Donald Trump has lost control of his own monster

From the very start, Donald Trump’s entire foray into politics has been based on calculated lies aimed at misleading, appealing to, and radicalizing America’s worst and weakest. Lies about Obama’s birthplace. Lies about Hillary’s emails. Lies about Biden’s son. Lies about COVID. Lies, lies, lies.

The trouble is, if you foment false narratives for long enough, those lies become gospel in the minds of your followers – and even you may not be able to undo it. During his rather pathetic rally this weekend, Trump belatedly “recommended” the COVID vaccine to his supporters. Who knows why he’s finally doing this. Perhaps he’s worried about liability. It’s a good thing that he’s doing this, but he deserves zero credit, given that he promoted violence during other parts of the same speech. But the real upshot is that while some in the audience made what sounded like agreeable noises when Trump recommended they get vaccinated, some of them booed and jeered him for it.

That’s right, some of Trump’s own biggest worshippers booed him, because he dared to push back against one of the biggest conspiracy theories that’s come to define their cult: that the COVID vaccine is bad news.

   

At this point it’s fair to say that Donald Trump has lost control of the monster he’s created. It’s not good news for America that some of his cult members are so far gone, even he can’t rein them in anymore. But it’s particularly bad news for him. If Trump harbors any fantasies about making a political comeback by adopting a slightly less deranged platform, it’s clear that a large chunk of his own base won’t let him do it. Trump is, in a word, toast.

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