Tuesday, December 24, 2019

What did Donald Trump do today?

He provided his supporters with talking points in the hope that they'd yell them at family members.

On Christmas Eve, Trump's campaign unveiled a website to help supporters pick Christmas dinner fights with their family members—"snowflakes"—who don't support Trump. 

Politics being what it is, some of Trump's supporters may genuinely not mind that the site has more than a few obvious lies. (Most or all of them are mainstays of Trump's Twitter feed anyway.) There are garden-variety flat-out lies about what Democratic presidential candidates have said they'd do, and some lies—especially those about the Ukraine scandal for which Trump has been impeached, that would require readers to be very, very gullible. (For example, a YouTube video in which the presenter says with a straight face, "It is thanks to President Trump that the Ukrainians are getting the aid in the first place.")

For the most part, though, the "facts" are just opinion statements—although not necessarily opinions that anyone really has. For example, the idea that Trump is an environmentalist, that Americans love their health insurance being tied to having a job, or that he is popular with African-Americans. (Some aren't even really claims: one script simply yells "BIG GOVERNMENT SOCIALISM.") Traditional conservatives might find these a little hard to swallow, much less serve up to family members.

"Snowflakes," according to the Trump campaign, are cowardly people who are "afraid" of Trump, who "run and hide" from arguments, and who shouldn't be allowed to "get away with it" any longer.

According to an average of recent polls, Trump believes that about 53% of Americans are "snowflakes." 

Why should I care about this?

  • Forcing people to choose between family and their loyalty to the leader is what dictators do.
  • Americans define who the president is, not the other way around.