Trump is Desperately Searching for a New Shibboleth
Trump is desperately looking for a replacement for Clinton’s emails as an issue that his followers can rally around for the next two or four years, as an issue associated with an opponent. The definition of shibboleth that I am using refers to a motto or saying of a group, that all in the group believe, but which is not necessarily true. Clinton’s emails became this for the Trump campaign, although her server was never hacked, and all members of Congress are entitled to have a personal server. This became one of Trump’s favorite campaign slogans, with the “Lock Her Up” chant.
This week’s study by the Columbia School of Journalism on issues that were most discussed during the campaign showed that the email issue far exceeded any other, and was spectacularly enhanced with FBI Director Comey’s first public castigation and final touted investigation of Anthony Weiner’s computer. Five Congressional Committees investigated Clinton and her email server. In the Columbia study, the Twitter and Facebook news sources on the right all centered around Breitbart. Even all of the negative revelations about Trump were minor compared to the email shibboleth.
Today it was announced by the Quinnipi Poll, that among the Republican Party voters, the belief that Trump is the most reliable news source jumped from 78% up to the new 86%. Now that Clinton is out of the picture, with no clear Democratic leader as the next Democratic candidate, Trump still wants to resurrect his popularity with a new Shibboleth. This is also to distract from the bad publicity his grandiose governing is attracting, and the toll in opposing popular desires in killing clean air and water, and in the proposed new healthcare act. The Congress would also like a distraction from their actions on these issues, and a new Shibboleth to investigate.
It doesn’t even matter if the Shibboleth is true, or if there is any evidence for it, since Trump supporters will believe whatever he says. And here is what he has chosen, and more than doubled down on: President Obama wiretapped his, Trump’s Tower. Some Republican Congressmen are being urged to take on the investigation in the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, bypassing Comey and the FBI. This was all started by an unsupported story on Breitbart, the leading conservative web news source. Or was it strategically started by former Breitbart CEO Steve Bannon, who is Trump’s Chief of Strategy? Comey has declared that there is nothing behind this, but since he cannot comment on an ongoing investigation (LOL), he has asked the Attorney General Jeff Sessions to deny it (LOL). Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said on “Meet the Press” that there was never any such wiretap.
Recall that Trump spent several years backing the Shibboleth that President Obama was not born in the USA. A large percentage of the US population came to believe that, even after Obama showed his birth certificate. And so it goes.