Politics

Two Tweets About the DNC Prove Trump Will Say Anything for a Vote

Donald Trump's commentary on the Democratic National Convention has been decidedly unflattering — which is to be expected. But a few of the Republican presidential nominee's latest tweets reveal a void of substance that has defined much of his campaign.

Here's the first example.

"Not one American flag on the massive stage at the Democratic National Convention until people started complaining — then a small one," Trump said. "Pathetic."

Let's start with the fact that Trump is peddling a conspiracy here. A few right-wing publications and Facebook groups claimed that there were no flags on display at the DNC, but the fact-checking site Snopes deemed that claim false. There were several flags onstage, both physical and digital versions, at the DNC.

Of course, this isn't the first time that Trump has tweeted or said something that fact-checkers later debunked. But this particular conspiracy theory plays into Trump's ongoing efforts to wage a culture war against Democrats, dividing Americans under false pretenses (in this case, by promoting the idea that Democrats are less patriotic than Republicans). He's also claimed on Twitter that Republican members of the House and Senate "love our country," implying Democrats do not.

Here's the second example.

"The Democratic Convention has paid ZERO respect to the great police and law enforcement professionals of our country," Trump said. "No recognition — SAD!"

Again, let's start by assessing the truthfulness of Trump's tweet.

It has none. On Tuesday, Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay, a 30-year veteran on the force, spoke at length about the evolving relationship between police and communities of color — recognizing the importance of criminal justice reform as well as the unique challenges police face in their line of work.

"As a police officer that has served for more than 30 years, let me say this: We can respect and support our police officers while also pushing for important reforms. We can and must do both," McLay said. "We must each fight our natural tendency to hide inside our narrow worldview, and instead seek common ground with the objective of creating an America that truly provides liberty and justice for all."

Zero respect?

The keynote speaker, former President Bill Clinton, recognized the tragedy in Dallas, where five police officers were targeted by a gunman and killed earlier this month.

"If you’re a young African American disillusioned and afraid, we saw in Dallas how great our police officers can be," Clinton said. "Help us build a future where nobody is afraid to walk outside, including the people that wear blue to protect our future."

No recognition?

Still, for all of the factual inconsistencies in Trump's tweets, there's something to be said about how his DNC commentary reflects the nominee's overall platform. Throughout his campaign, Trump has attacked Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on virtually every policy proposal she's put forward. It's proved to be a popular strategy for the candidate, but as The Observer's Dana Schwartz points out, it also speaks to Trump's lacking agenda.

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