In an effort to strip protesters of their legitimacy, Trump and Fox News claim that protesters are simply there because they’re paid by powerful oppositional interests. Never mind that Trump has no evidence for his claim; he has no evidence for practically anything that emerges from his loud mouth. What is more interesting to me is that if money delegitimizes authenticity then presumably we can use this effect to come to additional conclusions.
If, as Trump claims, money discredits and taints the political process, then:
- Trump’s own motives, as an extremely wealthy man, should be suspect.
- For that matter, wealthy family members, such as Ivanka Trump™ and Jared Kushner who have been appointed to high positions in the Administration but who have no political experience should be viewed with skepticism.
- The Republicans pushed the Citizens United decision allowing unlimited amounts of money in politics. If money is good for the political process, as they presumably believe, then the mythical existence of paid protest should give them no pause for concern. It’s just free market capitalism in action, right?
- Considering the degree to which the NRA, the brothers Koch and other deep-pocket interests fund the campaigns of GOP politicians, maybe we should just consider all Republican politicians paid protesters.
As Simon Maloy, points out in Salon:
The irony here is that there’s one person we know for sure has paid people to show up and voice a prefabricated political message: Donald Trump. In the summer of 2015, Trump arranged for actors to show up at Trump Tower and cheer and wave signs as he announced his candidacy for president, offering them $50 for their services. And, in typical Trump fashion, he tried to stiff the agency that set up his Potemkin campaign launch.
And, no; no one paid me to write this. All protest is my own.