Hours after another white neo-Nazi Christian committed a heinous terrorist attack on a California synagogue, Donald Trump held another of his lie-filled MAGA rallies in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Instead of huddling with national security advisers to figure out an immediate response to the ongoing threat of white terrorism, which has resulted in mass shootings at two U.S. synagogues in just six months, among others attacks, Trump moved forward with his rally 19 months before the next presidential election.
Apart from a brief mention of the attack at the outset of his speech, which mostly praised law enforcement, the president spent the rest of the evening stoking hate, telling lies, and basking in the unwavering praise of his red-hat-wearing admirers at Green Bay’s Resch Center Complex.
Most of the ideas expressed by Trump on Saturday night were lies. It was the standard Trump script that fosters divisiveness and promotes misogyny, racism, and hate. Without a second thought, the crowd ate it up.
That includes Trump’s most disturbing lie of the evening, which is that Democrats—particularly Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers—like killing babies. Not only that, but mothers conspire with their doctors to “execute” newborns with the help of the Democrats. This is Donald Trump’s—and the Republican Party’s—new sick fantasy, and Trump has been lying about this since earlier this year.
It’s a calculated political strategy, one that could only be dreamed up in the minds of men who have no capacity for empathy and seek power and complete control at all costs.
Trump said Democrats are “aggressively pushing extreme, late-term abortion, allowing children to be ripped from their mother’s womb, right up until the moment of birth. And just this week, your Democrat governor…here in Wisconsin, shockingly stated that he will veto legislation that protects Wisconsin babies born alive. Born alive. The baby is born, the mother meets with the doctor, they take care of the baby, they wrap the baby beautifully, and then the doctor and the mother determine whether or not they will execute the baby. I don’t think so. Incredible.”
Then, he referred to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam: “Until this crazy man in Virginia said it, nobody even thought of that, right? Did anyone even think of that? You hear ‘late-term,’ but this is where the baby is actually born, it came out, it’s there, it’s wrapped, and that’s it.”
What Trump is actually talking about is that Evers promised a few days ago to veto a Republican bill that, as the Associated Press described it, “could send doctors to prison for life if they fail to give medical care to babies born alive after a failed abortion attempt.” The problem is that this isn’t actually a thing. Instead, it’s an attempt by Republicans to “energize conservative voters,” as the AP noted. Democratic senators blocked a similar bill in February, and North Carolina’s governor vetoed one last week.
Evers rightly noted that the point of such is legislation is “to create division.”
The AP dug up some facts on the issue:
In Wisconsin, only 1% of all abortions in 2017 occurred after 20 weeks of pregnancy, according to the most recent annual report from the state Department of Health Services. More than half of all abortions in Wisconsin occur before eight weeks of gestation and 84% are performed before 12 weeks.
There were no complications reported in 92 percent of abortions performed in Wisconsin in 2017, according to the report. There was no data in the report about any failed abortion that resulted in a live birth.
National statistics show it rarely happens.
But those are facts, and no one in the crowd on Saturday night seemed to care much about that.
Social media, on the other hand, was another matter, and people were rightly outraged. There were many responses to Trump’s comments, but one Twitter thread stood out to me. It was written by a registered nurse, Julia Pulver, who pointed out that Trump is accusing Democrats of promoting infanticide, while what he’s really describing is neonatal hospice care, an event that is incredibly traumatic for parents and has lasting emotional effects.
Trump supporters would do well to read this thread the next time they plan to mindlessly applaud the politicization of trauma: