A panel on CNN's "Morning Joe" analyzed President Donald Trump’s campaign rally speech in Iowa that was filled with lies and distorted facts.
Trump supporters cheered the president as he brazenly lied about CNN not covering him, when, in fact, the network has indeed been reporting on the Trump administration like other news outlets. He claimed house builders are building more, although according to Reuters, under Trump’s administration, the U.S. housing starts hit eight-month low.
Trump said he went to the Middle East to negotiate deals worth millions to have goods manufactured in America with American workers. But in reality, most of the agreements signed on the trip were merely initial frameworks or “letters of intent.”
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Jon Meacham, who appeared on the "Morning Joe" panel, compared all the lies at the Iowa speech with former President Richard Nixon’s lies during the Watergate scandal.
He also explained how Trump’s rally reflected authoritarian regimes like Nazi Germany or fascist Italy.
“Even now, in regimes like North Korea, where the dear leader speaks and we’re all supposed to salute, that what the dear leader says has to be followed, whether it’s associated with reality or not, whether it’s grounded in reality or not,” Meacham said.
“It’s a cult of the state, it’s a cult not of religion and neighborhoods and civic life and an obligation to facts as we perceive them and through common sense, which was a huge part of, really, the American experiment in the beginning. We weren’t supposed to just listen to kings and clerics who for 1,000 years had had a monopoly on dictating the terms of reality. The point of the United States was that we all had the ability to look at reality, make our own decisions and participate in a collective enterprise to govern ourselves,” he added.
Co-host Mika Brzezinski weighed in, but she was a little confused as to why Meacham looked for examples outside of the U.S. to find a parallel to Trump’s behavior.
“(This), to me, is extremely disturbing and potentially catastrophic,” she said. “Am I ahead of my skis? Am I overstating this?”
MSNBC’s Elise Jordan, a former Bush White House and State Department adviser, mentioned the president was a proven liar; however, this never matters to his supporters.
“The empirical evidence is there, (but) the difference is that, I believe that a lot of Trump supporters, his most die-hard supporters, see these as little lies,” Jordan said. “They see them as lies that don’t matter, whereas, you know, they put up with the political class for so many years that has been lying about big things. You know, President (Barack) Obama saying you can keep your insurance. Now they see it as President Obama was spying on the incoming president’s team. But this is how Trump supporters perceive it.”
Sam Stein, a senior politics editor for HuffPost, mentioned how Trump’s series of lies backed up with his press secretaries silence is extremely disturbing.
“You have a series of falsehoods peddled at these rallies, and then you combine it with what is objectively a crackdown on the press corps, what’s happening at the White House right now, where you don’t have live briefings, you don’t have audio or video coming from the briefings,” Stein said. “Sean (Spicer) and Sarah (Huckabee Sanders) don’t talk to the press as much as their predecessors (as White House press secretary). Trump hasn’t done an interview in weeks, and what you end up is with an incredibly altered set of realities — they’re not really realities — being broadcast to voters with little bit of ability to actually question it and probe it, and I think that’s a really pernicious development for the American discourse.”
He also explained how most of Trump supporters were unaware of the real consequences and gullible to whatever was told to them.
“It is a pernicious development that I think we downplay because it’s weird and funny and theatrical — but it’s not,” Stein added.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters