Throw out all pretense to civility, folks. If President Trump loses the midterm next Tuesday and the Democrats take control of the House of Representatives and maybe the Senate, his administration will at last come under oversight. That prospect must be avoided at all costs as far as this White House is concerned, civility be damned.
Thus, Trump latest desperate gambit is a disgraceful ad warning voters that Democrats are in league with cop killers and ready to create more mayhem on hapless, helpless Americans should they win the midterms.
Fear mongering has been a reliable arrow in Trump's quiver. Absent any meaningful message to offer average Americans, the president borrowed a page from the Bush 43/Dick Cheney 2004 playbook, telling voters all hell will break loose if you fail to cast your ballot for Republicans. The other day, for example, he declared you will lose a lot of money unless the GOP hangs onto Congress.
Not only are you in danger of seeing your life savings go up in smoke, says Trump, but you will likely be raped and murdered by the likes of Luis Bracamontes because we all know every desperate would-be refugee is a psychopath, despite statistics that show immigrants commit few crimes.
From a communications standpoint, the success of this despicable ad hinges on the ignorance of the audience, folks who haven't troubled themselves to understand what Trump's real objective here is - that they're fears, anger and prejudices are being manipulated and only Donald Trump can protect them from the invading horde.
To help leverage the message, Trump claims, he'll repeal the 14th Amendment by executive order and dispatch as many as 15,000 troops to defend the Southern border. Again, ignorance is key because it's illegal to use U.S. troops to enforce the law on American soil. Likewise, the president cannot repeal any Constitutional Amendment. Some voters don't know this, but it sounds impressive, and, well, gol' dang, them Hispanics are gettin' awful close!
No they're not. The caravan is a thousand miles to the south of El Paso. People are traveling on foot, many with children, carrying whatever they can on their backs, escaping poverty and violence in their native countries. How desperate would a parent have to be to endanger their kids on such a trek? How bad are things in Guatemala or Honduras? Of course, many of them will never get here. It's too far, it's too hot, food and water are in short supply, and the specter of death along the way too great.
It was these unfortunate children of God that the good folks of the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh sought to help through their support of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. And it was the toxic atmosphere of hate created by this president that sent, not Luis Bracamontes, but an American psychopath into their midst last Saturday.
Kevin Foley owns KEF Media in Atlanta.