Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Monday, March 28, 2016

Assertions Without Evidence

Here, we see Trump in all his idiotic glory.  John Kerry makes a presumably factual statement about foreign leaders who are shocked by America's ongoing reality show election.  Trump - who can't let a single slight go unchallenged - responds thusly:

"I'm shocked by him," Trump said on "Fox and Friends." "And I'm shocked that he would sign a deal like the Iran deal, which is one of the worst and dumbest deals I've ever seen negotiated —a horrible, horrible embarrassment deal."

Here is where Trump and the modern GOP come into concert.  The GOP agrees with Trump that the Iran deal is horrible.  The evidence for this is simply that the Obama administration negotiated the deal, so it might be the "worst and dumbest."  In fact, the Iran deal is a model of nuclear nonproliferation that is far stricter and far more encompassing than we had a right to expect.  As I've written before, the options were either this deal, a nuclear Iran or war.

But Trump's non-factual world can simply encompass a magical reality where he gets a better deal because he's Trump.  And that gibes nicely with the GOP narrative that Obama is some mixture of incompetent and a master Manchurian Candidate.

Trump's non-factual statement about the Iran deal works well for him, because his audience already believes that the deal is bad, because Obama.  He is also compelled to respond to every possible slight.

The latter, I think offers a real opportunity.  Trump set the agenda in the early GOP contest, sucking all the air out of the room.  Now, as we approach the general election, there should be a strategy of constantly attacking Trump so that he is responding to assaults rather than launching them.

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