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Keep on tweeting, Mr President

Like John Howard, Donald Trump is wise to keep directly in touch with his supporters

28 July 2018

9:00 AM

28 July 2018

9:00 AM

Mention One Nation voters in elite circles, and they’ll be dismissed as backward, unsophisticated and easily misled. But when asked by Newspoll whether Australia should pull out of the Paris Agreement on climate change, if that would result in lower electricity prices, 75 per cent agreed, unlike the Greens’ 26 per cent, Labor’s 37 per cent and the Coalition’s 58 per cent. When asked whether they were satisfied with the way President Trump is doing his job, 63 per cent of One Nation voters said they were satisfied. This compares with the Greens’ 21 per cent, Labor’s 22 per cent, and the Coalition’s 36 per cent.

Presumably One Nation voters are least likely to be deceived when TV networks show steam coming out of coal-fired electricity stations (suggesting CO2 emissions) and the succession of tedious, unrelentingly biased stories about President Trump sourced from the hostile American media.

Both are crucial issues. If Australia doesn’t renounce Paris and return to enjoying the cheapest energy in the world, our politicians will seriously damage our economy. If the US is not made great again and restored economically, militarily and constitutionally, Australia will soon be living in a lonely world dominated by powers driven by completely alien values and agendas.

Trump’s continuing success depends on keeping open a line of communication with the rank-and-file. His tweeting enrages his enemies, while the more snobbish look down on the practice as ‘unpresidential’, as others did about not wearing a top hat at the inauguration. The Australian newspaper was not alone when it editorialised against presidential tweeting, with Peta Credlin declaring that if she were Trump’s chief of staff (she was Tony Abbott’s), the first thing she’d do would be to confiscate his mobile phone.

The fact is that Trump’s tweeting is crucial. It enables him to speak directly with the rank-and-file over the top of an extremely vicious, hostile media determined to bring him down. We shouldn’t forget that John Howard did much the same. Being himself and using the technology of the time, he constantly appeared on talkback and breakfast TV to reach out to the rank-and-file over the interpretation of hostile journalists.


So keep on tweeting, Mr. President.

Trump’s Helsinki moment is nothing compared to the betrayals and soft treatment of the Russians from Yalta down to Obama’s refusal to arm the Ukrainians, Poles and Czechs which Trump has reversed. Remember that it was under Obama, not Trump, that Clinton approved 20 per cent of US uranium being controlled by Russia. Trump is no pushover, demonstrated by his tough stand on sanctions and his warning that Germany should not become dependent on Russia for energy.

His Helsinki moment was so insignificant it hasn’t reduced his record support among Republican voters. And in the regular Gallup Poll on issues which most concern Americans, the number concerned over Russia was so low it received a non-issue asterisk. Their biggest concern by far was illegal immigration, and on that Trump attracts a mountain of votes.

Trying to turn Helsinki into a ‘gotcha’ moment is the American equivalent to the moment in Australia when Tony Abbott recommended a knighthood for Prince Philip who had received similar awards from about 70 countries. This curiously resulted in outrage in only one country: Australia. To recall my piece on how the commentariat peddled a mass of myths, untruths and lies about this, just google ‘Sir Phil the Greek; the truth.’

Trump’s lack of confidence in the cabal which ran American intelligence under Obama is completely justified. To ensure he wouldn’t win, they engaged in a conspiracy, the greatest abuse of power in the history of the United States. First, they preserved Mrs Clinton’s candidature, improperly exonerating her from serious breaches of the official secrets law even before she’d been examined. Then, as Greg Jarrett reveals in his new book The Russia Hoax, on the very same day FBI chief Comey announced Clinton’s exoneration, his FBI was meeting secretly in London with the author of the fictitious Clinton-funded dossier they’d used to obtain the recently revealed court warrants to wiretap the Trump campaign.

When they failed to block his election, they decided to remove him through the appointment of Robert Mueller and a gang of partisan anti-Trump lawyers to find grounds of impeachment, without satisfying the legal requirement that there be at least some plausible grounds to justify the investigation into Russian collusion. Three forms of Russian meddling are too often conflated into one. The first is the fraudulent allegation that Trump won the election through Russian collusion. The media are keeping this alive as their excuse if their predicted ‘blue wave’ of Democratic votes at the mid-term elections does not occur.

The second is whether the Russians meddled in the election through actually changing votes. According to the FBI director, Christopher Wray, the Russians don’t tamper with America’s ‘election infrastructure’, which, Obama said, is impossible. This was confirmed when the indictment of several Russians was announced just before Helsinki and it was admitted not one vote had been changed because of any alleged meddling.

The third and only actual form of meddling is in election campaigning. As the FBI’s Christopher Wray says, the Russians try to destabilise the integrity of the system by usually backing losers and ‘getting the losers all upset claiming something went awry, and that promotes disharmony and distrust of the election system’. That’s not much different from Obama’s meddling to block the re-election of Bibi Netanyahu in Israel, according to the bipartisan 2016 report of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. This sort of meddling is not uncommon, current examples being the imposition of punitive tariffs by the EU and China in the so-called trade war. These seem to have been carefully chosen to impact most on pro-Trump electors.

Helsinki is the latest attack weapon against Trump. It is at least a change from having some retired strumpet offered a fortune to complain that she was paid a fortune not to complain.

As US voters have clearly indicated, all this is as irrelevant to them as the private sex lives of successive Democrat presidents have been to the mainstream media .


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