What’s Going On: Why ‘send her back’ may get Trump re-elected
Stop me if you have heard this one before: President Donald Trump tweets or says something outrageous, Democrats/liberals criticize him and the comment, Republicans/conservatives defend him and the comment, and then Trump doubles down on the outrageous remark while attacking the media for how they report on it.
I’ve lost count the number of times I’ve seen a headline that starts with “Trump says/tweets” … followed by fill-in-the-blank with your favorite controversial statement: Most Mexican immigrants are criminals; Kim Jong Un isn’t a bad guy; John McCain is no war hero; There are good people who are white supremacists; I believe Vladamir Putin over some of America’s intelligence sources.
Every time he seems to ratchet up the ridiculousness of the statement to make sure he stays in the headlines, and the media (which allegedly is his arch enemy) is more than happy to serve his purposes.
So when I first read about his Sunday morning tweet tirade about four new U.S. congresswomen, including Minnesota’s own Ilhan Omar, I just rolled my eyes.
Here we go again.
But I’ve come to realize since then, this time is different. This ridiculous and outrageous statement may very well have guaranteed Trump’s re-election.
Before Trump’s tweets, the four respective congresswomen were being attacked from within as much as by any Republican. All four came emboldened to Congress earlier this year with liberal agendas and little patience for the establishment. As such, they were almost instantly at odds with leaders in the Democratic party, including Nancy Pelosi who was dubbed a racist by one of the members of the “squad” during a heated argument.
Consequently, approval ratings for the four congresswomen was waning.
But just as the Democratic party had started to separate themselves from the liberal representatives and their agendas, while at the same time the presidential race gains steam, Trump went on the attack. And with one tweet, he compelled the Democrats to rally around and defend the same colleagues they were trying to distance themselves from days earlier.
As such, moving forward, Trump and the entire GOP are one step closer to branding ALL Democrats as liberal, socialist-agenda-pushing enemies of the state.
We got our first glimpse as a nation of the impact Trump’s tweet will have on the 2020 presidential election at a campaign rally a few days later in North Carolina, as the crowd erupted in chants of “send her back.” I had wondered what would replace 2016’s “lock her up” and now I know.
Since then, we rinse and repeat as Democrats express outrage and Republicans defend. Trump, after reportedly getting some internal push back from members of his party and inner circle, has tried to distance himself from the chant he created, even claiming he tried to stop it.
I do wonder sometimes why he tries to lie so blatantly, and this one is a doozy. He knows what he did at that rally (or didn’t) and he knows there’s plenty of video footage available to contradict him.
As the crowd chanted “send her back” there stood President Trump, actually not saying anything for once, although he now claims he “started speaking very quickly” which he clearly did not. As he looked across the crowd, I can’t help but wonder if even he was surprised at how well his ploy worked.
We are going to hear that chant a lot moving forward as Trump continues to assail his critics, despite the wishes of many in the president’s own party. It won’t hurt Trump at all as anyone who was voting for him before the tweets is still voting for him today. And anyone offended by those remarks wasn’t going to vote for him in any scenario anyway.
What it does though is further the Democratic brand Trump is creating: they are Godless liberals, who want to destroy America through a socialist agenda.
And so far, Democratic presidential candidates are playing right into his hands. advocating for abolishment of private health insurance, decriminalizing illegal immigration and providing government services to non-citizens.
Donald Trump may or may not be a lot of things, depending on your political leanings: a racist, a sexist, a bully, a nativist, a liar, a con man, and an adulterer. But one thing is certain, when it comes to manipulating the media, Trump is a genius.
He knows how to keep the spotlight on himself at all times, and he’s been doing it for many, many years.
And this time, it might just help get him a second term.
Gregory Orear is the publisher of The Journal. His award-winning weekly column, “What’s Going On,” has been published in four newspapers in three states for more than 20 years. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.