Trump’s campaign of fear

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks in JanesvilleI am in regular touch with several white evangelicals over the age of 70 who voted for Trump in 2016. Eric Lutz’s piece at Vanity Fair applies to many of them. Here is a taste:

In the advertisement, an elderly woman sits on the couch in her darkened living room. She’s watching Fox News, where Sean Hannity is taking Joe Biden to task for seeking to defund police departments—a position that the Democratic nominee has not actually adopted, much to the chagrin of some in his party’s progressive wing. As she shakes her head at the television, a masked man creeps around her house and attempts to jimmy open her door with a crowbar. She tries to call the police, but to no avail; the phone rings in an empty station. “Hello, you’ve reached 9-1-1,” says a voice on the answering machine. “I’m sorry that there is no one here to answer your emergency call. But leave a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.” The intruder finally breaks in and comes after the woman, who drops the phone in horror.

“You won’t be safe,” the tagline reads, “in Joe Biden’s America.”

Even by the standard of political ads, the president’s recent campaign spot is ham-handed. But it is emblematic of Donald Trump’s apparent effort to revive his flagging re-election bid by scaring the shit out of Republican voters, particularly the older ones who help form the core of his base. Unable and unwilling to address the coronavirus crisis that has killed 144,000 Americans and counting, and out of step with a growing number who support the nation’s reckoning over racism, the president has cast himself as a defender of “law and order” against the violent anarchy that he says is plaguing the nation. In this alternate universe his campaign has constructed, Portland, Chicago, and other cities are “totally out of control”—and would get worse if Trump weren’t there to send in his secret police.

Read the rest here.

Be afraid. Be very afraid!