As his illegitimate presidency dies on the vine, and as his world continues to be steadily dismantled by the investigations into his various crimes, Donald Trump only has two things left: the lies he tells, and the people desperate enough to believe what they know to be lies. This time around, Trump’s lies centered around a lump of coal. Or to hear him tell it, a lump of beautiful clean coal.
Anyone who knows anything about economics is aware that the coal industry is dying due to the simple laws of supply and demand. Whatever you think of fracking, it’s made natural gas much cheaper, which has caused people and businesses to switch over from coal to natural gas, which has reduced demand for coal, which has reduced the number of jobs available in coal mines. Unfortunately, plenty of folks living in isolated towns are so married to the idea of coal jobs being the only jobs, they’re unwilling or unable to accept the basic reality that coal is dying, and they’ll get behind anyone who’s willing to pretend that coal can be brought back.
To that end, Donald Trump tweeted this today: “America is blessed with extraordinary energy abundance, including more than 250 years worth of beautiful clean coal. We have ended the war on coal, and will continue to work to promote American energy dominance!” What kind of demented lunatic writes a love letter to coal of all things? A guy whose grasp on the presidency is so tenuous, he’s reduced to begging his remaining supporters to go along with his fantasy that he’s somehow revived the coal industry, even though he’s done no such thing.
This borders on mass psychosis. Voltaire once said that “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” Hitler then proved those words to be true, as have others. Now Donald Trump, in his desperate final chapter before ouster and prison, is doubling down on convincing his base that A) he’s magically revived their coal industry even though it’s still dying, and B) as long as they get behind his evil racist, misogynist, and xenophobic agenda, coal jobs will continue to magically reappear. Nevermind that these coal jobs don’t exist, and that every single member of Trump’s base was better off economically under President Obama.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report