Monday, February 29, 2016

Donald Trump's Hate Machine

Donald Trump's racist message resonates with a lot of American voters. Salon's Heather Digby Parton looks at some of the sketchy characters who are jumping aboard the Trump bandwagon.

If you look at the public figures who are first out of the gate to endorse Trump now that he looks to be so formidable that they cannot hope to stop him, you’ll see Chris Christie, known for his derision and bullying; former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, best known for her anti-immigration proposals demanding that people who “look illegal” offer up their papers; former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke; and Maine Governor Paul LePage, who was last heard complaining that drug dealers come up to Maine from New York to sell their drugs and “half the time they impregnate a young, white girl before they leave.” Now there’s Sessions too. Trump is, in other words lining up the country’s most famous bullies, xenophobes, and bigots to endorse him. (And that’s not even counting the avowed white supremacists who are doing robocalls on his behalf.)

The right is acting shocked — shocked! — that anyone would ever say there’s racism going on in their party, and they are all practically calling for the smelling salts at the mere suggestion that Donald Trump might be appealing to white people who hold racist views. This is to be expected. After all, even their protestations are a form of dogwhistle at this point: The pretense of horror at being called racist is a signal to fellow racists.

...Mr. Trump’s popularity with white, working-class voters who are more likely than other Republicans to believe that whites are a supreme race and who long for the Confederacy may make him unpopular among leaders in his party. But it’s worth noting that he isn’t persuading voters to hold these beliefs. The beliefs were there — and have been for some time.

Progressives naturally balk at the idea that hardworking people, suffering in a stagnating economy, might be driven by something something so dark as racism when the fact is that they have much more in common economically with people of color than this blowhard billionaire who’s selling some snake oil about “making deals” with foreign countries so America will be “great again.” But it’s a sad reality that this racial animosity lies at the heart of many of America’s pathologies, particularly its unwillingness to adopt social democratic policies going all the way back to the beginning.

...Maybe Trump will be the last gasp of this dynamic, and class solidarity will rise above racial resentment at long last. But for now, it does no good to ignore the fact that the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for president has just been endorsed by some of the the nation’s most notorious racists and xenophobes and is routinely cheered by ecstatic crowds for his bigotry. America’s made a lot of progress but it’s not there yet.

Last night, John Oliver shredded Trump:


Anonymous said...

Oliver and crew are absolutely brilliant

The Mound of Sound said...

Yes indeedy, Willy. Pure gold.