Trump sets stage for 2020 fight with false claims and recycled attacks

President kicked off his bid with lies, attacks on the press and claims a Democrat president would ‘shut down your free speech’

Donald Trump has set the stage for the nastiest US presidential race in modern times with a campaign rally that recycled old themes and stoked resentment towards Democrats and the media.

More than 500 days before the 2020 US election, the president formally launched his campaign before a capacity 20,000 crowd in a sports stadium in Orlando in the vital swing state of Florida, demonstrating that his base, at least, remains as fervent as ever.

Trump spent little effort offering a vision of the future. He and his supporters were most energised by his greatest hits: grievance politics, demonising opponents, raging against perceives injustices. There was even a reprise of attacks on Hillary Clinton, his defeated rival in 2016, complete with furious chants of “Lock her up!”

His vicious, often fabricated, attacks implied that while a referendum on his record would likely end in defeat, his campaign believes that whipping up fear of a Democrat in the White House could yet save his skin.

“Just imagine what this angry leftwing mob would do if they were in charge of this country,” Trump said. “Imagine if we had a Democrat president and Democrat Congress in 2020. They would shut down your free speech, use the power of the law to punish their opponents, which they are trying to do now anyway.”

He added, without evidence: “They would strip Americans of their constitutional rights while flooding the country with illegal immigrants in the hopes it will expand their political base.”

Trump made the comments after saying 145 judges had been appointed under his administration, and recalling the bitterly disputed confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the supreme court. Kavanaugh had been credibly accused of sexual assault when he was a teenager. On Tuesday, Trump falsely claimed these were “fraudulent charges”.

From left, Tiffany Trump, Lara Trump, Eric Trump, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Kimberly Guilfoyle and Donald Trump Jr at Donald Trump’s re-election campaign rally.From left, Tiffany Trump, Lara Trump, Eric Trump, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Kimberly Guilfoyle and Donald Trump Jr at Donald Trump’s re-election campaign rally. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP

Watched by his wife, Melania Trump, and other family members, during a speech lasting more than an hour, the president set out a blueprint for attacks for whoever emerges from the crowded field of potential Democratic primary contenders, who will meet next week for their first debates.

“A vote for any Democrat in 2020 is a vote for the rise of radical socialism and the destruction of the American dream,” Trump said. “The Democrat party has become more radical, more dangerous and more unhinged than at any point in the history of our country.”

He falsely and wildly claimed that leading Democrats favour “open borders” and oppose measures to prevent the execution of children after birth. The most divisive president for decades argued it was Democrats who want to divide Americans into factions and “shred the constitution”.

Trump, wearing his signature red tie and relishing the febrile atmosphere, also worked his familiar theme of us v them, putting himself on the side of the ordinary citizens and “deplorables”, an unlikely position for a millionaire businessman, TV celebrity and now, president. “Many times I said we would drain the swamp. That’s exactly what we’re doing. That’s why the swamp is fighting back so viciously and violently.”

He showed how he intends to weaponise the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference. “What did they come up with?” he asked. “No collusion and the facts that led our great attorney general to determine no obstruction.” Mueller’s findings did not establish a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Moscow, but it did point to 10 instance of attempted obstruction of justice, and Mueller himself has said he did not clear Trump of a crime.

“For the last two and half years we have been under siege,” he said, complaining that opponents have been given a “free pass”. He warned: “They are really going after you. That’s what this is all about.”

Just as in 2016, Trump showed his intention to go after the media. “By the way, that is a lot of fake news back there,” he said. “The amount of press we have tonight reminds me of the Academy awards before they went political and their ratings went down the tubes.”

On several occasions the predominantly white crowd booed and jeered, made thumbs down gestures and chanted “CNN sucks!”

It was four years to the week, Trump noted, since he descended the escalator at Trump Tower to launch his wildly improbable bid for the White House. On that occasion he railed against Mexican “criminals” and “rapists” and demanded a border wall.

Getting the sequel under way, there was a familiar refrain. Trump condemned “illegal mass migration” to fire up the crowd.

Trump admitted he has made his wall “cheaper” and asserted: “We’re going to have over 400 miles of wall built by the end of next year. It’s moving very rapidly.” According to factcheckers, this is very unlikely, and most of the wall would be mere replacement barrier, not fresh construction.

Indeed, there was the usual litany of Trump exaggerations and lies. The man who pulled America out of the Paris climate accord and slashed environmental regulations announced: “Our air and water are the cleanest they’ve ever been by far.”

He said of the economy: “It’s soaring to incredible new heights. Perhaps the greatest economy we’ve had in the history of our country.” In fact, growth hit higher levels in the 1980s and 1990s. Trump also falsely claimed the biggest tax cut in American history.

When he did look forward, the promises were vague and invited mockery. He suggested that a cure for cancer is within reach and declared: “We will eradicate Aids in America once and for all. We’re very close.”

The bare-knuckle approach to the coming election was shared by the vice-president, Mike Pence, and Trump’s children. Donald Trump Jr, whose gestures and pronunciations increasingly resemble his father, described Joe Biden, currently leading the Democratic field of contenders in the polls, as usually “groping someone” – a reference to Biden’s inappropriate touching of women.

The negativity was also reflected outside the venue, where street vendors sold T-shirts that said: “Trump 2020, Get on board or get run over”, “Trump 2020, the sequel, make liberals cry again” and “Trump 2020: Fuck your feelings”. A handwritten banner hung on a wire fence proclaimed: “Hillary for prison”.

A Trump baby blimp towers over protesters near the arena where Trump held his rally in Orlando, Florida, on 18 June.A Trump baby blimp towers over protesters near the arena where Trump held his rally in Orlando, Florida, on 18 June. Photograph: Chris O’Meara/AP

Members of the rightwing organisation Proud Boys yelled anti-Democratic chants, some displaying white power symbols on their clothing and banners. They were stopped by police before they could disrupt an anti-Trump rally.

But there was also opposition. Hundreds of anti-Trump protesters applauded and took photos when a 20ft blimp of a Trump baby in a nappy was inflated near the arena.

Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders gave an immediate rebuttal to Trump’s speech, summarizing it as “lies, distortions, and total absolute nonsense”. He criticized Trump for barely talking about the climate emergency, or that “half of the people in this country are working paycheck to paycheck”.

  • Published in World

More than worse: Trump continues breaking U.S.

And I would add that the rest of humanity as well with his policy of maximizing humans’ danger of disappearance, as the tool of blackmail it has been using since he took office.

At that time, November 2016, very few press outlets, barely 2 percent, predicted his victory, among them well-renowned filmmaker Michael Moore, and around here, in our media, it was predicted by the then head of the International page of Granma newspaper, Sergio Alejandro Gómez-Gallo, who works in the popular Cubadebate website today.

The bad incident was summed up by outstanding US linguist and political analyst Noam Chomsky: “Trump is a natural product of the fear and breakdown of society during the neoliberal period”.

It was the first time in the history of United States that both presidential candidates (the other one was Hillary Clinton) were extremely unpopular, which also qualifies the institutions: Congress, banks and corporations.

That isn’t not only a US attribute, since it has spread to Europe, thus reflecting the advance of the far-right in almost all countries of the so-called Old Continent.

But going back to U.S., and quoting Chomsky’s words, “There’s a part of the white population that is terrified with the loss of the white supremacy in the American society. In 10 or 15 years, most of the population will no longer be white. And U.S. is a country built on an extreme idea of white supremacy. And losing this dominant position from a social and economic point of view is an upheaval. In addition, the successes in the struggle for the rights of women, or of the homosexual group, are seen by part of the society as an attack to their system of privileges, to their system of values, to the values of the patriarchal system….”

This has been reflected these years in the bad government of Trump, who intends to be re-elected in the coming 2020, elections in which, unfortunately, he has great options.

And the fact is that the vast majority of the population, in the lowest side of the income/wealth scale, is, indeed, excluded from the political system, and their opinions and stances are overlooked by their formal representatives, while a small sector on top owns a crushing influence.

Everything moves to the right, from the ruling Republican Party to the opposing Democratic one, which, however, has recently presented numerous figures who could not be branded as leftists in the world context, but in the American conservative society they really are.

In addition, Trump has been favored by judicial decisions that exonerate him from the accusations of his collusion with Russia raised everywhere, something completely without rhyme nor reason, but that can be raised in U.S., though in this case, it was known that it could not be true. So, Trump found a clearer road to seek his re-election, showing the good performance of the country’s economy as the main achievement, something important for the vast majority of voters, faithful to the slogan that “Americans vote with the pocket”.

Hence, Democrats will have to study the new political scenario aimed at defining a strategy that allows them to have a good performance in the 2020 general elections, knowing that they will not find it easy to defeat a now strengthened President Trump, because he keeps 45 percent of popularity, similar to the percentage that allowed Clinton and Obama to be re-elected.

On the democratic side, there are several pre-candidates, the latest was Joe Biden, Obama’s vice president; Bernie Saunders and Elizabeth Warren. However, many speak about the great possibilities for Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York City since 2013, who has criticized Trump’s policies in the last few years, as regards environment, immigration and politics.

Aged 57, the democrat launched a campaign with the slogan ‘Working people first’ (‘Trabajadores primero’) and took up again the issue of wage inequality, the same of his campaign towards the mayor’s office in New York.

The mayor has tried to emerge at national level as the face of progressive sectors, a tough task in which he has been upstaged by senators such as the aforementioned Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / CubaSi Translation Staff

Hillary Clinton Rules Out Running For White House In 2020

Washington: Hillary Clinton has for the first time ruled out running for president in 2020.

"I'm not running, but I'm going to keep on working and speaking and standing up for what I believe," Clinton said Monday in an interview with News 12, a local TV channel in New York.

Clinton was the frontrunner in 2016 but ended up losing to Donald Trump.

"I want to be sure that people understand I'm going to keep speaking out," Clinton said.

"I'm not going anywhere. What's at stake in our country, the kinds of things that are happening right now, are deeply troubling to me."

Clinton has held meetings with some of the Democrats who are now vying for the party nomination or considering a run. CNN has reported that they include former vice president Joe Biden, who has not yet said if he is running.

"I've told every one of them, don't take anything for granted, even though we have a long list of real problems and broken promises from this administration that need to be highlighted," Clinton said.

Asked if she would run again for some kind of public office, she seemed to avoid ruling that out.

"I don't think so, but I love living in New York and I'm so grateful that I had the chance to be a senator for eight years and to work with people across our state," said the former secretary of state and senator for New York state.

  • Published in World
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