Fri. May 24th, 2024

Democrats go all in on an unfiltered Trump

By 37ci3 Apr8,2024



There was a time when Democratic groups clamored for too much airtime for Donald Trump, with some even blaming the media for his 2016 victory.

Eight years later, with the White House hanging in the balance and Trump’s poll numbers strong, many Democrats have now done a complete 180 and want more Trump in the media.

Some are for the former president to go back to writing rants all over X. Others share clips quickly from their social media appearances or interviews. President Joe Biden’s social media campaign accounts have placed a series of reminders from Trump’s White House years.

And one group — America Bridge 21st Century, the Democrats’ flagship opposition research super PAC — believes the best ammunition against Trump may be the candidate himself, raw and unfiltered. It encourages all voters to tune in to live streams of Trump’s rallies in their entirety.

“We want everyone to watch the Trump rally,” said Brandon Weathersby, a spokesman for the group. “When you think about 2016, the conventional wisdom was, ‘Don’t give it airtime, don’t platform it, don’t breathe it.’ But this is 2024 and we want everyone to see the danger it poses.”

Democrats and progressive influencers (a significant shift since 2016.and even some Republicans) often criticized news networks for the airtime they gave Trump, in some cases the networks was published Video of empty seats with the chant “waiting for Trump’s speech”.

After Trump left the White House and social media platforms were banned during the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, volume decreased.

Now, some Democrats are missing the reality that Trump has a constant presence in the nation’s news bloodstream.

Party operatives believe that the chaos of Trump’s White House years has faded in the minds of many Americans, replaced by a hazier nostalgic view of his presidency. Poll after poll has Trump leading Biden head-to-head and even ahead of him in terms of superiority, something that has never happened ahead of their 2020 match. And those supporters appear largely fuss-free With the numerous criminal charges Trump faces.

“I’ve always disagreed with people who say, ‘Don’t put Trump on a platform.’ He’s been the presumptive GOP nominee for two years now. The American people need to hear from him directly,” said longtime Democratic strategist Lees Smith, who now works at the Democratic National Committee. , the more they do, the more they will be reminded of the chaos of his four years in power and the less likely they will vote for him.”

This thinking is widespread throughout the party.

They argue that short social media clips or news stories can’t capture the rambling, partially improvised, over-the-top rhetoric of Trump’s full rally. Trump’s speeches regularly lasts more than 90 minutes and can touch on a wide range of topics from pop culture to sports to Trump’s mind. disputes for life-or-death national security issues for water pressure of toilets.

Showing it in all its horrors is probably important for people to see.

Matt Bennett, The Third Way

Moreover, Democrats argue that Trump’s rhetoric has become more extreme, they argue that his mental faculties have declined, and they want all Americans to not filter it. The comments come after years of Republicans portraying Biden as a cranky, frail old man.

“I think there are a lot of voters, and frankly, some reporters, because of his lack of interaction on TV and at rallies, there’s a perception that he’s the same candidate that we saw in 2016 or 2020,” Weathersby said of Trump. “However, looking at the full rally, the decline is obvious. …You see someone who is constantly confused about what he’s talking about, who he’s referring to, who has more and more difficulty pronouncing certain words.”

Angelo Carusone, president of the left-leaning journalism watchdog group Media Matters for America, estimates he has covered more than 600 Trump rallies since 2016, including about 30 since the 2024 race began. According to him, Trump’s transformation since 2016 is undeniable. Carusone said Trump is showing his age more than has been reported, and his words have become darker and less coherent.

“What do I think? [groups like American Bridge] They say something is wrong here because people have either willfully forgotten, or because too much time has passed, they’ve forgotten how dark and disorienting and destabilizing Trump is as a leader,” he said.

But Carusone’s prescription isn’t to go back to the first presidential election, when he said there was biased, unrelenting coverage of Trump. Instead, he said he thinks more political reporters should be covering Trump’s rallies in their entirety, which he doesn’t think is happening, so the coverage better reflects who Trump is today.

Another pro-Biden super PAC, Unite the Country, said the more voters remember Trump, the more the election becomes between Trump and Biden as individuals, favoring Biden.

Steve Schale, a longtime Biden ally and CEO of Unite the Country, once referred to a Trump supporter in a 2020 focus group and said that if Biden promised never to post on X, he would win their vote. The others in the room nodded in agreement.

Today, Schale said, people forget the whirlwind of emotions the Trump years created.

“People tend to remember what they want to remember positively about the Trump era. And they’re forgetting the absolute maddening chaos that defines Trump more than anything else he’s done as president in terms of policy,” he said.

A more recent survey of Republican-leaning battleground voters by Unite the Country found that many still supported Trump’s policies, but said the January 6 attack and tumultuous times in the White House had put them off.

“If it’s a referendum between Trump and Biden in terms of personality and approach for these voters, Biden will do very well,” Schale said. “But if people are trying to hide who Trump is, [those voters] Most likely, they will easily return to Trump.”

Republicans say they are rightly nostalgic for the Trump years, when the United States was not involved in multiple military conflicts, inflation was lower and the border was more secure.

Steven Cheung, a spokesman for Trump, said that the Democrats’ change of strategy and the attempt to focus voters’ attention on Trump is a sign of Biden’s political weakness.

“The Biden campaign knows they have a flawed candidate in Crooked Joe, so they want to deflect attention away from his mistakes, his falls and his general cognitive decline,” Cheung said.

Trump has been banned from major social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, for violating rules against spreading misinformation after years of pressure, mostly from the left.

Deplatforming Trump was a double-edged sword; hid his distortions from the public, while Democrats downplayed the threat he posed.

“I was in the camp of people who thought taking him off Twitter only helped him,” Schale said.

First, it made it easier for Republican lawmakers to claim ignorance when reporters asked to comment on Trump’s latest controversial mission because his posts now reach a much smaller audience on Truth Social, which now has about 6 million followers. has nearly 90 million followers on the platform formerly known as Twitter.

After billionaire Elon Musk bought the platform in 2022 and named it X, he Restored Trump‘s account — though the former president stuck to the less well-traveled Truth Social. During the recovery, some Democrats warned of the dangers Trump posed in the first place.

“The last time he was here, this platform was used to incite a riot, many people died, the vice president of the United States was nearly killed, and hundreds were injured, but I don’t think that’s enough for you,” New York Democrat Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez published on time.

Leah Greenberg, co-executive director of the Indivisible Project, a progressive grassroots group that formed after Trump’s election, said this year she thinks there’s less about the raw footage of rallies that the average potential voter can’t watch — and that the media has covered them with the appropriate weight and context. more about what not to do.

“What’s really important is that the media doesn’t sanitize these outlandish, brutal and vindictive statements or present them with euphemisms that undermine how extreme and untouchable and vindictive they are,” he said.

He said Indivisible’s mandate was to highlight what was at stake in the election, but he wasn’t so sure encouraging its members to watch full rallies would achieve that goal.

“It’s really a bit of an independent judgment call as to whether that kind of content is going to be empowering, or whether that kind of content is just going to be depressing and demotivating,” Greenberg said.

Swing voters, he said, tend to consume more of Trump’s news than tune in to the actual full rallies because few voters naturally devote the time to politics required to fully consume them.

The media is still grappling with how to cover Trump and his allies, said Matt Bennett, vice president of public affairs for the moderate Democratic group Third Way. Bennett pointed to the recent controversy surrounding the hiring of former Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel at NBC News. media decisions Cut to some of Trump’s live remarks.

“It’s no big deal to allow him the ability to deliver his lies directly to people’s minds. … However, showing it in all its horrors is probably important for people to see,” Bennett said. “It’s a real conundrum for Democrats and the press.”

But, he said, the main goal for Democrats is to “remind people that if they’re thinking about the Trump years through rose-colored glasses, as it seems, they need to remember who the man is.”



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