Wednesday, June 12, 2019


This Washington Post story reminds us of one aspect of the 2016 Donald Trump campaign that he's unlikely to replicate this time around:
Trump’s response to the Pulse shooting in 2016 gave false hope about his LGBT agenda

It was Donald Trump’s response three years ago to a deadly shooting in a gay nightclub that gave some hope that he would be a different type of Republican leader on LGBT issues.

When Omar Mateen, an American who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, gunned down 49 people on June 12, 2016, at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, it became the deadliest mass shooting in the United States at the time. A month later, when Trump accepted the Republican Party’s nomination for president, he pledged to protect gay Americans from future attacks. It was the first time that a GOP nominee had even mentioned the LGBT community in their nomination speech. He said:
Only weeks ago, in Orlando, Florida, 49 wonderful Americans were savagely murdered by an Islamic terrorist. This time, the terrorist targeted our LGBT community. As your president, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBT citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology. To protect us from terrorism, we need to focus on three things.
Trump won praise for his comments — even from members of the LGBT community. But cynics noted that it was Mateen’s loyalty to the Islamist terrorist group that led the then-nominee to address the mass murder more than his concern for the safety of gay Americans.
A few months later, there was this:

Trump pretended that he'd be a liberal president on LGBT issues, just the way he pretended to be an opponent of concentrated wealth and power in his campaign's final TV ad:
Donald Trump makes a closing argument to voters in a newly released campaign ad, painting a bleak picture of the U.S. economy while issuing oft-repeated warnings about the “corrupt political establishment.”

“The only thing that can stop this corrupt machine is you. The only force strong enough to save our country is us,” Trump says in his spot....

“Our movement is about replacing a failed and corrupt political establishment with a new government controlled by you, the American people,” Trump says in the ad, over dark images of Washington D.C. and crowds of cheering supporters at his rallies.

Trump was going to be a friend to gays. He was going to be a foe of Goldman Sachs. He was going to ensure that everyone had excellent health insurance.

It's clear now that he's barely trying to pull the wool over centrist voters' eyes the way he did three years ago. It's all base, base, base. I don't think he'll even bother to lie to swing voters next year the way he did in 2016.

We can list the reasons Trump pulled of his Electoral College victory: Russia, Wikileaks, GOP vote suppression, some bad choices by the Clinton campaign, late-breaking email talk from the FBI that fed into the media's long-standing contempt for Clinton. All of it helped -- but, in all likelihood, so did the perception that Trump was a Republican who rejected Republican orthodoxy. He might like gays! He might soak the rich!

It doesn't even appear as if he wants to try that anymore. So Trump, oddly enough, may tell fewer lies in the 2020 campaign -- or at least fewer lies of a certain kind. And that might be why he loses.

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