Good morning, babies. It's taken me a couple of days to locate a transcript of Trump's Pensacola campaign speech. In a few minutes I'm going to begin a dive into it.
Reminder (or alert, for new followers) that what I do isn't fact-checking. I'll sometimes highlight falsehoods, but that's not my main skill set. I recommend leaving that to professionals. politifact.com/truth-o-meter/…
What I do is analyze Trump's speeches and interviews the way I might analyze a story, or any other bit of communication. Language and character are my specialties.
I think I'm pretty good at it. I'm the first person I saw who picked up on his tick of saying "Remember..." before something he'd been coached to remember. And after the thread where pointed it out went viral, it seemed like his handles worked to try to scrub it from him.
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I have no shame in asking for money from those who value what I do, so long as @CillizzaCNN has no shame in cashing checks from CNN for doing his version of it, which looks like this.
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Few interesting things to highlight about the Pensacola speech. One is that there wasn't much transcription available on it. I usually can find a full text transcript within a few days. In this case, I'm working from CSPAN's captioning service.
I am not sure exactly what accounts for that. I think it's a mixture of fatigue (he gives a lot of speeches that are very repetitive) and the sort of weird cringe factor around this one.

I kind of think a lot of news services started transcripts and then abandoned them.
I wasn't going to do this one if I couldn't find something better than the captions, which are all caps and very little punctuation, but if anything I think that sort of adds to the verisimilitude.

See?
I've observed before that when people talk about "great" Trump speeches, they mean that it has a strong opening and a strong closing. That's mostly the only things his speechwriters and handlers can count on him for.
They'll write him a strong opening and a strong closing, and in the middle bits he'll just do whatever. Trump speeches really are like a sandwich of a peculiar sort. Not the sort you'd care to eat.

Fluffy bread on the top, something else in the middle, more bread on the bottom
This one... this one doesn't have the bread.

And that's not wholly unprecedented for his campaign rallies, which really are far more about him doing what he wants. The main purpose of these speeches is: he likes them. They make him happy, like nothing else does.
A stage-managed spectacle in front of a self-selected crowd of Fifth Avenue True Believers (the people who wouldn't care if he shot someone in broad daylight) is what he thought the whole presidency would be.

Kingship.

Godhood.

Celebrity.
This rally, though, I thought would be more carefully managed because it wasn't *just* Trump recharging his ego. He went to Pensacola, Florida because it's just on the right side of the border for the White House to say he didn't "go to Alabama".
The news was pretty free with the fact that he was actually there to campaign for Roy Moore. Though that doesn't really come through the entire speech. He does plug Moore, and bash Jones, but it's more like he's just... Trumping it up. In the name of Moore.
I actually think there is some logic there. Moore' core is Trump's core, and nothing fires up Trump's core like "Trump being Trump, to own the libs."
But I also wonder if Trump had it in him to give any more of a coherent message than he did. I'm thinking of the Jerusalem remarks, and other recent indicators of his state of mind.
Even when Trump does something that he or his team can make hay out of, you can go too far in attributing the outcome to strategic advanced planning and not to capitalizing on the situation he created, after the fact.
Anyway. So he doesn't have the strong opening that is the signature of his speech-writing team. This is all pure Trump. Merry Christmas. Biggest ever. Great, great, so great. No first year like this one. FAKE NEWS!
The interesting thing in this is that he hedges on saying there's been no first year like his, because he has to be "very accurate because of the fake news back there".

In other words, if he says something that's not true, the "fake news" will report it and correct him.
I know this is a theme I harp on a lot, but: he's saying that with great reluctance he has to be accurate in his claims, or the fake news will correct him.

His inclination is to say things that aren't true. The fake news corrects him when he does.

He's saying this.
So he knows that what he says isn't true, he knows the news gets it right more than he does, but they're still "fake". Why? Same reason Ted Cruz was Lyin' Ted. BRANDING. Trump doesn't believe in truth, but he does believe in branding.
He can get up and all but say, "I'd rather lie to you, but the news won't let me.", but because he brands them as "fake" and "dishonest" and himself as a square-dealing, straight-talking truth-teller, his audience of true believers ignores the contradiction.
This. This, I guess you'd call it an anecdote, is Donald Trump's idea of good speechwriting.

I'd love to see a reporter ask his press secretary for the name of the police officer who said this, so they can get in touch with him.
"The first time anyone said this to me."

Said what?

"Thank you, Mr. President."?

Even for Trump, I find that very hard to believe. It's a ludicrous detail, part of the mythology of Donald Trump as the put-upon Rodney Dangerfield who gets no credit for anything.
His framing of his "movement" as being one of the people is the closest thing to a thread that runs through this speech that I could find. It is, again, branding. His approval rating is in the toilet even compared to where he began, and he won with a minority of the popular vote
It is necessary for Trump to frame his will as the will of the people for his ego, and to justify his otherwise mandate-less agenda, and to position the vast swath of the people who oppose him (which is a majority of us) as enemies of the people.
So there's a lot of priming happening here. "Everyone is doing well." "We're going to speak the truth."

Salesman patter, like saying, "You're really going to see something, boy, let me tell you, you're gonna love this. You look great, by the way. Take a look..."
I'm not sure that people suing a third party for making an inaccurate statement that briefly affected the value of their stock portfolio would be a good precedent for Donald Trump to encourage.

But I don't think he really "gets" the stock market, for that matter. Or needs to.
He can't claim that the market is up, up, up, up, up (and it is!) and also maintain that a brief dip actually cost people money. It was a paper loss, for anyone who didn't happen to sell during the brief downturn.
But to Trump, numbers are just numbers. They either sound good (market up exty percent!) or bad (market dropped 350 points!). and they're useful and thus "true" if they're good for you or bad for your enemies, and not if they're not.
Excellent point.
So, anyway. Trump is making an awful lot out of the fact that the media, when found to have reported something inaccurately, will sometimes acknowledge the mistake and correct the record, a thing Trump and his White House never do.
This plays into his branding. He never admits that he got anything wrong, so he's always right and completely honest. The media issues corrections and retractions... they're liars.
More priming. "They aren't going to argue with this."

To give credit where credit is due: Cillizza himself *did* quibble with this one.

But Trump's true believers heard that not even the media can argue with this number, and they'll believe that.
In fact, they'll believe it so hard that if you show them Cillizza disputing the number with Trump's own labor report, they'll say that they can't believe he has the gall to dispute it when even "the media" can't argue with it.
In Trumpland, nothing actually means anything, and some words, like "the media", and "the government", mean less than most. I mean, Trump and his people can rail against the government while he's in the White House, so that tells you a lot.
But Trump can say that even the media admitted there's nothing to Trump/Russia in order to dismiss the media's reporting on Trump/Russia. "The media" isn't a specific thing or a collection of specific things. It's just this generalized concept.
He says news anchors were devastated reporting on the job figures. Devastated to report job growth. Again, I'd like to see Huckabee Sanders asked if the White House could provide names of some of these anchors who were devastated.
It would be an absolute waste of time, of course, but so is asking her about anything else. This would at least be an entertaining waste of time.
So much of what Trump says and does reminds me of a schoolyard bully. Like the absolute most stereotypical sort. The kind who, no matter what, always reports that their victim was crying. "He was bawling his eyes out, crying for mommy."
Now, this next bit shows up in the automated transcription as an absolute wall of text, too big to screenshot, so I'm going to break it up a bit.
"It is all psychological" strikes me as another example of Trump saying the quiet part loud. Admitting that the growth attributed to him is psychological rather than the result of concrete actions or policy changes is not exactly a great strategic move on his part.
In "read the room" moments - Trump asking a crowd in Florida if they are aware of hurricanes. As if anyone in the US doesn't know about the hurricanes. It's a little tongue in cheek, but Trump has a chronic problem with conceptualizing what other people do or don't know.
People often call Trump's style of speech, on display here, "word salad". That's not really accurate. It's patter. Patter, patter, patter. Talk fast. Create associations. Don't make points, just plant feelings. Better. Pension funds are happening. More love, more happy love!
Trump talking about the market hitting a record 86 times... okay, I'm not downplaying that it's going up. But that's what happens when it's going up. The number of highs it hits is irrelevant.
When a number is in record high territory and going up, it's going to be setting new records all the time.
Yeah, again, I'm not a factchecker, but 54% is the actual number. But numbers are just bragging rights to Trump, and he imagines everybody exaggerates when they're bragging.

I was going to jump back to that 86% of Cuban-Americans in Florida claim here, because you'll notice 86 is also the number of times he says the market hit a high.

I think he likes the number.
Maybe he had notes in front of him that had both numbers, and he thought that 54 sounded low next to 86. Maybe he just thought 86 sounded better. Maybe he completely crossed his wires. Maybe the numbers mean nothing.
Again, patter. The deeper Trump gets into territory where he can't begin to explain what's going on and what's good or bad about it, the more heavily he leans on patter.
GOOD THINGS ARE GOOD. BAD THINGS ARE BAD.

I SAY, YOU GOT TROUBLE!

Remember the Maine, Plymouth Rock, and the Golden Rule!
The great thing that will happen right after taxes, by the way, is that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid will be gutted. Right from navel to sternum. It's already been announced.
I think even in Trump Country, Florida, getting rid of the individual mandate plays better to Freedom Caucus politicians than it does to voters, even ones who don't like the sound of a "man-date". I also suspect the "not including real estate" speaks more to Trump's interests.
He loves to tout the $5 trillion figure, as he thinks $5 trillion more value in the stock market cancels out $5 trillion of government debt, or at least he wants you to think it does.
Which is going to be kind of a theme here: does Trump not understand international trade deals, or is he just banking on you not understanding them? The correct answer, I suspect, is: he does not care, because nothing means anything, and "deals" are about suckering people.
I wonder if the people who don't like their stocks going up include the news anchors who were devastated to report job growth.

(Which, by the way, is something the media won't tell you about.)
The idea that you get a better deal by leaving the massive trade partnerships and then negotiating one on one... we can sort of get a sneak preview of how well that works out by watching what's happening with Britain.
The real reason that Trump wants to get out of the international trade deals and go 1-on-1 is that gives him more to take credit for. A good deal is something that Trump gets something out of, even if it's just recognition.
Since Trump does not perceive any direct benefit or loss to himself for any deal between the United States and another country, his first and overwhelmingly largest concern is: does he get the credit?
So, Trump starts talking about the resistance, and then immediately notes and calls attention to a section of Black supporters in his crowd. Subtlety is not his forte.
In comparison, tying the ongoing resistance to his rule to Clinton's campaign, positioning her as a "resister" before he was even in power, is almost clever. It positions him as the natural ruler and her an upstart.
I guess "losing in a landslide" could be a clever way to describe winning the popular vote by the largest margin of any person who didn't win the election, but somehow I don't think that's what he meant.
Anyway, though, as I said, he's using the theme that the disapproval of his actions by the majority of the population is somehow subverting the will of the people, by which he means his people, the people in the stadium with him.
He's positioned the media as enemies of the people, our representatives who won't fall in line as enemies of the people, and now the people themselves are enemies of the people.

Dangerous, dangerous trends.
More patter: proven, rigged, change, rigged, no country like ours, sickness, rigged, rigged, terrible, terrible.
Here he's positioning resistance as the act of entrenched oligarchs protecting a system they control. Which, of course, is the classic projection we know and expect from him.
This would actually be terrible. Five jobs going unfilled, undone, for every job that is filled? How is this economy supposed to work? Boy, those investors who love him would get out of the stock market in a hurry if this were reality. Six companies competing for one laborer.
If you've ever played a video game where money is just a variable in the computer and you go to the store and you buy a healing potion for 100 gold and that gold is just subtracted, it goes nowhere, it's just gone... that's how a lot of people think of the economy as working.
That is, they see the economy as just being a bunch of abstract variables all surrounding the only one real actor in the environment, who is: you, or whoever we're talking about.
In this completely abstract environment, money given to the poor is "wasted" because they'll "just spend it, not invest it". And money once spent is just subtracted. Gone.
In this completely abstract environment, we don't need to pay a living wage to janitors and cashiers and fast food cooks and wait staff, because it's possible to become a CEO by working hard, so if everyone worked hard we'd all be CEOs.
But what would we all be CEOs over, if there isn't anyone doing the entry level jobs? Nobody moving products off store shelves. Nobody doing customer service. Nobody preparing or selling or serving food.
I've said this before, but the beginning of "economy" and "ecology" sound the same because it's the same root. An economy is an environment. It's a living environment. Things circulate through it, reverberate through it.
We *could* have a world where everyone gets a bigger piece of the pie and there's more leisure and security, like the French futurists imagined we would, at the start of the 20th century, with a change in values.

We couldn't all be CEOs, or have 5-6 companies competing for us.
Sorry for the long digression, but Trump is selling pie in the sky to his followers here, and not only is it a load of hooey, it's hooey that's directly counter to the reasons his reign is seen as "good for business" and contributing to high stock prices.
Yes, there really was a part where he just repeated "MAD DOG MATTIS" a couple of times in the middle of a sentence. Patter. "These savage killers, horrible, horrible."
"You don't even want to cal them people."

Well, you don't.

We keep hearing about how it's important to humanize Nazis.

What do Nazis say?

"You don't even want to cal them people."
Trump saying "I am sorry." has a very specific context, because he doesn't ever apologize for anything. When he says I'm sorry, there's an unspoken--not always unspoken--"but I'm not going to be politically correct." or something similar following it.
It's pretending to apologize for breaking a social norm as a way to call attention to how gutsy you are in doing it.
And here we see Trump free associating. He's talking about keeping terror suspects under surveillance, Which Is A Good Thing, and that reminds him of his aides who have just been indicted, which in his mind just proves he was right to say that President Obama "wiretapped" him.
A man acting as president shouldn't be allowed to lean rhetorically on anything as hard as Trump does MS-13 without ever having been asked to explain what it is. Everything is a buzzword to him. Honor students without records have been deported in the name of "stopping MS-13".
"We will have safety because America is more than just a place on a map." That America Is A Dream Your Heart Makes spiel in there... I feel like that was something somebody wrote for his finish. But he just slips it in here. Trump in his rallies is always his most off-script...
...but this night was special, to the point that it hardly seemed like there was one. And I mean that even compared to his other rally speeches.
Here's the chaser to the "I'm sorry" shot.

As usual, Trump epitomizes and exaggerates something that's already ridiculous, which is: politicians bragging about not being politically correct.
The percent of people who actually advocate FOR political correctness rounds down to 0. "Political correctness" is a disparaging term for any concessions to a standard of decency you don't like. That's all it is, the way it's used in popular discourse.
What actual "political correctness" is, is whatever you can do or say that if you do or say it in front of your base, they will cheer as loudly as the audience did in that arena when Trump announced he wasn't going to be politically correct.

That's political correctness.
Pausing this to take care of some groceries, which is a good time to mention that money can be exchanged for goods and services that are vital to the functions of life.

(Hint, hint.)

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I'm seeing some confusion in response to his and my explanation of it. So let me tease it out further.
That second paragraph is Trump calling back to his thoroughly debunked but never abandoned claims that the Obama administration "wiretapped" Trump Tower.
He's talking about the recent indictment of one of his aides, he doesn't specify which, and claiming that this proves he was right, even though everybody questioned him at the time.
He's speaking about it in such vague terms because it's only in vague terms that he's right. HE wasn't surveilled. The surveillance didn't happen at Trump Tower. And it wasn't done by the Obama administration to interfere in the election.
But I don't think the vague terms are just a dodge. I think that's also just how he sees the world, how he remembers things. This is how gets so actually excited about having "caught someone in a beauty" of a lie, when the evidence he presents proves the opposite.
He knows he said "something, something, rhubarb, something, surveillance" and people said he was wrong, and now it turns out: SURVEILLANCE ACTUALLY EXISTS.

Hmm, really makes you think.
That's what that's about. He mentioned surveillance, this reminded him that his aides have been indicted in part based on evidence gathered by our nation's intelligence community, and he wants to throw out that this "proves" his wild tweets about wiretaps right.
Anyway. Pressing on. Trump asks for permission the same way he says he's sorry: sarcastically, to draw attention to the fact that he's doing the thing anyway. He's doing a parody of the sort of man who asks permission for things.
"Borders on top of borders" is *probably* just more patter, probably nonsense, but if he keeps saying it I'd watch out.

Because it *could* mean internal borders, barriers to movement within the United States.
Even if it doesn't have that meaning now, if he repeats it at his rallies and then later finds a need to restrict movement between states or in and out of cities, the fact that the said it as his rallies becomes "He promised the American people this, and they decided."
You know this is one of my pet peeves, this "trade deficit" things. A trade deficit means, in terms of modern capitalist economies, that we are winning. We've won. We're on top. We're the world's customers. They want our money. They labor for our pleasure.
That's a bit oversimplified, but in simple terms: we've got the money, they've got the goods. That's a trade deficit.
I just put away a load of groceries from Target. You know what my family's trade deficit with Target looks like? Horrible. We spend hundreds of dollars there a month. How often does Target come to my house and buy some fruit that we've canned, some meat we've butchered?
Demanding parity across borders in amount of buying and selling is just... it doesn't make any sense. The very NATURE of trade is that two parties have different things to offer.
The word "deficit" is a political scare word, but in this case, it just means that the thing we have that they want is money. If the trade is not seen as mutually beneficial, it doesn't happen. The parity is baked into the idea.
Now, there are winners and there are losers in the arrangement, but it's not at the country level, and in the arrangement we have where we buy a lot of things very cheaply from China, there are surely more losers in China than in GOD'S AMERICA.
The world that Trump promises, where we're not buying things from overseas, is a world in which the almighty pursuit of the American dollar has ended.

And unlike the other nightmare scenario where we all have 5 or 6 unfilled jobs to refuse, this one could happen!
Our "trade deficits" that Trump keeps ranting about is America's conspicuous consumption, America's economic muscle, America's imperial ability and will to bend world markets to its needs.

But in Trump's mind, the party who parts with money is the loser.
It also flies in the face of his claim that he'll get the best deals. What if the best deals for circuit boards are in China or the best deals for motors are in Mexico?

If that's what you care about, you go where the deal is.
The whole thing is ridiculous, but it's an easy sell for his base because "deficit == bad" and "China and Mexico == bad".
Now, these deals he says he brought back from his Asia tour. They're not trade agreements and they're not sales. They're handshake agreements. Non-binding memoranda. They're representatives of foreign entities saying, "Sure, we'll do that."
They may or may not happen, they may or may not be at the amount previously stated, but all Trump needs is to be able to announce them. And if they happen, he can announce them again.

(Also, many of them reflected long-standing agreements that predate him.)
"Chinese intellectual property theft" is not really a hot button issue for voters, but it matters a lot to Steve Mnuchin (who invests heavily in blockbuster film production) and Donald Trump (who only very recently secured his name as a trademark in China).
I like the stumble between "jobs traded" and "jobs created". They're all just words, right?
"We're going to start buying American. See all those red hats and white hats?"

Trump's hats are finished in America, but made of imported materials. Notice he doesn't make a specific claim either way, though. He just leaves the connection hanging unspoken in the air.
For once, Donald Trump pulls out a "no one knew" that I didn't actually know. I mean, I know Lincoln suspended a lot of liberties in wartime. Never thought of him as a regulation cutter.
In a similar vein to his "no one knew" tic, though, I think him talking about not being sure if regulation sounds glamorous reflects his own attitude towards it. As a slumlord and a lazy developer, of course he does love deregulation. But I don't know that he finds it exciting.
I *think* he is talking about election night here, watching the returns from Florida coming in. I *think* this is his idea of buttering up the crowd, by telling them that they, Pensacola, Florida in particular, won him the election.
Patter, patter, patter. I can't read this without getting the main character's song from the animated adaptation of "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day" in my head.
Trump's notion that he can save money by backing out of deals comes from the fact that he's done it - made a deal with a contractor or a vendor, received the services or goods, then refused to pay for them, making the seller fight with him to get pennies on the dollar.
He does this not just to save money, but as an ego move. He imagines it makes him slick ("It was so clever that I told them I would pay, when I really wouldn't. The perfect crime!") and powerful ("Now they're begging me for money!")
He can't imagine an international climate agreement wouldn't go the same way. Once all the other countries have delivered their end, *surely* they'll be over a barrel for the U.S. to pay up, and take whatever he wants to give them.
The deeper we get into this topic, the more apparent it becomes that Trump barely knows what he's saying. Proudly announcing we're "violating" the accord, when he means leaving it. Saying we could "trade" the deal, meaning, accept/keep it.
Saying, "Look, if I accepted the deal, we couldn't break it without getting sued." is the same logic as "I'd like to be less accurate, but the fake news would point out I'm wrong."
Read this. Is Trump talking about us buying coal from Vietnam, or Vietnam buying coal from us? It's the latter, but I'm not at all confident that he knows which it is. He just knows there was something with Vietnam, some deal, involving coal, that he's taking credit for.
I don't know. How is it that West Virginia has the biggest GDP increase except for Texas, which had the second biggest? How is that remotely possible?

I understand what he means: West Virginia had the second biggest GDP increase, after Texas. But he's garbling it so badly.
I think this is a side effect of his ever-deepening descent into the spiral of words mean nothing. Even factual talking points that are Good For Him, Actually just become reduced to patter, patter, patter. The order of them ceases to matter.
Things people who are in the pocket of fossil fuels say about renewable energy. Just. Things people who are in the pocket of fossil fuels say about renewable energy.

And look at all these promises. We will. We will. We will.
Sometimes I think the "will" in "will to power" is not "will" as in "an act of willpower" but "will" as in "verb expressing future tense".

As in, there *will* be pie in the sky when we die.
We will, we will, we will. Why? How? What? Because Trump wills it to happen.
But it's such a bold, declarative, definite statement that if you're already inclined to believe him, the confidence behind it makes it sound authoritative. It WILL happen. There's no hedging, no wibbling, no wiggle room.
I know that Trump is going to Trump, but it still kind of astounds me that he can imagine that the people of Pensacola, Florida didn't realize they were the home of the legendary Blue Angels. *I* didn't know that, but I'm not from Pensacola.
Sidenote: Corey Lewandowski wants to act like "Let Trump be Trump" is some breathtakingly brilliant strategy instead of the only possible outcome.

Just try to stop Trump being Trump. Go on. I'll phonebank for the GOP candidate in the next presidential election if you can do it
Earlier I pointed out something that sounded like it was meant to be part of a scripted closer. All this pandering about the airbase sounds like it was from an opener. He's using stuff they gave him to say, but free-associating with it.
And you can see the free-association continue through this whole spiel, from the naval airbase to government shutdowns to selling missiles to create jobs to amnesty to Kate Steinle, to sanctuary cities.
And in the middle of it all he says "By the time I decide to go off in the wild blue yonder"... which is an *air force* reference, that he's dropping to try to be clever about naval flyers.

If he hasn't called marines "soldiers" to their faces yet, I'll eat one of my hats.
But the thing is, his audience isn't listening for content or context, they're basically in a trance, just letting the word-wooze wash over them. They're hearing what they came to hear: go team, go team, rah-rah-rah. Troops, jobs, GRR IMMIGRANTS.

Good, good, horrible.

Patter.
Trump's understanding of chain migration and the load-bearing duties of the phrase as "many" aside, note the reliance on the pernicious logic that the family of a man who killed someone must also be killers.

As if badness is a matter of blood.

Foreign blood.
Which is what it always comes back to. "We're not racist, we're only trying to keep out the criminals. And the people who are related to criminals. Because badness is n the blood. You can tell that's true, because notice how the criminals are always... ThOsE sOrTs Of PeOpLe?"
Talking about phrases that are loaded up past their stress tolerances, look at the "in other words" strung together:

"San Franciso is a century city, in other words, a sanctuary city." He can't just say "I mean", because that would imply he made a mistake.
As for his stock lines on Chicago... you should read what Chicago Twitter has to say about that. It is, of course, more racism. And standard gun lobby canards. State and local gun laws don't much matter if you can just bring guns in from right across the border.
It's *funny*, isn't it, that Trump can be all about the importance of securing our nation's borders one minute, and then failing to understand how one city's gun laws can't stop gun violence the next?
He has to say "Probably for hostages" because the lying dishonest fake media will nail him if he doesn't hedge his lies.

Notice that he pretends this was just something President Obama decided to do, unilaterally. And not the result of a lawsuit.
This is an interesting and kind of frightening evolution of Trump's logic, though: pointing to specific, entirely legal actions President Obama did as an alarming abuse of power that he vows never to do.
The function here is not only to demonize his predecessor, but give him the same sort of moment Julius Caesar had when his political supporters offered him a crown so he could ostentatiously turn it down, "Because what am I, a KING or something? That's silly! Can you imagine?"
Trumplanders are good at taking cues. They'll start responding to people talking about Trump abusing power and they'll go, "Oh, you must mean Obama, who decided to send Iran $1.8 billion in cash!"
Oop, just realized that I skipped a bit. The transcript has the biggest wall of text here and I didn't realize my copy and paste of it was two pages. I thought that was a little abrupt even for this speech.
Excuse me, four pages.
"Carnage" is becoming a political buzzword. Sixty people gunned down in the space of several minutes isn't carnage. One person shot by an immigrant in an act that can't be proven to be deliberate in a court of law is carnage.

Carnage is violence that scares Trump voters.
Trump used to be very petulant about saying "we" and "us" when he wanted to talk about himself, but I think he's starting to grasp the rhetorical power of it.
I mean, here, he's effectively saying that the crowd of randos in Pensacola, Florida are also part of the group that were endorsed for election. It's "us". Look around you, "we" were endorsed by law enforcement groups for "our" vision!
Neat little psychological trick here.

"Merry Christmas" is everywhere during the holiday season, to the point that it can become part of the background, especially if you just sort of expect to see it.

But Trump tells you that it's brand new, and so you start looking for it.
He's moving it from the background of his followers' minds to the foreground, so they'll notice him, and thank him for it.
Trump's ideal follower is exactly the sort of person who doesn't notice what signs say when they go into a store or restaurant. So they'll fall for this easily.
He's now repeating himself, hitting the same themes he's already hit, I think both for emphasis and because there is no structure or plan for this speech. Just blow all the dog whistles, as hard as you can, as often as you can. Twice for good measure.
Case in point about the lack of structure: Trump came to Pensacola, Florida specifically so he could stump for Roy Moore without going to Alabama, and it took him halfway through the speech to remember that - because someone in the audience reminded him.
"Democrats want to increase your taxes" is such a reliable political watchword that Trump and the GOP can use it while trying to ram through a tax hike for the middle and working classes.
Trump is bad at explaining things because 1) he doesn't take the time to understand them himself and 2) he assumes anything he does understand doesn't need explaining.

Like this here.
It was recently clarified by one of Roy Moore's accusers that she had added notes by his signing of the yearbook herself, indicating when and where he'd signed it. This explained some apparent discrepancies in the writing.
In Trump's mind, this was tantamount to her admitting that the whole thing was a fabrication. It's another one of his "WE CAUGHT THEM IN A BEAUTY, DIDN'T WE?" moments.

(Or Homer Simpson accusing the phone company of making an explanatory video ON PURPOSE.)
"Oh, so you admit, Ms. Allred, that not all of the writing in your client's yearbook was by Roy Moore? Oh my my, how the tables have turned."
This case is going to blow wide open when it turns out that there were entire articles in the yearbook authored by students themselves.
But as confusing as his garble is, as poor as his grasp of the situation is... it doesn't matter to his audience, who only know or care that he is telling them, they caught the ratfink Demmycrats in a lie, and they can safely throw out anything bad they've heard about Roy Moore.
Speaking of garble, I'm looking at this wall of text, it covers seriously like 20-30 minutes of speech and he just keeps circling back to the same points like chain migration and animals and I don't think I'm going to go line by line through it.
But just look at the level of free association here, and how quickly it turns to grievance and self-aggrandizement. He's talking about firing people from the VA, and that reminds him of The Apprentice, and Arnold. And Arnold bombing compared to him, brings him to respect/regard.
Also notice that the big thing he can think of to improve the VA and do right by the veterans is: fire people. That's his solution.
Then came the part about Iran I already talked about, and then this. Note he's taking credit for the toughest sanctions ever, while saying he doesn't think sanctions will work.
He also spends a lot of time talking up his line about how people were behind on "NATO dues" and he got them to "pay up", but he's going a bit further here, making NATO nations out to be aggressors against poor, innocent Russia!
For people who don't remember the cold war and don't read up on history, NATO was formed to basically create the equivalent of a unified superpower presence in Europe against Russian aggression.
I mean, it doesn't *just* protect Europe, and in fact the U.S. claimed aid under it in the war on terror, but part of the idea was, the strong nations in the west help protect the ones further east so that the Soviets didn't get a foothold any closer to us.
Without NATO, it was a unified Soviet Union against whatever individual small nation in Europe they wanted to absorb next. NATO was to be a bulwark against that.

And again. It wasn't pure altruism. It was denying an enemy territory and resources.
He knows full well they're not going to look up what the Johnson Amendment is. He's already told them it's an assault on their (*whispers* judeo)-CHRISTIAN values. Probably a lot of them have pastors telling them the same thing.
This is Trump playing a medly that appeals to both the Miller/Bannon wing and the same evangelicals who wanted the embassy in Jerusalem. The idea of a one-world government with a global anthem plays into End Times fan fiction mythology, too.

(See: Left Behind).
Conflating the wide-spread, broad-based resistance to Donald Trump with entrenched bureaucracy and a "Deep State" gives Trump cover to go after career public servants and dismiss/demonize the grassroots rejection of his agenda.
But notice that he's still free-associating, and that he still can't focus on the idea that his presidency is under fire, because he's stuck on the idea that his *election* is the prize being fought over, and that he must protect.
Got to marvel at this point, and I had to clean up the captioning bit, it gets worse the longer he goes on, but I think I've got the actual wording right on this.

He's rehashing the election. In more detail than usual, even.
And he's also giving a sort of "take that" to the people who told him it was pointless to keep holding campaign rallies for himself when he's not actually running. They apparently told him he wouldn't draw the same crowds, to try to dissuade him.
And it just keeps getting more and more of a mess from there, because now he's mentioned Hillary Clinton, and he can't really get off her as a topic.
I'm honestly getting a headache from trying to parse through the rest of the body of this, and that's a first for me in more than a year of doing this kind of work. So if you'll excuse me, I'm going to skip to the grand finale.
This is the attempt at a big finish, the polished bread on a sandwich of indescribable contents. And the start of it is pretty classic Trump Americana, not atypical of his closers.

But the end... he *really* wanted to end on Make America Great Again.
Trump is better at slogans than he is at speeches, and bad at understanding the difference.
Anyway, that's my thread for the day, and what a day it has been. If you got something from this, please give something back. paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr…
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