Saturday, October 6, 2018

What did Donald Trump do today?

He spent what should have been a day of celebration for him lying about crowd size.

A day after labeling anti-Kavanaugh protestors as "#troublemakers" and saying they were paid off, Trump was back at the theme on Twitter. In a tweet shortly after Kavanaugh was confirmed, he insisted that there were "about 200 people (& most are onlookers)" protesting in front of the Supreme Court.

In reality, "about 200" is a pretty good estimate of just the number of people arrested during anti-Kavanaugh protests. Even though the vote was a foregone conclusion, protestors were out in force at both the Supreme Court and the U.S. Capitol, as well as elsewhere around the country.

Crowd size has always been a fixation for Trump: he lashes out at staff when crowds at his own rallies are thin, and he famously spent his first full day in office furious about images showing his inauguration was poorly attended compared to President Obama's. 

Ironically, he is one of the few American politicians in modern history to have actually paid people to cheer at his own rallies: much of the crowd at his official campaign announcement were paid actors earning $50 to be there, and waved "homemade" signs provided by event organizers. (Trump said yesterday that protestors couldn't be real because some had printed signs.)

But the more likely reason that Trump is pretending that protestors are paid, or few in number, is that Kavanaugh was deeply unpopular with voters for a Supreme Court nominee. 

So what?

  • In a democracy, leaders don't try to shame people for using their right to free speech.
  • It's wrong to lie.