I could stop there. But I won’t.
Trump is a white supremacist and a xenophobic nativists. In a supposedly post-racial and culturally tolerant society, these two “character flaws” should eliminate you from serious consideration to become president.
However, to many of his supporters who feel like they have been forced to keep silent about issues involving race and ethnicity due to political correctness (Trump, on the other hand, is a godsend because he “tells it like it is”), and Republican Party officeholders such as, Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, and Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, who crave control of the Congress and the White House to advance their reactionary agenda, being a racist and anti-immigrant are not disqualifiers.
A few more things.
Trump also fails to make sense of reality through, for example, the use of logic or the establishment and verification of facts. Nor does he justify his beliefs on the basis of new or existing evidence.
Instead, the Republican Party’s standard-bearer is opposed to the use of reason. His thinking is incoherent rather than logical. Depending on the situation, he just makes up his own facts. And, he does not feel like he needs to justify his beliefs to anyone but himself.
A reader might accuse me of hyperbole. A few minutes of listening to Trump would change your mind. Almost every time he gives a speech or an interview, my jaw drops and I’m left nearly speechless.
Here are a few examples of nearly everything I have just laid out. Let’s talk a little about Trump's use of white identity politics.
The statement, "Make America great again," is really code words to appeal to whites on the basis of their white identity. Lots of white people love Trump for saying it.
But, who are these people? The typical Trump supporter has less than a college education, is male, and earns less than 50,000. Certainly, Trump appeals to them in part because he taps into their economic anxieties and the failure of the political class to solve their problems.
But, Trump also connects to them on the basis of their racial and ethnic anxieties and prejudices. To put this into perspective, we must also take a look at how demographic trends are changing America and the fear this is creating among whites.
The share of the nation’s population that is white is shrinking. The reason is twofold: most immigrants are not white; most children born in the country are not white.
The demographic changes have triggered an existential crisis for many white Americans and driven them toward Trump. His supporters say things like:
“Take American back.”
“This is not the same country I grew up in.”
“This country has gone to hell.”
“This country is going to hell.”
Trump’s race baiting plays to the deep hostility on the part of a significant number of white Americans to the demographic changes that are browning America.
Many Trump supporters also link the idea of being "American" with being white. The presumptive nominee knows this.
Following the horrific murder of 49 people in Orlando, Donald Trump said at a press conference, "The killer was born an Afghan, of Afghan parents who immigrated to the United States." This was not a slip of the tongue or ignorance about where he was born.
Trump knows exactly where Omar Mateen was born. That the media keeps saying Trump is stupid because Mateen was born in Queens NYC like him is just plain silly.
Trump was using his dog whistle, suggesting that because his parents were not American citizens at the time of his birth, that Mateen was an Afghan not an American citizen as the 14th Amendment guarantees anyone born in the United States. (I actually don't think he would even consider the children of naturalized citizens from non-European countries real Americans; he equates being an American with a set of values and racially identity that originates in Europe.)
The media can't bring themselves to acknowledge just how deeply racists and nativist Trump's campaign really is and will be of little help. On the other hand, many of his hardcore supporters understand where their candidate is coming from. This is why they plan to vote for him and he might just succeed.
Can you hear that whistle?
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