If you are in any way progressive, it was a five-alarm dumpster fire, a bonfire of insanities, a crazy conflagration of fear and loathing. It made Fight Club and Dr. Strangelove seem like newsreel footage.
If you are a Trump-style conservative, however, none of that matters in the slightest. To you, and those like you, the liberal media establishment are slime, and they lie all the time.
What the reviled MSM (mainstream media) say doesn’t matter a whit to you, the Trump Troopers. To you, the only relevant truth is the one that validates your world view.
Take, for example, the now-infamous plagiarized speech by his wife, Melania Trump. She stole some of Michelle Obama’s words and thought several million people wouldn’t notice. When some did, she and her husband blamed a secretary no one had ever heard of before, and whom many believed did not even exist. Dishonesty used to excise dishonesty. Lie upon lie.
Plagiarism-gate stomped all over the GOP’s narratives (pro-unity, pro-security, anti-Hillary) on Days 2 and 3 of their convention. It was a clown show, with CNN giddily dissecting every minute.
But the Trump Troopers? They didn’t care.
To them, anything emanating from the MSM is a lie. To them, anything that upsets the pointy-headed intelligentsia is actually welcome. To them, the only media that matters is found at the furthest reaches of the Right, recycling dark conspiracy theories about Benghazi, Whitewater and email servers, over and over.
What they wanted to hear were Donald Trump’s lies, and he had plenty to pass along. So, he said America was the highest-taxed nation on Earth.
It isn’t. Not even close.
He said the Obama administration had “reversed” crime rates – upwards. But they’re way, way down. Lower than they’ve been in decades.
Trump said that Hillary had “invented” ISIS. This one is so crazy, it’s hard to know where to start. But the fact is that the Islamic State got its start in Iraq in 2006 – when, you know, the Republicans ran the show.
Trump said Clinton wants to abolish the Second Amendment, the one that allows Americans to bear arms. His claim is unadulterated BS, however: Hillary Clinton has never said any such things. Ever.
And so on and so on. Looking like a Cheeto in a tailored suit, Donald Trump lied like a rug. He lied, lied, lied. His supporters didn’t care.
Thus, the GOP follies ended with Trump edging upwards in the polls. In battleground states, surveys found that Trump was tied, or even a point or two ahead of Clinton. Shocking, right? Appalling, yes?
Appalling, sure. But shocking? No. Donald Trump’s stormtroopers aren’t going to abandon him now. For more than a year, they’ve stuck with him through serial controversies: Muslim bans, likening of women to pigs, Mexicans are rapists, tributes to Putin, mocking the disabled, disrespecting PoWs, dismissing NATO. And on and on. They stay with him, despite (and perhaps because of) the hate.
As a consequence, the Democrats – and other Americans – need to acknowledge one truth: those angry, older men in Rust Belt states have been left behind by profound economic and technological change. They have.
They feel marginalized. They feel isolated. They see no future.
To ensure that Donald Trump loses – to ensure there is no October Surprise – Hillary Clinton needs to reach out to those marginalized, isolated folks. The ones who see no future.
When Hillary Clinton acknowledges that one irrefutable truth – that the American Dream hasn’t worked out for many – she will overcome all of Donald Trump’s myriad lies.
And she will win.
Warren Kinsella is a Canadian journalist, political adviser and commentator.