Trump supporters post fake photos of 'huge' crowds at rallies
It was perhaps the first ideological battle waged in the newly-christened Trump administration. Back in January 2017, it was the issue of the moment, the one everyone was hanging on - how big was his inauguration crowd?
Trump and CNN competed for days, with then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer whipping out forensic photos of the crowds to prove that it was as huge as Trump said it was (it wasn't). CNN, I'm sure, had top photographic analysts on their panel to debate pro-Trump and Nazi-saluting pundit Jeffrey Lord about this serious issue affecting all Americans.
Photos of Trump's Arizona rally this week have proliferated, photos of utterly enormous crowds waiting just to get inside the blockbuster arena. The only problem? Well, these photos are all from the 2016 Cavaliers Championship Parade. Oh.
What is it about crowd sizes that gets Trump and his supporters so worked up? It seems to be the need for mass approval. If Trump's ratings are bad, that means his ideas are bad, and the enemy will win. At least, that's the psychology of social media, which is pretty much the psychology of our President. It is so curious that he uses Twitter, since he seems to be the personification of Twitter in human form.
Emotional, impulsive, loving an echo chamber, pandering to his followers...yep, he's a human Twitter account. Why steal the valor of the 2016 Cavs Parade? To appear big by any means possible. You have to have the highest-rated show in town.
Trump's Arizona rally, on its own terms, was pretty insane. The President ranted off-the-cuff for over an hour, the length of a feature film. He complained about his enemies and declared that he was doing the best job possible, you know, the usual.
Here are a few choice quotes:
"I mean, CNN is really bad, but ABC this morning -- I don't watch it much, but I'm watching in the morning, and they have little George Stephanopoulos talking to Nikki Haley, right? Little George."
"Now, you know, I was a good student. I always hear about the elite. You know, the elite. They're elite? I went to better schools than they did. I was a better student than they were. I live in a bigger, more beautiful apartment, and I live in the White House, too, which is really great."
"They're trying to take away our culture. They are trying to take away our history."
It's just infinite deja vu with Trump. Every news cycle, swallowed faster than the one before, it also just as superfluous and repetitious as the one before. Every week, it's a new confirmation that Trump is exactly who we've known he is for over a year, and that despite all our outrage and moral fervor, the Trump show is still the only one in town. No one can compete. By the end of the 21st century, how many trillions upon trillions of words, images and videos will compose the fractured collage that is the Trump show?
He has what he's always wanted: everyone staring at him, forever, watching him roll around in his enemies' tears.
One last quote from his Arizona rally: "If I don't have social media, I probably would not be standing."
Oh God, he's more like us than we'd ever like to admit.