In little league baseball, the “mercy rule” allows truly one-sided games to be stopped in order to spare the losing team further humiliation. Last week, following his latest indictment, Americans witnessed another truly one-sided contest as Donald Trump and his legal team once again demonstrated their command of political messaging.
Whatever the legal merit of the various charges against the former president, he is He managed to turn his legal troubles into political gains. Rather than deterring his supporters, the allegations against Trump have further cemented the already strong bond between him and his supporters. And as a just-released CBS/YouGov poll shows suggests, Law enforcement now appears to be persuading some independent voters to take a Trump-friendly view.
A lesson from abroad
Americans are learning what other nations have experienced. Is it like that? Silvio Berlusconi in Italy, Benjamin Netanyahu in Israelor trump, Nothing helps an authoritarian leader like posing as a martyr to politically motivated law enforcement and a protector of her people from hostile political forces that turned against her.
And that’s exactly what Trump did.
He has portrayed himself as all that stands between his people and the oppressive onslaught of the elite and corrupt Biden administration. And he presented what happened in an easy-to-understand way. Most importantly, he did it positioned himself as a heroic defender of American values such as freedom of expression.
In June, Trump was charged with illegal possession of classified documents used a speech at the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference to say that the charges were not only against him, but against the millions of Americans who support him. As an ABC News report written downduring his remarks, “Trump, as he has so often done, presented the criminal proceedings against him as an escalating campaign of political persecution.” He used that speech to turn the tables and level his own impeachment against President Biden. ““Joe Biden used law enforcement as a weapon to interfere in our elections. This is the greatest abuse of power I have ever seen and most of you have seen in the history of our country,” Trump said. “It’s a hoax.”
And he said: “Every time the radical left democrats, marxists, communists and fascists impeach me, Consider it a great sign of courage. I will be charged for you.” Trump added“And I believe the ‘you’ is more than 200 million people out there who love our country, and they love our country. This is a sequel to the greatest witch hunt of all time.”
Trump’s ““I am being charged for you” claim has become a staple of his post-charge political rhetoric. Former President repeated it while appearing at a fundraiser in South Carolina shortly after Jack Smith was indicted on August 1 for his efforts to falsify the 2020 election results.
There he also stressed that the indictment was a cover for the “blatant criminalization of political statements” by the Biden administration. They are trying to make it illegal to question the results of an election.
A winning message
Last Sunday, Trump’s attorney said john lauro, went on five of the most important morning news and gave a master class in political communication.
keep it simple Use emotionally strong buzzwords. Repeat and reinforce the message.
In none of his television appearances did Larohe ever mention the Special Counsel. Instead, echoing Trump, he repeatedly referred to the former President’s “persecution” by the Biden administration. And when asked about the prospect of televising Trump’s trial, Lauro responded by following his client’s lead and framing the question as one between the Biden administration and the American people.
As he put it, “I am convinced that the Biden administration does not want the American people to see the truth.”
From one gig to the next, Lauro repeated that all of the allegations in the Aug. 1 indictment were “pithy amendment-protected speech.” He called Trump’s behavior a “constitutional disagreement” and stressed that “never in the history of our country have such disagreements been prosecuted.”
Lauro even turned the tables on his interviewers, saying he was surprised their networks didn’t join him and resisted the Biden administration’s efforts to secure a safeguards order banning the disclosure of any material the government of the defense passes during the discovery process.
He called these efforts a threat to press freedom.
When I listened to him, I was almost convinced.
And so it seems for many Americans. According to the CBS/YouGov poll, the response to Trump’s legal troubles is best characterized by the deep partisan divide that exists in the country. For example, while 88% of respondents who identify as Democrats said the investigation and impeachment of Trump was necessary to uphold the rule of law, only 28% of Republicans agreed. And while 31% of Democrats thought law enforcement was aimed at stopping the Trump campaign, 86% of Republicans held that view. A significant number of Trump’s supporters believe the impeachments are “an attack on people like them,” as 77% of Republicans labeled MAGA by the poll agree with the statement, as do 42% of non-MAGA Republicans.
If that weren’t enough to ring alarm bells among Democrats that Trump is succeeding in following the pattern that other authoritarians have employed when accused of crime and corruption, it’s hard to imagine what would happen.
But there is more.
That’s according to the CBS/YouGov poll Trump’s messages could resonate beyond his base. According to the poll, 37% of independents don’t believe President Biden was the legitimate winner of the 2020 election. And even more of them, 41%, agree with Trump on Jack Smith The charges against Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election were “politically motivated”.
A necessary intervention
Long before Trump came on the scene, Republicans were mastered the art of political communication for the media age. After all, the GOP made it popular Fearing the “death tax” in their campaign to abolish inheritance tax and spread the lie that Obamacare would mean that “death bodies” would decide the life and death of Americans. But Trump has taken this type of message to a new level.
During his tenure, Trump was a master of political scientists Mikael Good and Philip Wallach Financial support “the emotional presidency.” As they explain: “A veteran entertainer, Trump unified his followers by letting their emotions run wild. Using cadences borrowed from stand-up comics and radio shock jocks, Trump turned populist anger into a positive sentiment: gleeful collective mockery of the politicians and elites who betrayed true Americans.”
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People don’t like Trump, Good and Wallach argue, because of his political positions. They like him because of the feelings he evokes in them. He managed to “stoke up the nebulous emotions of his base in such a way that it became a political phenomenon with real unifying power”.
Trump is redoubling his efforts in response to the charges and has been successful so far.
The Democrats cannot afford to ignore this fact.
But so far they haven’t figured out what to do. You worry if They are responding directly to Trump and defending the charges, they will Confirm his story of being a victim of political prosecution. However, they can’t stand idly by for much longer if they are to have any chance of winning the political battle that Trump’s indictments have ignited. They must quickly agree on their message, identify their most effective communicators, and begin bringing it to the American public before the record is so lopsided that it will be necessary to invoke the political equivalent of the Little League’s clemency rule .
about Trump’s litigation