From Reagan to Trump: Why the RNC was a pinnacle of conservative propaganda

Democracy Now!

Published on Aug 28, 2020

President Donald Trump formally accepted the Republican Party’s nomination at the RNC on Thursday. Historian Rick Perlstein says Trump’s rhetoric is driving people to the type of violence that was on full display this week in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where white 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse gunned down protesters who had mobilized against the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Perlstein says Trump draws directly from a history of Republican authoritarian propaganda dating back at least to Reagan. “Ronald Reagan would definitely say two plus two equals five — there’s no question about it. But when he would say things like that, it would tend to be the off-the-cuff stuff,” says Perlstein. “Whereas when Donald Trump takes a podium and he’s reading a speech — that’s when he lies the most adamantly. And it shows that the kind of lying, deception, propaganda, authoritarianism is qualitatively more systematic than under Ronald Reagan.”

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