The Dangers of Magical Thinking
Before we enter a sunny summer where nature’s bounty grows green and wild and the laughter of the warm wind caresses the flowers, let’s get some perspective on Trump’s indictment, the impact on the GOP field, and the response from the conservative media apparatus.
But if you want my quick take on it, it’s this: Whether Trump is wolfing down Big Macs on the Mar-a-Lago golf course or bargaining for bootlegged tanning lotion in prison, he will be the GOP nominee. Don’t give into magical thinking and never stop the fight to beat him at the ballot box.
First, the trial itself. It’s happening in Miami. A hotbed of Trump voters, MAGA radicals, skells, boat-paraders, and people terrified of dead communists and imaginary communism. (By the way, I love Miami, I really do. But I’ve got to call this place how I see it).
The baseline of tolerable corruption in Miami makes normies’ heads spin. And the MAGA alternative reality propagated on WhatsApp and Miami radio makes Fox look like the BBC.
This all means it only takes one sleeper on the jury to free Trump.
Now, say that we’re able to secure a conviction in the MAGA swamp of Miami. Criminality is not a disqualifier in the modern GOP. We learned that in spades last night. Did you see a single major candidate do anything but toe the Trump line and denounce the so-called “deep-state DOJ?”
Of course, none of them really believe this. But that doesn’t matter. Millions of their voters do. So they’ll keep roleplaying while secretly hoping this damages Trump’s chances in the primary.
To that, I say please, 2016 called, and it wants its magical thinking back.
So regardless of what happens with the trial, Trump’s defense will be aided by his primary opponents, hordes of Congressional allies, and of course the giant right-wing media apparatus that exists to support him.
Whether it’s the gentry types at the National Review or the incel lunatics at Breitbart, they will also give Trump the cover he needs to continue stomping through the primary. Once again, it doesn’t matter what these people truly believe. Their readers (i.e. Trump voters) demand their fidelity to Dear Leader.
So watch as the right-wing media ecosystem spins false equivocations with the Biden classified document case. And don’t be surprised when you see them join forces with a new ally in that effort.
Who could it be? The mainstream media. CNN and their counterparts in the he-said/she-said DC game of media ping pong are a powerful normative force.
They will not spew the false equivocations with the same vitriol as the right-wingers, but by all accounts, they will still spew them. That will confuse the public and turn them off of the clear cut and dry case that will be presented against Trump in court.
It’s a sad reality that a widespread and dare I say, bi-partisan, ecosystem exists to excuse Trump’s flagrant criminality. But make no mistake. IT EXISTS.
You’re allowed to feel the doom and gloom about this tragic world we live in. But only for a moment.
Because I wouldn’t be writing this email or fighting the daily fight if I didn’t still have profound hope in our ability to defeat Trump and hold him accountable.
Of course, it won’t be the DOJ or whatever jury they scrounge together in Miami. It will be the pro-democracy coalition we have built here at The Lincoln Project. The hard work of campaigning. The hard work of messaging and turning out those critical swing state voters that we understand so well. That is the work that will hold Trump accountable. As always, I’d appreciate it if you could pitch in today to make that fight possible.
I’m working on an ad right now that we need on the air to hit Trump hard. I’ll give you a hint: it’s called “RATS” and he will NOT like it. Help us counter the MAGA media and get this banger on the air.
-The Lincoln Project