jonathan Tobin of Jewish National Syndicate, a right-leaning pro-Zionist news service an ardent trump supporter and backer, says Trump does this deliberately:
“Up until now, almost all of the attempts by Democrats to accuse him of antisemitism or of encouraging Jew-hatred have been highly partisan charges that didn’t stand up to scrutiny. The case for damning Trump as an antisemite or an ally of antisemites simply didn’t hold water.”
But, Trump who Tobin says “doesn’t believe in apologies, has a “savvy appreciation of how to deal with gaffes or kerfuffles that, in most cases, he made deliberately in order to gain attention or simply to generate outrage among media and political-establishment foes…He long ago came to the conclusion that the only response to being attacked was to ignore the brickbats and move on to the next dustup for maximum political advantage.”
Trump is essentially a showman and salesman. His view is any publicity, even negative publicity, is good because what it does is it gets his name into the news cycle over and over again. To be sure, his ardent backers love him, but he just moves moderate and swing voters to the Democrats in states Republican need to win majorities.
In addition, Trump has a number of enablers in conservative media and other circles who just ignored this incident on their shows rather than upset Trump and his base – and their bottom line.
These are people who make money no matter who is in power. In fact, there might be evidence conservative media benefits when the Democrats are in power because they are a convenient target, and conversely liberal groups benefit when Republicans control Washington.
At the top of the list are Fox News’ prime-time trio: Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity. So far, none of them have distanced themselves from Trump for the benefit of the GOP and conservative cause – and the Constitution. I guess they remember the revulsion among Trump viewers when the network declared Biden the winner in Arizona before all legal challenges were adjudicated. As a result, Trumpsters got mad and went to Newsmax, which is a big Trump enabler, too.
Data shows Newsmax ratings skyrocket when they air Trump’s rallies.
Other enablers include people like Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee. Gingrich is an astute observer of politics and yet, he blamed the recent Red Ripple that should have been a Wave on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, not Trump. He’s now having to testify to a grand jury on Trump’s alleged efforts to tamper with Georgia’s 2020 results.
Huckabee makes money off Trump and said his presidential announcement speech was “pitch perfect.” That Kids Guide to President Trump he hawks does cost but $2 shipping. My guess is Trump helps finance it.
Loads of other media talking heads profit off of Trump. This New Yorker article highlights how Dan Bongino’s podcast hit 8 million listeners in large part for being a Trump apologist. Steve Bannon’s War Room and Virginia’s own John Fredericks capitalize on the MAGA faithful. Most of the Trump-backed candidates Bannon hosted on his show lost.
Democrats know this and spent millions on ads to promote more Trump-like candidates so they would win GOP primaries and be weaker opponents. This worked in New Hampshire’s Senate race and at least five others.
This great TBE analysis by Hans Bader shows that in pivotal races, Trump’s support of those candidates was the kiss of death. My prediction is Herschel Walker loses the Georgia Senate runoff Dec. 3.
I still gave Walker a donation, and still believe Trump did great things as president. I worked hard for Trump in 2016 and 2020 and was a National Convention delegate in both years.
Trump is clearly all about Trump and has no appeal beyond a hardened base of conservatives mostly in rural areas. Our party will never get beyond the 30-40% Trump base if we keep enabling him but embracing the America First agenda is a win.
If it’s your only desire to be entertained or be a RINO hunter, or keep thinking elections are being stolen like Trump acolytes Dinesh D’souza and Mike Lindell, then keep supporting him and be a dupe for the hucksters, including the Democrats and their TV commercials for the “Ultra MAGA” GOP contenders. Go be a gullible sap and vote for them.
But if it’s your desire to save the nation and Constitution from socialism, wokism, cancel culture, Big Government and censorship, we need to start backing better GOP candidates, especially in the 2024 presidential election.
And Donald Trump isn’t one of them.