The Fear/Hate Merchants
TV pundits and opposing politicians are “outraged” over Donald Trump’s “failure” to correct a questioner who called President Obama a Muslim foreigner and said Islamic terrorists are building training camps in America. What the questioner wanted to know was how Trump would rid America of the Islamic training camps.
Trump said he’d heard about such “bad things” and would look into it.
Of course he did not tell the questioner that President Obama is a Christian. Of course he did not say the President was born in America. And of course he did not dismiss the claim that Islamic terrorists are training jihadists on American soil.
If he had done that, many of his supporters would have deserted him.
Trump himself has insisted the President was born abroad. He may not believe it but he obviously believes it’s politically beneficial to say so.
Thanks to the First Amendment, there’s a significant segment of the American population who believe Barack Obama is a Muslim who was born in Kenya. It doesn’t matter that he has produced his birth certificate. It doesn’t matter that he goes to church with his family like other American Christians. The right-wing propaganda machine has convinced millions of Americans that he is a Muslim – not only a Muslim but a mole who is sabotaging America from the inside so that the Muslims can take over (illustration from one such web site above).
You may never have heard of the training camps. But they’re a favorite figment of the right wing’s imagination. The web echoes with such stories, along with the “true” story of Nine Eleven, the age-old specter of the Illuminati, the UN plot to send black helicopters to America and imprison Americans in underground internment camps… and so on.
When the armed forces recently planned training exercises in Texas, state officials raised the alarm. They warned that the federal government was planning to invade the Lone Star state and they prepared to resist the invasion with military force.
Much of the right-wing fantasy industry exists to make money. The conspiracy theorists get rich selling books and tapes online. Hate and fear sell. And the hate merchants couldn’t care less who gets hurt.
The shame of it all is that the Republican Party has chosen to embrace these charlatans and their disciples. They make up at least a third of the party’s base, and they’re the ones who can be counted on to vote.
It is this flock of angry, frightened, severely misinformed “conservatives” that Trump has won over.
He is not going to do or say anything to lose their support.