Here is Mr Trump putting thoughts together at a rally Thursday in Palm Beach Florida:
The most powerful weapon deployed by the Clintons is the corporate media, the press. Let's be clear on one thing, the corporate media in our country is no longer involved in journalism. They're a political special interest no different than any lobbyist or other financial entity with a total political agenda, and the agenda is not for you, it's for themselves.
The Clintons know they have no control over the media. Trump was defending himself against allegations of sexual assault and he was making associations that had the media, the Clintons, bankers and others as members of one big establishment in collusion to deny him – Trump – the presidency.
It's true that elites, including those with higher educations, are opposed Trump. He and his supporters see the release and rebroadcast of the "Access Hollywood" video as timed for the election.
During the second debate, CNN's Anderson Cooper asked Trump whether he had actually committed the assaults he had bragged about in the video. It took some time to drag an answer from Trump, but finally Trump said no. Perhaps saying "yes" would have been too difficult for him. The accusers, however, interviewed at length on CNN, didn't come across as attention seekers or otherwise conniving and dishonest. But Trump was sticking to his story. In his Palm Beach speech he described the claims of his accusers as "totally and absolutely false." And, returning to his establishment conspiracy theory, he added: "And the Clintons know it."
In appealing for support, Trump was putting together the strongest case he could. He went on:
Our movement is about replacing a failed and corrupt – now, when I say "corrupt," I'm talking about totally corrupt – political establishment, with a new government controlled by you, the American people. There is nothing the political establishment will not do — no lie that they won't tell, to hold their prestige and power at your expense. And that's what's been happening.
He introduced into this narrative an accusation that the Clintons control the Department of Justice. He spoke of Bill Clinton "meeting secretly" with Attorney General Loretta Lynch for 39 minutes on the back of her airplane, while on the runway. Trump confessed he doesn't know what they discussed. He said:
MOST LIKELY it was to discuss her [Lynch's] reappointment in a Clinton administration, as the Attorney General, just prior to making a decision over whether or not to prosecute Hillary Clinton, okay?
Then he contradicted himself by claiming that he did know:
That's what happened. That's called real life and that's pretty sad. Now I believe they talked about her remaining in her position under a crooked Hillary Clinton administration. That's what I believe. That's what I believe folks. That's what I believe and I think that's what most people in this room believe.
Attorney General Lynch knew that discussing the case involving Hillary would have been highly inappropriate. Trump could have assumed that she didn't make a deal with the Clinton's as easily as he assumed she did. But it suited his narrative to jump to the conclusion that something crooked was going on. This is what he wanted to believe – perhaps more wishful thinking.
Belief is sometimes poorly mixed with wishful thinking. Sometimes people remember the way they want to remember. Some people see truth to be what is in their heart rather than in cold or hostile facts. Is Trump just trying to win voters? Could it be that on the nation's stage as he is now, with his ego at stake, to some degree at least he is fooling himself?
Wishful thinking is strong among Trump's followers. They want to believe the claim that Trump won the second debate, and they want to believe that their man is telling the truth. They cheered his announcement that "In 26 days, we are going to win this great, great state and we are going to win the White House."
They don't want to believe that our political landscape of people with conflicting political philosophies is largely united against Trump because of Trump's faults. They want to see the opposition to Trump as a conspiracy of the corrupt. Trump, a businessman reported to be worth 3.7 billion dollars, they see as having left the establishment to join them, the uncorrupted.
Copyright © 2018 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.