Saturday, August 12, 2017
Donald Trump Just Can't Quit the White Supremacist Vote
Donald Trump erased any doubt today about his soft spot for white supremacists. After staying mute most of the day following the Charlottesville rampage, Trump finally took to the podium to deliver a message dripping with hypocrisy including this line, “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides. On many sides.”
Hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides. Right, Donald. Everyone's to blame and therefore no one.
That wasn't good enough for Trump's faithful supporter, former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, who fired back: “I would recommend you take a good look in the mirror & remember it was White Americans who put you in the presidency, not radical leftists.”
The governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe didn't share Trump's convenient ambiguity. He told a news conference that he had a message for “all the white supremacists and the Nazis who came into Charlottesville today: Go home. You are not wanted in this great commonwealth.”
Trump's problem is that he courted the racist, white supremacist, white nationalist vote and it's an important segment of his dwindling base. That's why he has to pull his punches, hedge his words, blur his message. He's got them working in his own White House, a couple of them - Bannon and Miller - are close advisors. Then there's Gorka. If the racists abandon the already weakened Trump what support remains? David Duke is right. It was the white supremacist vote that put Trump in the presidency.
Trump sought out these bigots on his campaign to the White House. He preached the politics of division, suspicion and hate and reaped the rewards on January 20 when he was sworn into office. He can't distance himself from them now, they won't have it. He's attacked Muslims of all ethnicities. He's attacked Mexicans. He's attacked Asians. He's pushed a Sarah Palinesque notion of what constitutes a "real American." Trump energized the Alt.Right. He's their man, their president. They voted him into office. And standing before the microphones today he made it clear that's the way it is, that's the way it's going to stay.