A Comment Well Worth Discussion

One of my few regrets about this column is that I receive very, very few comments. I may have contributed to that because my policy has always been not to respond to them – on site anyway. I have been known to respond privately. I see no sense in changing my policy in the last year I intend to publish here. To view it in perspective, I personally have never commented to an article despite being a digital subscriber and daily reader of both the New York Times and the Washington Post. That all said, I received a great comment the other day and it got me to thinking. Please continue to read.

Frequent reader, commenter and cherished personal friend, Jeff McKnight commented to my Predicting ’24 article. Here is the text: “#6. There will be a massive incident of some kind at, or related to, the US/Mexican border, perhaps as an October surprise, and it will found to have been instigated by Republicans, perhaps even Trump himself.”

At first glance I almost dismissed the substance. The statement haunted me and after some thought it became increasingly plausible and I’d like to explore that with you today.

First off, Trump has proven that the truth doesn’t matter to his base nor effect his rhetoric. He and his minions repeatedly recycle long debunked myths (zombie lies). Therefore, them making up an incident is totally plausible.

The lie will be magnified by right wing media. We have already seen Fox News pay a fine in excess of three-quarters of a billion dollars for knowingly broadcasting lies and more cases are still pending so the number is only going up. Fox News, while arguably his largest, is not Trump’s lone megaphone. Even the legitimate media will to some degree broadcast the lie in order to debunk it. How to cover Trump is something the legitimate press is still coming to grips with. Doubt that; look at the space I devote to him. The lies can’t be left unaddressed but where to draw the line is the challenge.

I, along with most political junkies, am expecting that Trump will be the GOP nominee. The basic question is what would motivate him to lie about an incident on the southern border. It is a simple GOTV play. By and large, his base voter – which he desperately needs to turn out to have any chance at victory – has a prejudice against any non-white person. The people crossing the southern border are overwhelmingly non-white. Largely out of ignorance, Trump inclined voters view them as a threat. Have you ever wondered why people in lily white regions still list immigration as one of, if not the, largest threat to the nation? If you scare/anger them they are much more likely to show up at the polls.

As to the debunking, it won’t work with them. They are low information voters who have been brainwashed not to trust the legitimate press. If they somehow are exposed to the debunking, they will choose not to believe it. They will only really hear what they want to hear and an “invasion” reinforces their existing prejudices.

What at first glance looked at least somewhat skeptical now looks plausible. Here is the scary part – it would be effective.

In summation, THANKS, JEFF!

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One thought on “A Comment Well Worth Discussion”

  1. I didn’t mean to be a scare monger. That’s what “they” do, eh? But it sure would not be a surprise to me if such a thing happened. And it doesn’t really matter who perpetrates it…Trumpster or non…He’ll jump all over it and so will Fox, et al.

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