Trigger Warning: I’m going to write about Trump. But that’s a good thing, because Democrats need to wrap Trump, and what he represents — graft, lies, treason and death — around the Republican party’s neck so tightly that he smothers them.
I’ve talked about the importance of political messaging before. One of the key tenets of messaging success is repetition: Repeat your message incessantly for days, weeks, even years, until it finally sinks in to the public mind. For example, Republicans have accused Democrats of being “socialists” for as long back as I can remember — 50 years? Over that same period, Republicans have also claimed that we hate America, are bad for business, and won’t defend the country against foreign enemies. They’re damning lies, and they cause electoral damage.
Of course, with Trump, the shoe is finally on the other foot. Now it’s the Republicans who hate America and what it represents. And we need to remind people of that fact every single day.
Which takes us back to Trump, who issued a statement this (Monday) morning, doubling down on his ongoing lie that he won the election:
“The Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020 will be, from this day forth, known as THE BIG LIE!”
I fear Trump is going to get a lot of people killed. You cannot peddle a lie this big, this grave — you cannot repeatedly tell people that there has been, for all intents and purposes, a coup d’état; that the rightful president has been overthrown; and that an usurper has stolen the office — without someone taking up arms to fix the “problem.”
Add to that the longtime Republican lies that Democrats are America-hating devils out to kill your babies — and now, with QAnon, we’re here to make sex slaves of your children — and the potential for something really bad to happen goes far beyond a lone crazy shooter. One of our two main political parties, representing half the voters, has become a deadly anti-American cult.
Now, I just saw Margaret Hoover, one of the few sane Republicans, argue on CNN that it’s not true that the “entire” GOP has embraced Trump’s cult. And, sure, there are a handful of Republicans who have spoken out against Trump: Mitt Romney, Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, David Frum, Rick Wilson, Steve Schmidt, and several more. But in the aggregate, they hardly add up to the margin of error when calculating Republican adherence to Trump and his ideology of hate, lies and treason.
Liz Cheney, by the way, took on Trump nicely today. And it might cost her reelection.
Another vocal GOP critic of Trump, US Senator Mitt Romney (who voted to remove Trump from office during the impeachment trial), was booed and called “traitor” (by actual traitors) this weekend at the GOP convention in Utah.
The only thing that might save us is Democrats, and anti-Trump Republicans, upping our messaging game. We need to stop being afraid to call Republicans out in the strongest terms possible. We need to call them a cult. We need to call them a party of liars. We need to call them un-American. We need to call them traitors and murderers. We need to make Trump supporters embarrassed to their core for continuing to defend a man who tried to violently overthrow our government after killing 400,000 Americans because he thought lying about Covid would help his re-election.