Researching and writing this column has given me an insight which many readers don’t have into what Trump supporters believe to be true about their candidate and what they are being told about Joe Biden. In addition to sampling Fox News (the primary diet of Trump supporters), I get lengthy emails from readers who are under the president’s spell — and who will remain under his spell no matter what the president says or does between now and the election on Nov. 3rd.
I have identified three principal themes to the Trump campaign strategy — and those themes will continue to work for his unquestioning and sheltered “base.” These themes are reinforced and given legitimacy by the base’s sources of information and opinion — the president’s tweets, Trump-promoting media like Fox News Channel, and emailed memes and narratives which are forwarded unquestioned by millions of Trump followers. Here are some of them:
To counter theme #2, I would like Joe Biden to request a town hall program on Fox News, and speak out if he is denied such an opportunity. Pete Buttigieg was given that opportunity by Fox and did an excellent job of countering whatever negative narratives viewers may have had about him. How could Fox justify denying the same opportunity to Biden? Since theme #2 is that Biden is senile and “doesn’t know he’s alive” according to Trump, a town hall meeting would be a perfect opportunity — better than a debate with Trump — to counter that narrative.
And then, of course, there are the conspiracy theories propagated online and in Trump’s tweets, which are too numerous to mention here. Click on that link.
Although Trump supporters aren’t inclined to do so, I recommend Googling each outrageous claim sent to you, or go directly to www.Snopes.com to get the background and truth. Whether it’s “too good to be true” or “too bad to be true,” it probably is not true.
Consider, for example, the above meme about Bill deBlasio. Did he change his name from Warren Wilhelm, Jr.? From Snopes I learned that, yes, he did, and for good reasons. His nickname was Will, and when his mother divorced his abusive father, she and he took her maiden name. My dad, born Abbott O’Brion, and his mother did the same after she divorced my grandfather, taking her maiden name of Smith.