The gloves are off. With two just two weeks before Election Day, Donald Trump’s campaign admitted to launching operations to squash votes of certain demographics. But, it may not be as threatening as it sounds. Or is it?
Select groups of voters including African Americans, young women, and white progressives are being targeted through discriminatory marketing schemes, according to a senior official working in Trump’s campaign office in San Antonio, Texas.
On Thursday, Bloomberg News reporters Sasha Issenberg and Joshua Green wrote, “Instead of expanding the electorate, [campaign chairman Steve] Bannon and his team are trying to shrink it. ‘We have three major voter suppression operations under way,’ says a senior official. They’re aimed at three groups Clinton needs to win overwhelmingly: idealistic white liberals, young women, and African Americans.”
However, it may likely be an attempt by Trump’s campaign to deter public attention away from actual suppression preventing people from registering and voting which the GOP has been pushing for in several states nationwide.
Considering Trump’s aides are in full throttle to attract last-minute undecided voters, this marketing approach goes beyond the simple placements of pro-Trump and pro-Mike Pence advertisements in people’s Facebook newsfeeds and frantic late night tweets from Trump's Twitter account.
These so-called “voter suppression operations” include radio spots on African American stations, Facebook posts using negative Hillary Clinton soundbytes, and campaign events which are meant to discourage people from voting.
As Talking Points Memo suggested, Bannon’s strategy in this case is largely not to attract voters towards Trump, but to prevent people from voting in the first place.
These schemes come across as relatively benign considering real voter suppression that’s taken place recently nationwide, namely in Indiana, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Texas.
Regardless, it certainly doesn’t seem like a good idea for Trump’s campaign to confess to voter suppression, but this sort of spin on the meaning of the term certainly abides by Trump’s way of twisting words.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Carlos Barria