The Detroit Post
Wednesday, 01 December, 2021

Trump Guardian

Ellen Grant
• Tuesday, 03 November, 2020
• 7 min read

Donald Trump not only changed much about campaigning, governing and the ways of Washington, even the language of American politics has altered during the Republican’s tenure. Trump ’s rollicking rally speeches and manic Twitter feed conjured new slogans and insults or revived incendiary words with long histories; his allies, opponents and chroniclers searched for new phrases to describe the indescribable.

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In his inaugural address, Trump painted a dark picture of poverty in inner cities, rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones and crime and gangs and drugs, promising: “This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.” But the phrase came back to haunt him, especially when the coronavirus pandemic killed hundreds of thousands of people. He followed through on withdrawing from the Paris climate accords, renegotiating trade deals and leaving the US isolated on the global stage.

Its followers have used aggressive tactics including physical confrontations to intimidate groups they regard as authoritarian or racist. Trump complained that Covid-19 had multiple names but more often than not settled on the racist terms “China virus” and “King flu”, putting Asian Americans at risk of hostility and persecution.

The first half of Trump ’s presidency was dominated by special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into his campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia. Trump pushed the conspiracy theory that bureaucrats within the political system effectively run a secret government that plots against democratically elected officials.

“Thank God for the deep state,” John McLaughlin, a former deputy and acting director of the CIA, remarked last year. Typically, defined as the dissemination of deliberately false information, it took flight with Russia’s social media attack during the 2016 election.

The term was popularized by BuzzFeed News media editor Craig Silverman to describe unverified claims and online rumors. But in January 2017, Trump, then president-elect, told CNN’s Jim Acosta at a press conference: “You are fake news.” From that moment on, he cooped and weaponized the phrase to dismiss media reports he did not like.

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The Washington Post’s fact-checkers even kept count: by 11 September, it noted, he had “made 23,035 false or misleading claims”. Trump ’s defenders claimed he was using the term to condemn globalization and its devastating effects on American workers.

Brian Shelter, host of CNN’s Reliable Sources program, noted in August that the president had already used the word more than 250 times this year. When Shelter published a book, he naturally called it Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth.

A conflation of Jared Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump, both senior advisers to the president, both lightning rods for scorn and ridicule. “They are the Faustian poster couple of the Trump presidency,” wrote Frank Brunei in the New York Times.

Along with “build that wall”, this became the classic chant at Trump ’s rallies in 2016, when he ran against Hillary Clinton and, more unexpectedly, persisted through to 2020, when Joe Biden proved harder to categorize. This is one of Trump ’s go-to insults, slung at everyone from the media to the Lincoln Project to former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.

But it rebounded on him last September when the Atlantic magazine reported that he had referred to America’s war dead as “losers” and “suckers”. Short for “Make America great again”, a slogan borrowed from Ronald Reagan that Trump made his own at rallies, on hats and on endless other merchandise.

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But it marched on through his presidency and found expression in groups such as the Lincoln Project and Republican Voters Against Trump that opposed him in 2020. Trump bent, broke, shattered, shredded and trampled on norms from start to finish, prompting the lament: “This is not normal.” It was another way of saying that he crossed every line, pushed every envelope and violated every unwritten rule.

A symptom of negative partisanship, this political performance art is all about goading, shocking and outraging liberals, especially on social media. He denied promising to unfreeze military aid to Ukraine in return for that country announcing an investigation into Biden.

A well-worn phrase that captured the division, partisanship and polarization of the Trump years, especially the notion of two distinct media bubbles. Carl Bernstein, whose reporting on the Watergate scandal with Bob Woodward helped bring down Richard Nixon, said America had entered a cold civil war”.

Donald Trump Jr penned a book called Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us. The phrase, which conjures images of women being put on trial and thrown into water amid hysteria reminiscent of Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible, became a staple of Trump ’s defense against the Russia investigation and Ukraine-related impeachment.

Somewhere on Capitol Hill, presumably, Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell buried his head in his hands. While the party remains whole, and an official split will be a surprise, it has now descended into internecine strife, Trump loyalists fighting for the lost cause of a second term while others seek to adjust to life back in opposition.

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The penalty for apostasy is clear: a primary from the right or, as rumor has it in the case of the Florida senator Marco Rubio, a challenge from Trump ’s own daughter. But in contrast to the zeal of the Maga-fuelled legions, in the Senate the party establishment has now rejected Trump ’s increasingly wild attempts to hold on to power while negotiating the COVID-19 deal which stoked Tuesday night’s extraordinary display of presidential petulance from the White House podium.

Trump ’s refusal to accept defeat, not to mention the vicious fire he and his allies have directed at McConnell since the senator recognized Joe Biden’s win, is damaging the president’s own party. Seeking to hold on to the party’s best hope of thwarting Biden’s agenda, McConnell needs a united front.

Georgia’s two sitting senators, Kelly Offer and David Purdue, have thrown in their lots with Trump. That means supporting his claim the presidential election was rigged, which the party establishment fears could suppress Republican turnout.

On CNN last weekend, the Utah senator and 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney, a frequent Trump critic, was asked if he “still recognized the Republican Party”. Romney went on to describe a battle to succeed Trump at the top of the party that promises to be as life was to Thomas Hobbes: nasty and brutish, if long-term rather than short.

The common way out is to retire but two House members from Michigan, Justin Smash last year and Paul Mitchell this, found the courage to publicly leave their party. Rubin advocated a bipartisan effort to restore balance, writing: “Once the Anti-Democracy Trump party is marginalized we might have functional government again.

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Flynn, who served briefly as Trump's national security adviser in early 2017, twice pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about his contacts with Russia's ambassador. Courthouse on June 24, 2019, in Washington, D.C. Alex Wroblewski/GettyAlthough President-elect Joe Biden was declared the winner of the presidential election nearly a month ago, Trump has refused to concede.

In a November 14 tweet, Trump described Powell as one of his campaign's “wonderful lawyers and representatives” as he touted his legal team's efforts to overturn the election results. But Powell has continued to pursue legal challenges to the results, with pending cases that are widely expected to fail in multiple states.

During a pro- Trump press conference in Georgia last week, Powell suggested that Republican voters should boycott the Senate runoffs set to be held their on January 5. Although Trump has made many of the same unfounded claims as Powell and questioned Georgia's election results, he has urged his supporters to vote for the GOP candidates in the southern state.

New Jersey's former Governor Chris Christie told ABC News last month that Trump's legal team had become a “national embarrassment” after a bizarre press conference held by Giuliani and Powell. During that media event, Powell argued that the Chinese, Venezuela's dead former president, billionaire George Soros, the Clinton's, and Republican and Democratic leaders across the country had conspired against Trump in the election.

The Guardian via Yahoo News · 1 day ago Congress certified Joe Biden as the next President of the United States in the early hours of... Slopes · 2 days ago Capitol, forcing the building into a lockdown and halting a ceremonial vote to affirm Joe Biden’s...

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The Guardian via Yahoo News · 1 day ago Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker, is demanding that the chief of the Capitol police stand down, the ... CUTHBERT, Ga. (Reuters) -Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, says he was just following the law when he rejected claims by Donald Trump, his fellow Republican, that the president’s election defeat was the result of widespread fraud.

Interviewed on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Monday, Raffensperger said the White House had pushed him against his better judgment to take Trump ’s call. “Well Mr. President, the challenge that you have is the data you have is wrong,” Raffensperger could be heard telling Trump on the recording of Saturday’s call.

Someone’s going to get hurt, someone’s going to get shot, someone’s going to get killed,” Gabriel Sterling, the manager of the state’s voting systems, said at an emotional Dec. 1 news conference. Acquaintances of Raffensperger in the state House described him as a “straight shooter” who backed traditional Republican priorities, supporting a bill to cut regulations on small businesses, for example, and voting against a tax on gasoline, according to a profile in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

A lifelong Republican, Raffensperger was an early supporter of Trump in 2016, and the president returned the favor by endorsing him for Secretary of State. Trump ’s relentless attacks since the Nov. 3 election included an accusation that Raffensperger hid tens of thousands of illegal votes, ensuring Biden’s victory.

Ronald Ham, the Republican Party’s head in rural Brantley County, said Raffensperger should take Trump ’s allegations about voter fraud more seriously. Raffensperger told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in late November that he and his wife of 44 years had leaned on their faith to cope with the pressure.

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