Since 2016, the song is still a familiar tune. A Trump rally and big lies go together like mac and cheese or better yet, in the case of Trump, potato salad with raisins. Saturday night in Arizona began with election security expert and My Pillow owner Mike Lindell proclaiming the 2020 election will be overturned, Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake stating Dr. Anthony Fauci should be in jail. It was an open mic night to the MAGA faithful, which somehow, a year later, believes the former President isn’t using them for his own gain.
But everybody is used to these rallies, right? We have lived through five years of words just like this, with the former President tagging politicians and dissenters with nicknames, and outlets covered it because it brought ratings. Fast forward to last Saturday night where the former President had his first rally of the year amongst people who still take his word as gospel. It’s the continuation of fear-mongering, hate speech, and rhetoric for him to get applause–then he’ll have another one whenever he feels terrible about himself.
Trump said some things not even remotely based on fact, including the election was stolen and there was “proof is all over the place.” He also equated the crowd size of the rally for the reason that he “couldn’t have lost.” It’s the same lyrics to a crowd that doesn’t care to drown it out.
Going into another election season, I feel it’s crucial for media as a whole to call things out for what they are–concerning any coverage on a potential 2024 Trump presidential run. Now, I’m aware of the irony of writing about this rally, but stay with me. Claiming the election was stolen because you can’t accept defeat or any tin foil dog whistle is nothing you look at both sides on. If you’re going to cover these “, please clap for me” sessions, realize they are just that. Just like this quote here:
“The left is now rationing life-saving therapeutics based on race, discriminating against and denigrating, just denigrating white people to determine who lives and who dies,” Trump said.
“You get it based on race. In fact, in New York state, if you’re white, you have to go to the back of the line to get medical help. If you’re white, you go right to the back of the line.”
It’s false. Ridiculous. When was the last time Trump has even been to New York? Former President Trump was referencing a Wall Street Journal opinion article. He’s banking on the hope that no one reads it and crosscheck. There were guidelines made in places like New York, Minnesota, and Utah because COVID-19 treatments such as monoclonal antibodies and oral antivirals are in short supply.
One particular highlight is:
“non-white race or Hispanic/Latino ethnicity should be considered a risk factor” because of “longstanding systemic health and social inequities” that increase the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19.
As noted by the CDC, Hispanic or Latino people die of COVID-19 at a rate of 2.1x compared to white people, and Black or African American people die at a rate of 1.9x–a fact the former President conveniently left out. More rallies and more made-up things are meant to ignite anger in Trump’s base–somehow, they are the disenfranchised ones.
But like that escalator ride in 2016 when Trump announced his presidency, it’s essential for media and people alike not to get caught up in the bombastic hype. There’s no rehabilitation for this, no matter how many words in a thesaurus we can substitute.