Earlier today, my colleague Leon Wolf, commented on the authoritarian tendencies of the most devoted Trump supporters. Now we have evidence of the megalomania that feeds the authoritarian response.
Republican primary front-runner Donald Trump on Saturday said his rhetoric condemning the Iranian regime played an integral part in securing the release of four U.S. prisoners.
“So I’ve been hitting them hard, and I think I might have had something to do with it,” Trump said at the South Carolina Tea Party Convention in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
“You want to know the truth, who’s using it? It’s a part of my staple thing. I mean, I go crazy when I hear about this,” he added.
“They’re in one of the worst prisons in the world, and we had to do something, so I’d always talk about it.”
This is ludicrous.
First off, virtually every utterance of Donald Trump has been covered by the news media. There may be some glottal stops and coughs that weren't transcribed but those would be damned few. If you go to Google and search for articles containing "Donald Trump" and "Jason Rezaian"* you get 0 freakin hits between July 1, 2015 and January 10, 2016. In fact, the first time the names appear in the same article is when Trump is complaining about the deal (by the way, I'm glad those men are out of Iran, but there are two additional Americans still in prison there, and the deal was a horrible kowtowing to Iran by the administration). If you go to a broader search, and use "iran" and "prisoners" you find that Trump has mentioned them twice. Once at a rally in July and again in September.
No, Donald Trump has not been "hitting them hard." He's been "hitting them hardly." This goes directly to Leon's second article today on Trump and his campaign. Just like Trump has demonstrated time and again that he is a horrible judge of character, he also has that Baron von Munchausen quality that requires him to place himself dead center of any event and demand that the narrative flow about his impact on the event. Even when there isn't one.