Donald Trump is a megalomaniac and a demagogue, but he is also a highly skilled and very effective propagandist.
Trump is also a racist and a xenophobe.
Although not in words, but certainly in spirit, Donald Trump’s run for the Republican nomination for President of the United States reminds me of the days when much of white America openly approved of white supremacists, ultra-nationalists, xenophobes, and misogynists, having total control over the nation’s key political, economic and cultural institutions.
There was a time when white supremacists such as Mississippi Senators, Theodore G. Bilbo and James Eastland, slithered across the floors of Congress for decades and did everything in their power to block any legislative efforts designed to secure for black people the same civil and political rights guaranteed to white Americans by the U.S. Constitution.
Bilbo, Eastland and other leading public officials of that era who were cut from the same cloth – primarily, though not exclusively, from the South – stood on the floor of the Senate and frequently referred to black people as criminals, sexual deviants, lazy and shiftless, and even went so far as to advocate for the use of violence, including murder in the form of lynchings, to keep black people in their place and maintain white supremacy.
Trump is no Bilbo or Eastland. His rhetoric is coded, much more nuanced, not the kind of over-the-top race-baiting favored by Senators elected from a part of the country steeped in violence and racism. But, the message is clear: Trump reminds white America that they (people of color) are criminals, sexual deviants, lazy, shiftless, illegitimate, and looking for handouts, whereas, we (hardworking white Americans) always play by a set of rules that once made America great, and that we can reclaim America's greatness, but only if we take our country back.