Despite the predictions of many political experts, Donald Trump is still leading the Republican primary polls just weeks away from the Iowa caucuses. When he first announced his campaign, many of us in the media assumed that this was a publicity stunt that would quickly dissipate like the 2012 Herman Cain debacle.
What we failed to take into consideration was all of the years of conservative media hysteria about Barack Obama, and the easy access to social media by uninformed and bigoted right-wing voters. Donald Trump has harnessed the collective angry and ignorant citizens of the United States, and is using social media to promote his candidacy while using minimal funds to do so.
Consider the fact that Donald Trump’s Facebook account has posted hate speech that other accounts have had removed for violating “community standards” – and millions of his followers have shared these posts. He isn’t just spreading hate speech, he’s also promoting outright lies.
On Sunday, Bernie Sanders finally said what many of us have known from the beginning – that Donald Trump is a “pathological liar.”
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders called Republican frontrunner Donald Trump a “pathological liar” today on ABC’s “This Week,” saying “much of what he says are lies or gross distortions of reality.”
“I say this straight-forwardly, I think you have a pathological liar there,” he said.
Sanders disputed Trump’s claim there were Muslims celebrating in New Jersey after the September 11th attacks. He argued there has been no video evidence.
“Either it is true or it is not true,” Sanders said. “Nobody has seen a tape of thousands of people celebrating the destruction of the Twin Towers in New Jersey. It doesn’t exist, and [Trump] keeps claiming it. That’s called pathological lying.” (Source)
The truth doesn’t matter to Donald Trump, because he knows his supporters don’t care about history, facts or statistics. He doesn’t have to offer specifics about how he can do a better job than his opponents, all Trump has to do is repeat meaningless talking points and xenophobic rhetoric, and the people who believe in him eat it up.
Here in Louisiana, and across the country, uninformed conservatives are hailing Trump’s campaign and his message of making America great again. They do not understand that his rhetoric is isolating us from the rest of the world, nor do they care. In the conservative social media bubble, liberals and everyone who isn’t exactly like them are what is wrong with our country – and only god, Donald Trump, and more guns can fix our problems.
His statements have a horrible track record with fact-checkers like Politifact, but the people who have joined Donald Trump’s fascist-lite movement aren’t concerned with the facts. Sadly, this is the state of American politics.
We have a choice in 2016. We can move our country forward, or we can repeat the mistakes of the Bush years – or even Mussolini’s Italy or Franco’s Spain. It is up to the informed voters of America to reject the ignorance and hatred of Donald Trump’s unhinged social media campaign.
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