To start, this Trump Rally blog post is, at this point, a purely speculative work, designed to help tie together what is at this point a disparate set of facts that seem to point to one conclusion, but a large set of loose ends stop me from saying the result is absolute fact.
The “one conclusion” is my null hypothesis for this test: that the Trump Rally, the election fraud claims, and the social media and public relations moves to discredit the 2020 Election, as well as Trump’s switching of Defense Department personnel to install “loyalists”, and the delay is preparing for transition to the Biden Administration, were all part of a plan created and launched a year ago. A move to make Donald Trump president, again, even over the will of the voters of America. And that leads to the insurrection attempt that was The Trump Rally.
Speculatively, the reasons for this move, to start with, rest in a long-standing view that as America became more diverse, whites folks would lose power. Now, what’s stupid about that view is there’s no one who can claim to be purely white or black, but that doesn’t stop the perception. Also, The National Review pointed to this concern in a discussion of the nationalism bent that Trump ignited during his 2017 Inaguration speech.
As The National Review put it:
“dark,” “divisive,” and “dangerous” were a few of the negative descriptors that critics attached to President Trump’s inaugural address, and those were just the ones that start with “d.” (A few threw in “dystopian” for good measure.) The critics took him this way in part because he depicted the last few decades of American life as a hellscape from which he would shortly deliver us: “This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.” But the critics also had this reaction because the address had a theme — nationalism — that has itself long been assumed in many quarters to be dark, divisive, and dangerous.
So, to come back home, lest we venture too far off path, the Trump Rally was the tip of a spear built of a number of coordinated efforts to make sure Trump remained as POTUS, and in the process short circuit the democrat system that assured a change in regime, and thus direction, back to what Trump called the American carnage. But, to be sure, for Donald Trump, it was as much about his ego and lust for power more so that any real concern for what is a twisted view of America. In running for POTUS, Trump knew that the advancing that “twisted view of America” would get him the power he long sought. A simple look at his words and statements years before he ran for POTUS reveal a person more democrat than republican (something he confirmed to CNN). What specifically happened to cause his shift is a story for another time, but he went from saying that the Confederate monuments should be in a museum in 2015 to saying that they should be preserved in 2017, and told David Letterman he was for flag burning, but then as POTUS was against it and the NFL Anthem Protest.
What’s the difference? The 2016 Election as well as a view of what I call nuevo-conservatives that nationalism, that “dark, divisive, and dangerous idea”, was for their purposes, suddenly desirable.
To quote The National Review, yet again:
“The outlines of a benign nationalism are not hard to discern. It includes loyalty to one’s country: a sense of belonging, allegiance, and gratitude to it. And this sense attaches to the country’s people and culture, not just to its political institutions and laws. Such nationalism includes solidarity with one’s countrymen, whose welfare comes before, albeit not to the complete exclusion of, that of foreigners. When this nationalism finds political expression, it supports a federal government that is jealous of its sovereignty, forthright and unapologetic about advancing its people’s interests, and mindful of the need for national cohesion.”
The trouble is that, for some in America, being conservative is a code word for whiteness, and so, for the people Trump was working to trigger, he had to feed the warped idea that America, increasingly, was not for them. And what better regions of America to focus this message on than The Middle and The South. The one inexorable development that has tripped up his strategy was this: America’s intense racial integration, even in the The Middle and The South, which has effectively blunted Trump’s white-focused message.
Even The National Review reflects the idea of conservative thought as the province of white Americans:
Conservatives have fought back on issues such as bilingual education, the downgrading of traditional U.S. history in curricula, racial preferences, the elevation of subnational groups, and mass immigration — anything that has been part of the multiculturalist onslaught on national solidarity. The words “ the multiculturalist onslaught on national solidarity” are an anti-intellectual nod to white-focused white supremacy.
With that, Trump knowingly courted white supremacists, but, as it turned out, those ranks are filled with criminals and drug addicts, and otherwise questionable characters. By the time Trump realized he had triggered (and in some cases paid) a group of people that he really didn’t like and could hurt his efforts, reportedly calling them disgusting, it was too late.
The other development that Trump’s efforts were thwarted by was the Internet. More than anything else, it has fused the industrialized world together, and such that moves toward nationalism are automatically thwarted the moment would-be sympathizers drive up in cars from Korean automakers, but made in America. The point is, we’re already decades down the path of globalization, and to such a degree that the efforts of Trump fans to blunt it are reduced to words, and little else. The quartet-team of technology, globalization, racial integration, and the Internet, are built-in poison-pills to Trump’s efforts. But, to be sure, Trump and his staffers and campaign consultants, did not see these poison-pills a year ago, and so pressed on with a plan that, ultimately, cost five people their lives at the Trump Rally.
It Started With A 2019 Plan For Voter Surpression
Justin Clark, a Donald Trump For Relection campaign advisor and senior counsel, revealed some of the true intensions of the Trump 2020 effort late in 2019. According to NBC News and The Associated Press here, Mr. Clark made the comments Nov. 21 in a meeting of the Republican National Lawyers Association’s Wisconsin chapter. Reportedly, attendees included the Wisconsin Senate’s top Republican, Scott Fitzgerald, along with the executive director of the Wisconsin Republican Party. Via a recording The Associated Press media organization obtained, Mr. Clark, said “Traditionally it’s always been Republicans suppressing votes in places. Let’s start protecting our voters. We know where they are. … Let’s start playing offense a little bit. That’s what you’re going to see in 2020. It’s going to be a much bigger program, a much more aggressive program, a much better-funded program.” And one with a billion-dollar-war chest.
And A 2019 Plan For Voter Intimidation
NBC News reports that in 2019, Republican officials publicly signaled plans to step up their Election Day monitoring after a judge in 2018 lifted a consent degree in place since 1982 that barred the Republican National Committee from voter verification and other “ballot security” efforts. NBC News said that critics have argued the tactics amount to voter intimidation. The 1982 consent decree that was lifted in 2018 was put in place after the Democratic National Committee sued the Republican National Committee, alleging the RNC helped intimidate black voters in New Jersey’s election for governor. The federal lawsuit claimed the RNC and the state GOP had off-duty police stand at polling places in urban areas wearing armbands that read “National Ballot Security Task Force,” with guns visible on some. That’s nothing less than voter intimidation, but it went on.
And It Includes False Claims By The GOP Of Voter Fraud By Democrats
The same NBC News / Associated Press Report of 2019, 20, December, also reported that Mr. Justin Clark said Trump’s campaign plans to focus on rural areas around mid-size cities like Eau Claire and Green Bay, Wisconsin – areas Clark says where Democrats “cheat.” NBC News / Associated Press said Clark did not explain what he meant by cheating and did not provide any examples. “Cheating doesn’t just happen when you lose a county,” Clark said. “Cheating happens at the margin overall. What we’re going to be able to do, if we can recruit the bodies to do it, is focus on these places. That’s where our voters are.”
The NBC News post followed with “There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Wisconsin.”
The rest of the NBC News / Associated Press Report of December 20th, 2019, was a complete foreshadowing of events to come in 2020. Thus, it must be repeated, entirely, here:
Wisconsin’s attorney general, Democrat Josh Kaul, represented the Democratic National Committee in a 2016 New Jersey lawsuit that argued the GOP was coordinating with Trump to intimidate voters. Kaul argued then that Trump’s campaign “repeatedly encouraged his supporters to engage in vigilante efforts” in the guise of ferreting out potential voter fraud. The Republican Party disputed any coordination.
“It is vital that Wisconsinites have free and fair access to the polls, and that we protect the security and integrity of our elections,” Kaul said in a statement in reaction to Clark’s comments. “The Wisconsin Department of Justice has been and will continue working with other agencies to protect our democratic process.”
Mike Browne, deputy director of One Wisconsin Now, said Clark’s comments suggest the Trump campaign plans to engage in “underhanded tactics” to win the election.
“The strategy to rig the rules in elections and give themselves an unfair partisan advantage goes to Donald Trump, the highest levels of his campaign and the top Republican leadership,” Browne said. “It’s clear there’s no law Donald Trump and his right-wing machine won’t bend, break or ignore to try to win the presidency.”
A Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy
Yikes: to repeat, “It’s clear there’s no law Donald Trump and his right-wing machine won’t bend, break or ignore to try to win the presidency” was said in December of 2019, and before the events of 2020 unfolded.
In retrospect, it’s clear that the constant flood of media has caused America to not see what Trump and the GOP was working to do, months before he and they did it. The term “a vast, right-wing conspiracy” does apply here, and considering Trump’s courting of white supremacists, it’s clear Trump and the GOP were willing to use anyone to reach their objective of Trump’s re-election. Let’s continue.
In Just Security of December 18, 2019, in a post with the title “The Trump-Giuliani Election Plan: Manipulating Voters”, Viola Gienger lays out this, yet another example of foreshadowing what Trump was to do in 2020 to get re-elected, and points to what the investigation of Russian involvement in the 2016 Election both revealed and thwarted.
Viola Gienger writes:
The extensive testimony, congressional debate and public discussion of President Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani’s quest to pressure Ukraine into announcing investigations into Trump’s 2020 campaign rival have not focused sufficient attention to a dimension of the plan. The ongoing conversation has included frequent reference to the potential destructive effects: illegal foreign interference in a presidential election that damages America’s democracy and subordinates American national security to personal, political interests. That should be enough to ram home the impact. But it’s still a pretty clinical, academic description, and it omits a missing element of the practical impact on American voters.
Viola Gienger continues:
What’s missing is the more direct, practical impact: to deceive and manipulate American voters and undermine their ability to cast an informed vote. Indeed, there are different forms of foreign election interference, and what makes the Ukraine one especially pernicious is this dimension. The president to whom so many voters cleave as their champion was trying, as he so often does, to twist their understanding of the truth, and this time in secret. American voters’ perceptions of their candidates and, thus, their ability to exercise their constitutional right to vote for their next president in a free and fair election would have been influenced by a secretly cooked version of the story, or narrative, of one of the leading candidates — in this case, former Vice President Joe Biden.
Had the scheme worked without the kind of scrutiny it has received in recent months, it would have gone far beyond the usual negative advertising and campaign bluster about opponents that is routine in vibrant democratic debate. Typical negative attacks are at least somewhat transparent because sponsors are declared, and so those individuals or groups and their statements can be challenged just as openly. Arguably, the persistent Republican drumbeat about investigating Biden may have worked to a certain extent already; while he maintains the lead among Democratic candidates, CNN polling showed him slipping from 34 percent in October to 28 percent in November. An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll this month has him at 24 percent. (Of course, it is difficult to attribute causality.)
But the Ukrainegate plot would have constituted a corrupt effort hidden from the American public, just as voters were trying to make decisions about their Democratic nominees. Voters would have been left with the impression that a foreign government was independently and legitimately opening a new investigation into Joe Biden and into his son Hunter’s membership on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.
The truth that there had been no evidence of criminal wrongdoing would have been obscured by the rhetorical dust kicked up by the announcement. And the fact that the investigation was being announced only because the U.S. president had threatened to withhold a vital White House meeting with the new Ukrainian president and to deny crucial military funding from an underdog U.S. ally at war with Russia would have been hidden.
An Effort That Includes Buying Actors To Make Fake Campaign Crowds
A major part of the Trump effort to take the White House against the will of the voters included fake crowds with actors paid to, well, act like Trump supporters. The idea with these efforts is that the fake members of the crowd will both attract and fire-up others who make up Trump’s base. The result is what looks like one big party on television. And that includes the Trump Rally.
From The Hollywood Reporter comes an early example of the practice, in 2015:
A casting call was sent out last week “looking to cast people for the event to wear t-shirts and carry signs and help cheer him in support of his announcement.”
Donald Trump’s big presidential announcement Tuesday was made a little bigger with help from paid actors — at $50 a pop.
New York-based Extra Mile Casting sent an email last Friday to its client list of background actors, seeking extras to beef up attendance at Trump’s event.
“We are looking to cast people for the event to wear t-shirts and carry signs and help cheer him in support of his announcement,” reads the June 12 email, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. “We understand this is not a traditional ‘background job,’ but we believe acting comes in all forms and this is inclusive of that school of thought.
— Megan Specia (@meganspecia) June 16, 2015
Very similarly, after the Trump Rally, it was revealed that Jacob Anthony Chansley, known as the “QAnon shaman,” and Jake Angeli, had advertised himself as an actor seeking work, on the website Backstage. The fake crowds firm Crowds On Demand also uses Backstage to present work for actors. Mr. Chansley took down his Backstage page, leading to affirmation of my claim, which is that much of what Trump did in terms of event formation, and event violent actions, was done by paid actors.
Was The Trump Rally Part Of A Trump RICO Act Violation In The Making?
“RICO” means “Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations”, and refers to an act of law in America that was passed by Congress in 1970 to stop organized crime.
NOLO Press, the law publication firm, explains RICO, as follows:
Passed in 1970, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) is a federal law designed to combat organized crime in the United States. It allows prosecution and civil penalties for racketeering activity performed as part of an ongoing criminal enterprise. Such activity may include illegal gambling, bribery, kidnapping, murder, money laundering, counterfeiting, embezzlement, drug trafficking, slavery, and a host of other unsavory business practices.
To convict a defendant under RICO, the government must prove that the defendant engaged in two or more instances of racketeering activity and that the defendant directly invested in, maintained an interest in, or participated in a criminal enterprise affecting interstate or foreign commerce. The law has been used to prosecute members of the mafia, the Hells Angels motorcycle gang, and Operation Rescue, an anti-abortion group, among many others.
Considering the Trump Rally, one of those unsavory business practices would include insurrection. But the main question here that is clear, is given its size, The Trump Rally was something planned months ago. But specifically how, and when, and by whom?
We know the why.
Stay tuned for Part Two.
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