But the real story may be how an online effort by teens may have really bolloxed up things for Trump and his campaign.
About a week ago, a friend of ours told us his son was registering for tickets for Trump’s rally, so that his campaign would think many more people were planning to come than actually would show.
Frankly, we didn’t think much of it at the time. Shame on us. Especially since we’d just written, in a story about how Kpop fans had amassed online and thwarted police efforts to do visual IDs on protestors that tweens/teens:
”Potentially have unfathomable resources stretching across global lines and slicing through many traditional political and societal edifices. It’ll just be a question of how they chose to use that power and innovation.”
Well, they proved themselves Saturday night. Despite boasting of 1,000,000 applications for tickets, Trump’s self-described kick-off rally for his 2020 Presidential campaign (which it really actually wasn’t, although it was his first since COVID-19 took hold), was unusually lightly attended, in an arena that holds 19,000 fully packed.
Whether this or any other action these or other young people may devise has any lasting and significant impact is not yet clear.
Still, we stand in awe.
And the President was clearly thrown.
Of course he and his people tried to blame protestors outside the event, and fear mongering by the media for his low turnout. Said Trump:
“We have some very bad people outside; they were doing bad things.”
But that’s actually also a pretty accurate description of the President’s core re-election strategy and message.
Fear. Of protestors. Of change. All the change they’re calling for means they’re coming for you. And your way of life. And your “heritage”.
Says the President later on, referencing the 2nd Amendment:
“When you see those lunatics all over the streets, it is damn nice to have arms.”
“If Joe Biden is elected…we will lose everything.”
Question: who’s “we”?
Trump went deep down many pathways, though none directly or really even indirectly dealing with the killing of George Floyd or racism in this country, except to say:
“If Joe Biden were to become President, an emboldened Left will launch a full-scale assault on American life. They’ll expel anyone who disagrees with them. Look what happens when you disagree: you use a term that’s ‘perfect’ and they’re not happy with it; they call you a racist.”
Question: who’s “you”?
Trump spent a good deal of his time–in fact a full 15 minutes, or 10% of his entire speech–whining about and explaining why he had trouble walking down a ramp and drinking water from a glass at the West Point graduation ceremony. And then took a sip of water just to prove he could. He also mused about getting “a piece” of the immune system of a “little kid”, since they seem to fare better against COVID-19 than adults in most cases. And how, because more testing finds more infections: “I said to my people: slow the testing down please”. But we’re sure that’ll quickly be classified by the President’s folks as “sarcastic”.
And Trump’s anger at the state of the evening did seem to seep out in places: for instance when he retreated to a tale he often tells at rallies, about getting Boeing to lower the price on the new Air Force One. But with new florid details, such as yelling at the “head” of Boeing:
“Don’t you understand you dumb son of a bitch?!”