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Were Trump's Controversial Tweets a Trap That Democrats Walked Right Into?

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By now, for those who follow President Donald Trump closely, a pattern has emerged to explain some of his more controversial tweets that spark outrage among Democrats, the establishment media, and even some Republicans and fence-sitting supporters.

Trump will tweet something controversial, an outrage will ensue, and then Democrats and the media will overreact and play right into the president’s hands.

The pattern holds true in the case of the president’s recent Twitter broadside against the progressive “Squad” in the Democrat-controlled House — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.

The president’s three-part tweet thread — widely condemned as racist, since the four are women of color — didn’t name any names but was obviously aimed at the squad, calling out the progressive congresswomen for being hypercritical of the United States and the American people.

The part of the tweets that sparked the most outrage on the left and disapproval from some on the right was Trump’s rhetorical question: “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done.”

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Trump’s tweets came at a time when the infighting within the Democratic Party between the young progressives and the “moderate” establishment led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had reached a crescendo and threatened to destroy party unity. But that development was quickly reversed as the entire party rallied in defense of  the “The Squad” against the Bad Orange Man.

Consider for a moment that Trump’s message may not have been as inexplicable and ill-timed as worried conservatives and Republicans had thought, given inside information about the Democratic Party and the “The Squad” that had been leaked to the public over the weekend.

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Axios reported on Sunday that it had obtained internal polling numbers being circulated among top Democratic leaders that showed how the antics of “The Squad” — Ocasio-Cortez in particular — were having a detrimental effect on the party among important “swing voters,” especially white voters with little or no college education who would be key to any Democratic electoral victory in 2020.

The internal polling found that while 74 percent of the likely voters polled recognized Ocasio-Cortez’s name, only 22 percent had a favorable opinion of her. Similarly, the pollsters found that 53 percent of likely voters recognized Omar’s name, but a mere 9 percent viewed her favorably.

“If all voters hear about is AOC, it could put the [House] majority at risk,” an unnamed top Democrat told Axios. “[S]he’s getting all the news and defining everyone else’s races.”

Ocasio-Cortez has openly embraced socialism, yet pollsters found that socialism was viewed favorably by only 18 percent of voters and unfavorably by 69 percent.

Conversely, capitalism enjoyed the favorable opinion of 56 percent of the voters, while only 32 percent had an unfavorable view.

“Socialism is toxic to these voters,” the anonymous top Democrat noted to Axios, perhaps signaling why Pelosi and other Democratic leaders had been pushing back hard against Ocasio-Cortez’s “Squad” in recent weeks.

We can’t say with certainty that President Trump saw the internal poll results — more likely, he has seen similar results from his own campaign’s internal polling — so we can’t conclusively say this is the reason for his incendiary tweets about “The Squad.”

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The end result, however, has been that Democrats — including Pelosi and her staunchest establishment allies — have rallied around the very congresswomen they were seeking to separate themselves from just days ago.

Set aside the tired claims of racism — the left calls Trump racist over everything — and realize that, purposeful or not, his tweets about “The Squad” could very well prove beneficial to his campaign and party in 2020 by linking the so-called “moderate” establishment of the Democratic Party with the progressive wing that have been widely rejected by a majority of the American people.

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Ben Marquis is a writer who identifies as a constitutional conservative/libertarian. He has written about current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. His focus is on protecting the First and Second Amendments.
Ben Marquis has written on current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. He reads voraciously and writes about the news of the day from a conservative-libertarian perspective. He is an advocate for a more constitutional government and a staunch defender of the Second Amendment, which protects the rest of our natural rights. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, with the love of his life as well as four dogs and four cats.
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