Kim Moore clapped, pulled out her smartphone, and zoomed in to snap a picture of President Donald Trump just a few hundred feet away on the stage Sunday night in Chattanooga. She and her husband listened as Trump talked about how one of the women who’d accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct had recanted. They hadn’t heard of this before, quite possibly because it wasn’t true. The woman in question had never made an allegation.
“You heard on Friday, what happened?” the president asked rhetorically. “One of his accusers came out and said she never met him, that she made up the story. It was a total lie.” He raised his voice and mockingly cried, “Rape! Rape!”
That prompted a smattering of shouts from both male and female voices: “Lock her up!” The chant spread around the nearly packed 10,000-seat McKenzie Arena at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
“It was false accusations. She made up the story. It was a lie … And now we have to find about the others with their …” Trump said, and here he paused. “Accusations.”
Moore, a 50-year-old Medicaid-program coordinator who had told me earlier that she was a rape survivor, watched closely. I wondered what she was thinking.
In the past seven days, I traveled to Trump rallies in Fort Myers, Florida; Indianapolis; and Chattanooga; and I watched many more hours of rallies in Columbia, Missouri; Huntington, West Virginia; Belgrade, Montana; Pensacola, Florida; Macon, Georgia; Cleveland; Fort Wayne, Indiana; and Cape Girardeau, Missouri. After all that, I can attest that Trump voters are not ready to concede a monopoly on outrage. They are stoked by Trump’s dystopian portrayal of a socialist America under radical far-left Democrats—a version of the country where jobs have been killed and Medicare destroyed to fund benefits for migrants pouring across open borders, where drug dealers and MS-13 killers take over sanctuary cities.