Trump vs. the Antifa Souper Soldiers

A quick hit on a video making the rounds.

A lot of people were left scratching their heads over this particular rambling, low-energy performance from our reality TV villain in chief:

As usual, it is my curse to know exactly what he’s talking about.

Over the summer, multiple police departments shared pictures of items that they either confiscated or claim to have had thrown at them by protesters. Among them in at least two notable cases was a can of beans. It became a bit of a meme on Twitter, often cross-referencing a meme about spilling beans smuggled into a movie theater.

Trump is not terribly familiar with canned foods. He loves the convenience and consistency of fast food but if he ever eats any other form of convenience food he doesn’t ever see it in the packaging or prepare it himself. To him, soup is the kind of food you get from cans. Everybody’s seen soup cans. So in his head, all thrown cans become soup, even if most of the instances were something else.

And while the can-throwing came up often enough to become a meme, they were each isolated incidents involving a single can. Trump’s brand of sowing paranoia through speeches in the form of an email forward from your truck-nuttiest uncle depends on depicting lone events as huge patterns with coordinated strategic initiatives and serious money behind them, so he’s blowing up the infrequent and irregular use of cans into a regular weapon of the antifa army.

The “bags of soup” he references would be a backpack or duffel bag full of cans of soup, which he’s claiming are being planted for protesters to pick up and throw, merging this with the “stockpiles of bricks” story.

Conscious of the fact that bricks sound more menacing than soup, he takes pains to explain how the can of soup is in fact the superior projectile to a brick, which in his telling, becomes basically impossible to wield as a weapon.

Will this claim interfere with any future claims regarding thrown bricks? No, because each installment in the Rightwing Cinematic Universe is a standalone episode with no continuity between them.

He’s trying to create an aura of menace around a series of pictures and stories he half-remembers from social media. As bizarre, nigh-unintelligible, and facile as the results are, it will work with his audience because he’s delivering the bare minimum of what they demand from him: details they can repeat about violent tactics from protesters and the suggestion of shadowy forces directing them. This lets them safely disregard all protests as being both implicitly violent and inauthentic, and gives them a tool to foment mistrust of them among people in the Moderate Mild Middle.

I think video and audio like this do show that Trump is loosing some of his “oomph”, but he’s always been a bare minimum effort kind of guy. I’ve referred to him as a speedrunner when it comes to social engineering: he cuts through the stuff most liars and manipulators do to make it less clear what they’re doing and just goes straight for the point because he doesn’t care if the people who are neither on his side nor gullible enough to fall for it know he’s lying. If anything, he gets a charge out of people knowing exactly what he’s pulling, so long as they can’t stop him.

Anyway, that’s what’s going on here, for anyone wondering.