More screaming Trump bigotry. And more silent GOP complicity | Editorial

Posted Jul 15, 2019

It came as no great surprise that Donald Trump dusted off a feeble-minded trope popular among white supremacists in a Sunday tweet-thread, telling four minority Congresswomen, three of them American-born, to essentially “go back where you came from.”

By now, we all understand that our president is a bigot. He no longer tries to hide it much, and neither do many of those who champion his cause. White nationalist messages are broadcast from the White House. Racist memes bleed onto the pages of national websites. White supremacist laments get shouted from cable news, where people like Laura Ingraham wonder how “massive demographic changes have been foisted upon the American people…changes that none of us ever voted for, and most of us don’t like.”

All of it is in broad daylight.

What’s most disturbing is not the racism in Trump’s heart, if he has one. It’s the silence of his fellow Republicans, who again are ignoring this infantile and embarrassingly mean-spirited act from this president. Essentially, they are normalizing it.

It is up to everyone – not just four freshmen members of Congress who offended the President because of the tint of their skin —to condemn Trump’s obsession to flirt with white nationalists.

Few Americans embrace such offensive ideology. In the aftermath of Charlottesville, the Institute for Family Studies, a conservative think tank, examined whether Americans stood for what was being championed by those neo-Nazis and Klansman marching in the “Unite The Right” rally. The IFS asked only three questions: Do you have a strong sense of white identity? Do you have a belief in the importance of white solidarity? Do you have a sense of white victimization?

Only 5.6 percent of Americans shared all three beliefs of the Alt-Right marchers – the core tenets of a racist ideology. The number was higher among Republicans (6.4 percent) and Independents (7.6).

It would seem to be an indication that Trump’s attempt to whip up white identity works only on the fringes.

But it is enormously troubling that Trump hasn’t exactly been chastened by the silent Republican majority since Charlottesville, where “good people” from the Nazi party provided the signature moment of a racist presidency.

Republicans don’t condemn Trump when he calls poor countries “shitholes,” they don’t disagree with him when he criminalizes immigrants, and they don’t denounce a border policy that is characterized by cruelty, family separation, and children falling gravely ill.

All of that legitimizes Trump’s sociopathic creed that some people are lesser than others, and in the end, we’re left with an angry opposition and a president’s bigoted blather.

You cannot have an honest discussion about race, because Trump clings to racial superiority with a sanctimonious flair. You cannot have an honest discussion on immigration because he demands that make us-them choices rooted in xenophobia.

Even Republicans must know that when you try to overlay political problems with racist tweets, it is toxic. But they don’t say that out loud. They don’t risk offending the presidential base that loves to fly its freak flag, all in the name of political correctness.

And that silence makes them complicit. Let’s hope voters have long memories.


Do you like this post?

Be the first to comment