Recently, Donald Trump was asked about his party’s embrace of QAnon, whose followers believe that Tom Hanks, Ellen DeGeneres, the Dalai Lama, Hillary Clinton, and George Soros are all involved in a secret pedophile ring in which children are killed and eaten in order to cultivate a life-saving chemical from their blood.
“I’ve heard these are people that love our country,” Trump said. “So I don’t know really anything about it other than they do supposedly like me.”
This was not surprising. The very fine people of QAnon always say nice things about Donald Trump, so of course he reciprocates. That’s literally his entire strategy for life.
But it is pretty funny.
Because the Trump campaign has spent the last six months claiming that while Joe Biden might look like a moderate Democrat, he’s little more than a Trojan Horse for the evil forces of the radical, commie left.
That’s literally the metaphor he uses. Standing on the White House lawn accepting his party’s nomination, Trump called Biden a “Trojan Horse for socialism.”
The “Trojan Horse” attack is part of Trump’s efforts to portray Biden as a weak man who is controlled by others. For example, Trump was asked by Fox News host Laura Ingraham who he thinks is “pulling Biden’s strings.”
“People who you’ve never heard of,” Trump answered. He then clarified they are “people who are in the dark shadows” and “people who are in the streets, people who are controlling the streets.”
The strategy is clear: Trump wants to portray Biden as a doddering, senile old man who can easily be corrupted by extreme forces on the left. A guy whose brain is an AirBnb available for cheap rental by Antifa, or looters, whoever is the villain of the morning on Fox & Friends.
This strategy has not (yet) worked.
Joe Biden has been in federal office for 47 years. The public knows full well who he is and what he stands for. Last week, donning his “c’mon, man” persona, Biden forcefully denounced violence happening in cities in response to police brutality against African Americans. And he reminded Americans that this unrest is happening during Trump’s administration—that Trump’s ludicrous reelection pitch is that he must be reelected to a second term in order to save the country from the consequences of his first term.
But even as the president is pitching Biden as being a Trojan horse for extremists, Trump refuses to condemn violence carried out by his MAGA army. He defends killer Kyle Rittenhouse. He invited the St. Louis couple who are charged with carelessly waving guns at black protestors marching past their home to speak at the Republican National Convention.
And then there’s the really crazy stuff.
You may recall that Trump rode to political prominence by embracing the “Birther” theory that Barack Obama hadn’t been born in the United States, and was thus ineligible to hold office. He has since stoked a similar theory about vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris.
During the 2016 Republican primary, Trump circulated a theory that Sen. Ted Cruz’s father had been involved in John F. Kennedy’s assassination. That same year, he also openly speculated that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had been murdered, claiming—falsely—that “they found a pillow on his face, which is a pretty unusual place to find a pillow.”
While in office, Trump has suggested that MSNBC host and former Congressman Joe Scarborough murdered one of his former female interns. He explained away his impeachment by referencing a debunked theory that held that a California-based company called Crowdstrike was hiding a Democratic National Committee server in Ukraine. He has called the fictional “Obamagate” scandal “the biggest political crime in American history.”
Trump spent months touting hydroxychloroquine as a miracle cure. (It isn’t.) This was not the first time he’s parroted bogus science when it comes to health care: During a debate in 2016, he suggested vaccinations caused autism. Oh, and don’t forget the president suggesting that the “Deep State” is holding back a COVID-19 vaccine until after the November election in order to hurt him.
What’s clear—crystal clear—is that Donald Trump is the Trojan Horse. He’s the one who brought crazed extremist conspiracy mongering into mainstream public life.
And his worldview—those who support Trump are Halal, those who oppose Trump are Haram—makes him the puppet.
Because if you’ve got a red hat, a Facebook account, and two thumbs, the president of the United States is going to take your side, no matter what sort of bat-shit crazy you’re selling.
If you say that Satan-worshipping Bill Gates is controlling the world but that Donald Trump is the hero trying to save us, then Donald Trump, like a good puppet, he’s going to dance.