In a Tuesday piece for Salon, columnist Amanda Marcotte argued that the high-energy "coked-up aesthetic" of the Republican National Convention on Monday was part of a strategy that has been historically used by fascists.
"The emotional overloading strategy, often openly fueled by stimulant drugs, was a famous aspect of Nazism, which was known for rallies with long and overbearing speeches and a general atmosphere designed to overwhelm participants," she wrote.
Marcotte pointed to Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro's notoriously long speeches and cult leader Jim Jones' reported use of pharmaceutical drugs before his long addresses to his followers.
The columnist's comments come amid speculation that the high-energy nature of Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle's speeches were driven by drug use. Marcotte clarified that she is not saying anyone in the Trump camp engaged in such activity and argued that whether they did is not important.
"The issue isn't drugs themselves, but the aesthetics of the convention — ones that happen to be suggestive of drug abuse, but can also be induced by other forms of emotional flooding, including inflated rhetoric, loud music, paranoid fantasies, and rapid and disconcerting tonal shifts."These characteristics, she argued, were intended to ensuring viewers can't "get their bearings and start thinking more clearly."
"Clear thought, after all, is the biggest threat to Trumpism," she wrote.
In an interview with Breitbart, Trump Jr. claimed that the message of the Republican Party is one of optimism that conflicts with the Democratic Party's, which he likened to "doom and gloom." The president's son claimed that the Republican Party is implementing policies that help low-income earners and improve employment prospects for African Americans and Hispanic Americans. He also compared the Democratic platform to the Communist platform and suggested they are opposed to the American dream of equal opportunity for prosperity for all.
Despite pushback against the purportedly chaotic first night, CNN's Chris Cillizza said that the RNC had many successes. Notably, he pointed to the appearances of former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, who he claimed offered memorable and optimistic moments, respectively. He also contended that Ohio Republican Jim Jordan was able to highlight Donald Trump's human side through a story about the president consoling the father of his late nephew.
Cillizza also praised the speech of Andrew Pollak, the father of one of the teenagers killed in the Parkland shooting. Pollak helped pass Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act.