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[COMMENTARY] Another Saturday Night, Another Unhinged Trump Rally

Any Trump rally is going to result in terrible sound bites, but Saturday night’s gathering in Fayetteville, North Carolina, was an especially unhinged appearance for the beleaguered lame duck.

Sweating, swaying, at times grabbing the podium to steady himself, Trump mispronounced simple words like “Mars”  (explaining why some Twitter users woke up to see “Nars” trending) and rattled off insults about his opponent that seemed strangely specific and out of the blue. Trump accused Biden of being on drugs, relying on TelePrompters, and not being well enough to stand for two hours as he sniffed often while pretending to not read from his own TelePrompter.

Team Trump staged the event with masked MAGA supporters behind Trump, but the crowd in front of him was mostly maskless as they cheered “Fill the seat!” in response to his promise to nominate a woman to the Supreme Court in the wake of Ruth Bader Ginsburg‘s death on Friday. Trump also railed against his opponent Joe Biden, who had a very strong showing at a CNN Town Hall earlier in the week, a drastic difference from Trump’s own grumpy and unhinged performance at his own Town Hall on Tuesday.

Speaking to the upcoming Presidential debate on September 29th, which he’s clearly worried about, Trump hit Biden with crazy accusations that certainly sounded more like confessions. Projection language has been Trump’s default setting for his entire life, telling people exactly what he’s doing and who is he by foisting his own issues and worries onto others, with no proof to back up any of his claims. HIs fanbase then picks up the thread and continues it on social media.

A few pull quotes from Saturday night’s rally could be used as textbook examples of projection language:

“He is the worst candidate. The dumbest of all candidates,” Trump said of Biden. “He is the worst candidate in the history of presidential politics.” Trump is often called the worst candidate in history, with critics saying he’s not educated enough (his niece, Mary L. Trump, shared audiotapes that revealed someone else took his college entrance exams) and therefore he attacks his opponent’s intelligence.

Trump also expanded on his unproven claim that Biden is on drugs, stating, “They gave him a big fat shot in the ass… and for two hours, he is better than ever before. Problem is, what happens after that?” He also suggested a drug test before the debate–which he would probably fail. “We’re going to ask for a drug test. We are. I’d like to have a drug test.”

Becoming increasingly unhinged, Trump even went so far as to suggest he “wouldn’t allow” Biden to win. “You can’t have this guy as your president,” Trump argued. “You can’t have — maybe I’ll sign an executive order, you cannot have him as your president.”

But the night’s best moment came not from Trump, but from Joe Biden, who wasn’t even there. Trump said if he doesn’t win in November, “You’ll never see me again”. Team Biden quickly jumped on that quote and turned it into the most effective political ad of 2020.

 



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