Trump's Tulsa rally shows just how much he stands alone
Bradley Blankenship

Editor's note: Bradley Blankenship is a Prague-based American journalist, political analyst and freelance reporter. The article reflects the author's opinions, not necessarily the views of CGTN.

On June 20 night, U.S. President Donald Trump held a campaign rally – his first since the COVID-19 lockdown – that was telling of the state of his reelection bid. The president has suffered a series of political blows over the course of the year that have left him isolated amongst his peers. Unfortunately for Trump, he was unable to escape into the echo chamber of his hardcore followers during the rally as fewer than expected showed up, demonstrating just how much the president truly stands alone.

Trump's no doubt had a hard year politically. Over 120,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 while his administration sat idly by and failed to act in time – a fact that the president can't own up to. He's led the country into a murderous reopening strategy that will no doubt cost thousands of lives.

For this, nearly the entire scientific community of top virologists, medical professionals and relevant experts have criticized the president's actions. Instead, he has departed from reality by denying science and basic facts.

The reason for Trump's cavalier attitude in reopening the U.S. economy is simply for the fact that he's trying to preserve what he's termed the "greatest economy in the world," i.e. the economy under his presidency. His messaging is a pitch to the wealthy to not abandon the financial market, which his administration has unwaveringly propped up with massive cash injections. 

However, it's not likely to land with the public who will more than likely experience insecurities of basic necessities, widespread joblessness and continued, unbearable inequality. A financial crisis looms behind the coming recession poised to hit the most highly indebted society in human history. 

On top of all of this, an unprecedented popular uprising was triggered by the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, by a white police officer in Minneapolis. Protests have spilled out across the country, and even across the world, as Black Lives Matter gains meteoric success, scoring continual political victories across the country. 

Old racist monuments and cultural institutions are being toppled in a cultural revolution unlike anything ever seen. Trump has responded terribly by allowing unhinged police forces to attack both violent and peaceful protesters alike. For this, many public officials have broken with him.

On June 1, a moment not to be forgotten any time soon, the Washington, D.C. Police and National Guard attacked and dispersed peaceful protesters so that the president could have a photo op, Bible in hand, in front of St. John's Church. General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, apologized for his appearance in a photo with Trump. He said it was a "mistake" and "created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics." 

Several others broke with Trump, including Senator Lindsey Graham who supported Milley's statement. Former defense secretary under Trump, James Mattis, who's hailed as a hero by many top military officials, also unleashed a flurry against Trump. 

"Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people – does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us," Mattis said. 

U.S. President Donald Trump during a tour of Honeywell's facility manufacturing protective face masks for the COVID-19 outbreak in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S., May 5, 2020. /Reuters

U.S. President Donald Trump during a tour of Honeywell's facility manufacturing protective face masks for the COVID-19 outbreak in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S., May 5, 2020. /Reuters

Trump's also facing controversy from a book dropping on June 23 by noted liar and former Trump national security adviser, John Bolton. The claims, many already leaked, are said to be huge but their veracity is of little import. People are already lapping up Bolton's claims, especially many in the so-called "Resistance" to Trump. 

The president himself evidently feared the release of the book, be it for polling or some other concern, as his administration tried (and failed) to keep it off of bookshelves.

This is not even to speak of the diplomatic isolation created by Trump's term-long quest to put "America First" with unhinged unilateralism. Most of the world has indicated they will not follow Trump off the proverbial cliff. 

With all of this in the background of the controversial Tulsa event, six of his own campaign staffers tested positive for COVID-19 just ahead of the rally. His political opponents were also having a field day that same day in the media over his very clearly politically motivated firing of U.S. attorney Geoffrey Berman. 

The crowd itself at Tulsa was pathetic compared to the campaign's expectations after they gloated that over a million tickets were reserved. Vice President Mike Pence opened up to the surprisingly small crowd with the same vapid remarks forming the basis of the Trump reelection campaign.

"You know the choice in this election couldn't be clearer and the stakes couldn't be higher. On our side you've got a president who's done more for this country's economy and military and our constitutional rights than any president in my lifetime," Pence said, echoing a self-defeating pitch – "Keep America Great" – that is destined for failure. 

Trump himself spoke as normal – shouting insults and divisiveness at his political opponents, blaring overt racism, all while oozing self-aggrandizing falsehoods. The silent majority, according to Trump at the rally, is stronger than ever before. Unfortunately the polls suggest otherwise, including one by his friends at Fox News that has him down to presumptive Democratic nominee for president Joe Biden 38 to 50 in the national vote. 

It appears that Trump may stand alone for the lashing he's likely going to take in November as his hopes for "four more years" languish in emptiness like the upper decks of the BOK Center in Tulsa.

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