Michael Avenatti, Stormy Daniels' attorney and giant Donald Trump antagonist, says Democrats need to welcome disgruntled Trump voters and treat them as victims of a "giant con."
"We must welcome back people who voted for Trump," said Avenatti in remarks to a sold-out fundraising dinner for the Horry County, SC Democratic Party last night. "We must treat them as victims of a giant con. One thing we can say is Donald Trump is a great con man."
"Too many of us have trouble putting on the shoes of others, such as the vulnerable population that this president is targeting," he said. "These are my people, too. We must do that if we are to survive as a nation."
The problem is that so many of these very people who have swallowed Trump's claims as though they are gospel are so blinded by his promises, rhetoric and lies that they refuse to acknowledge the facts of what is happening to our country. They believe what he says because they want to, because he appeals to beliefs, resentments and fears that they have long held and even repressed.
They look at his claimed financial success with envy and admiration. They believe his rhetoric about loving the military even though Trump, himself, is a renowned draft dodger and never served a day in his life. When I was a kid, we could say somebody like that is "yellow." And, right now, Trump is trying to privatize the Veterans Administration to enable his corporate friends to profit on the backs of our veterans. Do these Trump supporters, including veterans, understand this and what it could portend for the future?
They applaud his efforts to prevent immigration from our southern border. Why? They claim it's because they want to conserve our country and keep it "American." Could it be that they just don't like those particular immigrants? And why would that be?
They refuse to care about his race-baiting statements, and instead they buy his assertion that black athletes who kneel during the National Anthem are unpatriotic spoiled brats who should be fired. They refuse to consider that perhaps their is truth to the athletes' assertions that their action is to protest discriminatory practices that still exist against African Americans, including by police -- and has nothing to do with the flag?
They buy his claims that climate change is a hoax and there is no reason why we need environmental controls on factories or automobiles. It doesn't matter what the scientists say or the dire warnings that come from experts who actually know what they are talking about.
Of course, they love Trump because he panders to the National Rifle Association and refuses to do anything to regulate assault-type weapons that are all too often used in mass killings, including those in schools where children are murdered. "Guns don't kill people, people do," they say. Besides, they are responsible and would never allow their guns to be used in such a way. Unfortunately, others would, and who do. So people die.
They refuse to accept the reality of the Trump/GOP tax cut that runs absolutely counter to the Republicans' long-held mantra of curtailing government spending and balancing the budget. They buy his argument that his tax cut and his slashing of environmental regulations have freed up the economy and that's why everything is so great.
Did they notice what happened to the stock market last week? Have they noticed that home interest rates have almost doubled since Obama's presidency? Have they noticed that gas prices steadily are creeping up? Have they read about how Ford and other companies are cutting jobs because of Trump's protectionist tariffs? Do they even know about any of this? If they did, you would think they would care.
Do they like the idea that Trump, despite his campaign promises, supports GOP efforts to pay for that tax cut by cutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and continue their efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, including coverage for pre-existing conditions?
Do they like the idea that Donald Trump most likely is president because of his ties with Russia and that Russia directly influenced his election by conning likely Trump supporters with fake social media messages that many of them fell for? The Robert Mueller investigation will explain all of this when it's over, but these Trump people probably won't believe it anyway.
Do they like the idea that, according to an exhaustive investigation by The New York Times, Trump and his family have gamed the federal tax system to avoid paying taxes on millions, probably hundreds of millions, of dollars? Oh, I forgot. They don't believe that report because after all, The New York Times has been labeled by Trump to be part of the "fake media." As Trump said, that story was "very boring," anyway. But we'll see what the New York State tax investigators have to say about that.
So, Mr. Avenatti, it is difficult to do what you say. It is difficult for Democrats to welcome those conned by Trump for the very reason that they were conned. After all, a good con is one in which the victim never realizes that he or she has been duped. And sadly, for many Trump voters, that is the case.
These people proudly wear their red MAGA hats and claim the label of "deplorable." But they have closed their eyes and their minds and will continue to support this con man until he is driven from the White House.
Oh, by the way, I've designed another hat that just might be more appropriate. You can find it in the Not Fake News store. There's a matching shirt, too.