There was a great deal of speculation going into Donald Trump’s self-gratification tour, what he calls his “back to work” rally in Melbourne, Florida tonight. Trump himself assured us, “A lot to talk about!”
Elliot Lusztig asked, “Just yesterday he referred to press as Enemies of the People. Will they again be penned in cages and abused in his sick theatrics?”
The plan was simple: When things get rough, run away and spend the public’s money and get some cheers from your adoring base to wipe away the pain of a press that now calls out your every lie. Yes, Donald Trump realizes the honeymoon is over.
The lies began early, even before Trump took the stage and if you were not listening carefully you could be forgiven for not thinking Trump was being given credit for the death of Donald Trump. We were told “hard work and opportunity” would get the job done by a president who has taken three vacations in his first three weeks in office.
Trump said “I want to speak to you without the filter of the fake news,” and complained about “one false story after another” and pointed to Thomas Jefferson and other presidents as having fought with the media.
Watch courtesy of CNN:
Trump slams the media in Melbourne, Florida: "I also want to speak to you without the filter of the fake news" https://t.co/ZGNnS6sfB1
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) February 18, 2017
It is true, as Trump said in a rare moment of honesty, that Jefferson complained, “Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper (letter to John Norvell, 14 June 1807) But this would be the same Thomas Jefferson who said, “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost (letter to Dr. James Currie, 28 January 1786).”
That was the only honest thing Trump said, however. He lied about keeping his promises, even though his endless trips to Florida, including tonight’s, broke one of his main campaign promises.
And he talked about the “tiny crowd” of protesters outside the rally compared to the huge crowds within (which, he said, the media would not show), though photos suggest the protesting crowd was anything but tiny. There were, in fact, several hundred there to protest Trump.
The Toronto Star yesterday helpfully posted “The complete list of all 80 false things Donald Trump has said in his first 4 weeks as president” compiled by intrepid fact-checker Daniel Dale. There were bets as to how many of these will be repeated tonight, and how many times.
In the end, Trump used the rally solely to lie, to touch all the bases, the same lies from the DAPL and Keystone XL to the F-35 fighter program, from the wall to “jobs like you’ve never seen before,” replete with constant attacks on the media.
This was in every way a Trump campaign rally and broke no new ground. The only difference between then and now is that before Election Day he lied that he would do the things he is now lying about having done.
Trump’s lies were going nowhere in Washington D.C., so he fled back to what he is most comfortable doing, lying to a crowd receptive to his lies and willing to cheer each and every one of them.
The Hill opined that Trump was looking to “energize the White House,” but it was Trump not his White House that needed some cheers, and that was what this completely unnecessary rally was about: self-gratification and escape from a job he doesn’t know how to do – all on the public’s dime.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.