In the midst of Black Lives Matter protests and a nationwide call for racial equality, Donald Trump decided to schedule his kickoff rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It electoral terms the city and state are of zero strategic value. But Tulsa was the site of one of the worst massacres against black people in American history, so there was clearly a racist element involved. Worse, Trump chose Juneteenth as the date of the rally, seemingly to try to rub it in.
Trump has received widespread criticism and condemnation for choosing this particular combination of city and date. Now he’s curiously backing down and changing the date of the rally. He just tweeted this:
“We had previously scheduled our #MAGA Rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for June 19th – a big deal. Unfortunately, however, this would fall on the Juneteenth Holiday. Many of my African American friends and supporters have reached out to suggest that we consider changing the date out of respect for this Holiday, and in observance of this important occasion and all that it represents. I have therefore decided to move our rally to Saturday, June 20th, in order to honor their requests. We have already had ticket requests in excess of 200,000 people. I look forward to seeing everyone in Oklahoma!”
Of course no one believes a word of this – particularly the part about Trump supposedly having two hundred thousand ticket requests as his candidacy circles the drain. But it is notable that Trump is backing down on this. He and/or his handlers clearly knew what they were doing when they chose this combination of city and date. It was a clear attempt at pandering to racists. But now he’s backtracking almost immediately.
This suggests that Trump is lost in a haze of indecision and can’t stick to a strategy, or Trump is too far gone to have any idea what’s even going on in his campaign any more, and his handlers are fighting each other for control of the agenda. Of course with coronavirus numbers getting worse by the day in Tulsa, we’ll see if they cave entirely by canceling the rally for safety reasons. We doubt it; Trump is to clinically compelled to bloviate while idiots cheer him.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report