27 Aug Donald Trump: Victim or Traitor?
“‘It Must Be Trump,’ the DOJ affidavit, treason and classified documents.” – The Lonely Realist
“It Must Be Trump” is an intense political ad for former President Trump that recently appeared on YouTube. The power of its message stems from its artful stitching together of facts and fictions, its selective utilization of media, and the forceful presentation of its narrator. It’s an emotionally-charged political persuasion piece. Its message from first to last is that the only choice in 2024 “must be” the former President. Some of what is presented accurately portrays the realities and some inaccurately does so. Let’s see which is which.
Donald Trump would be the 2024 choice of an overwhelming majority of Republicans – TRUE ENOUGH. The YouTube relies on the 69% of 1,000 CPAC attendees who preferred Mr. Trump over potential competitors. Polls show that Mr. Trump is supported by ~49% of registered Republicans.
America’s international enemies, “the strong men of the world,” fear Mr. Trump – FALSE. The YouTube flashes a phrase from a 2018 BBC article stating that because of the strength shown by President Trump in confronting Kim Jong-un, the North Korean dictator committed to “the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.” Kim, however, ignored that commitment, as expected. He continued to develop nuclear weapons and their ICBM delivery systems. President Trump’s threats were ineffectual (as was also true with respect to his threats against Venezuela, Iran, China, etc.). He nevertheless continued to speak loudly and carry a little stick, much as had President Obama (as discussed by TLR here).
The world was more stable and peaceful under President Trump – TRUE. The period 2017-2021 was a stable and peaceful period in world history (overlooking COVID) due to the aftereffects of America’s projection of hegemonic power in the Iraq War and Afghanistan and its economic leadership following the Global Financial Crisis. Relative stability, however, was on the wane under both the Obama and Trump Presidencies because of their pursuit of unsuccessful and inconsistent policies, including with respect to Syria, Iran, Venezuela, China, Turkey, Cuba, Afghanistan, etc. (as previously discussed by TLR here). The YouTube credits President Trump for engineering the Abraham Accords, TRULY AN HISTORIC ACCOMPLISHMENT. However, it exaggerates President Trump’s role by adding that the Accords cemented Middle East peace, which is FALSE, ignoring that during the Trump Presidency Syria (supported by American enemies Iran and Russia) crushed America’s former Kurdish allies, Iran became ever-more belligerent, Turkey drifted away from its American and NATO allies, and Saudi Arabia dismembered an opposition columnist working for the Washington Post …, among other things. Oh, and anti-American terrorist organizations Hezbollah and Hamas increased their control over Lebanon and Gaza.
Trump achieved energy independence for America – FALSE. America achieved energy independence as a result of years of capital investment by America’s oil and gas companies based primarily on the success of fracking technology. The energy cycle saw fresh lows in oil and gas prices in 2020 as a result of COVID’s demand destruction (with the per-barrel price of crude oil briefly falling below zero in April 2020), which led to reduced capital investment and subsequent production shortages that, coupled with the Ukraine War and the post-COVID increase in demand in 2022, resulted in recent energy price inflation.
As a successful businessman, Trump knew how to run a roaring economy – FALSE. Mr. Trump was not a successful businessman. His businesses all-too-often failed. He was, however, a highly successful television personality.
During the time Mr. Trump was President, America achieved extreme lows in poverty and unemployment and extreme highs in wages and stock market prices – TRUE … but reductions in poverty and unemployment and wage increases and ever-increasing stock market prices were not due to actions taken by President Trump (although both President Obama and President Trump attempted to take credit). The Great Recession of 2008-09 was followed by economic expansion – which naturally follows a recession – super-charged by massive money-printing by America’s Federal Reserve, and it is the Fed that deserves the “credit” for economic expansion during the 20-teens.
Democrats have run America’s economy into the ground – FALSE. RUNNING AMERICA INTO THE GROUND HAS BEEN A TWO-PARTY EFFORT. It has taken more than two decades of effort by both Democrats and Republicans to create today’s economic difficulties and international tensions. Economic trends and international relationships take time to develop. One or both moved adversely under the Clinton Presidency (resulting in 9/11), the Bush2 Presidency (resulting in the Great Recession), the Obama Presidency (encouraging the expansionist policies of Russia, China, etc.), the Trump Presidency (creating the Axis of the Sanctioned) and the Biden Presidency. Both Parties have been dark-art practitioners of Modern Monetary Theory. America accordingly is where it is today because of failures by both Parties.
The FBI’s raid on Mr. Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago shows that the Biden Administration has abandoned the tradition of not persecuting the previous Administration – TRUE. The actions taken by any number of current and former government officials are unprecedented. That’s true not only with respect to the DOJ and FBI (justification for the actions of which awaits future developments), but also with respect to former President Trump and his supporters. No prior President pressed a claim that his failure to win a Presidential election was because the election had been rigged. There also is no event in American history comparable to the January 6, 2021 assault on the Capitol. And no prior President has taken classified documents from the White House, stored them in an unsecured location at the Mar-a-Lago Club, resisted efforts for their return, and then directed his legal counsel to wrongly certify that he’d returned them. Mr. Trump has defended doing so for several reasons, primarily on the basis that, while President, he had declassified them. If declassified, those documents would be freely accessible to all comers, including agents of China, Russia, Iran, etc. If any of those documents indeed contain “secret” information (without consideration of whether their release violates existing law), that would not be a legitimate defense. Moreover, whether a President can exercise a degree of imperial power that would permit him to unilaterally declassify state secrets presents a Constitutional question for which there is no precedent. The YouTube asserts that “There is no higher authority on classification of documents than the President himself.” FALSE. There’s always a higher authority in a democracy (as Federalist No. 69 indicates). If President Trump had such unfettered power, would Americans want President Biden to exercise a similar level of imperial power?
The FBI is part of a rogue, woke, Democrat Party-aligned Statist mob – FALSE. During its entire existence, the FBI has operated as a conservative bastion of Republican Party policy-execution. Every single director of the FBI has been Republican-aligned, including its current director who was appointed by President Trump. Calls by extremist MAGA politicians to “defund the corrupt FBI” therefore are not merely misplaced, they parrot the equally ridiculous cries of extremist Progressives to “defund the police.”
The YouTube concludes that actions of Democrats, “who fundamentally despise America,” are designed to enrich themselves and their privileged supporters by engaging in lies, smears and false investigations that culminated in stealing the 2020 election, all “in order to persecute the former President for no reason.” Their actions show them to be “a gross, corrupted, degenerate, Machiavellian collection of villains who have decided that they cannot live in peace with their fellow countrymen…. To hell with these traitors!”
The YouTube narrator apparently failed to note that A “TRAITOR” INCLUDES “A PERSON WHO GIVES AWAY THE SECRETS OF HIS OWN COUNTRY.”
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Finally (from a good friend)