President Trump’s message is as clear as it is ugly: Fearmongering about illegal immigration will deliver his party the votes it needs to retain control of Congress.
And so in the final stretch before next week’s midterm election the president and his allies have launched a blitzkrieg of misinformation.
In a move unprecedented in modern American history Trump ordered thousands of active-duty troops to the border to intercept a caravan of Central American migrants – casting them as a menacing ‘invasion’ of ‘unknown Middle Easterners’ and other shadowy elements. His allies at right-wing media outlets spread lurid conspiracy theories about liberals enabling disease-bearing foreigners to infiltrate the country.
Even as attention shifted to a spate of right-wing violence – including the slaughter of 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue that critics linked to the president’s rhetoric – Trump barreled on undaunted.
On Thursday he gave a speech at the White House where he warned that U.S. troops would shoot violent migrants at the border.
He also shared an ad that sought to connect the Democratic Party to murders carried out by a man twice deported to Mexico and then to link the man’s murderous behavior to the supposed threat posed by all migrants.