Trump Will Address The NRA Today As The Gun Lobby Struggles For Relevance
President Donald Trump will address the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting Friday. Though Trump can be assured of an approving audience, he’s attending the event at a difficult time for the NRA. The organisation is experiencing financial woes and a loss of relevance.
The NRA, a once all-powerful lobby group on the right, is weaker than it’s been in decades. In addition to serious financial troubles, the NRA has struggled to cope with the fact that Russian operatives attempted to infiltrate the organisation to influence American elections.
The crisis at the heart of the NRA also centers around the group’s increasingly political and partisan activities. Many of the NRA’s members are unhappy with the direction the group has been going, particularly with regard to its stance on the so-called ‘culture wars’.
President Trump’s speech is unlikely to improve the NRA’s internal conflicts. Trump is a notoriously partisan speaker and he’ll feel that he’s on home ground when he takes the podium on Friday. Trump has also ramped up his language regarding an attempted ‘coup’ against his government, i.e. the Mueller investigation.
Trump’s decision to address the NRA is further evidence of his doubling down on his perceived core vote. Though Trump has a loyal base, his approval numbers are poor and he’s adopted a tactic of lashing out at perceived enemies. Trump’s speech will most likely offer more of the same.