In this clip, a top Republican strategist sits down with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes discussing the way that Trump has engaged the virulent strands of outrageous racism that once merely wallowed in the dark corners of the internet and in the minds of the disaffected but have burst into mainstream politics, dutifully responding to the racial dogwhistles and ethnonationalist scapegoating that Trump has made a central part of his campaign platform.
Just days ago, Trump re-tweeted an image of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with the words “most corrupt candidate ever” written inside a Star of David, with piles of cash around it – an obviously anti-Semitic image that he tried to explain away by laughably saying it was a “sheriff’s star.” The image was quickly taken down, but not before being recognized by his supporters for what it was – an implicit endorsement of the “alt-right’s” tying of Clinton to their absurd conspiracy theories of Zionist plots to control the world, with all the genocidal connotations that kind of thinking entails.
National Republican strategist Rick Wilson laid it out plain for the eye to see:
“The fact of the matter is, Donald Trump understands who these people are. I’ve come to believe that, as I said in the piece, it’s not a bug, it’s a feature. This is a guy who understands that the center of his play is this deeply resentful, edge case group of people who really believe that the Jews control the world and that this is — and that white nationalism is the future of American politics. And they range in sophistication from, you know, the guys who are fairly clever race-baiters who try to stay out of the dirtier slums to the crazies in mom’s basement screaming for hot pockets and a new Holocaust. But he tweets with all of these people. He engages with these folks. He re-tweets them. I mean, every single time the guy tweets something, the top four or five responses come from these bots and these neo-Nazi kids who are his biggest fan base. And the guy will not disavow them. He wouldn’t disavow David Duke when he was confronted. He wouldn’t disavow the Klan when he was confronted on it. This is a guy where racism is baked in the cake, and he’s deeply disconnected from the majority of Americans’ feelings on things, like having a new race war.”
Seeing establishment Republicans perform remarkable feats of mental gymnastics to distance themselves from the positions espoused by their nominee is very amusing, but the larger issue still remains. The Republican Party’s inherent racism has finally manifested itself in Trump – and we cannot allow him and his Nazi followers a chance to put their dangerous delusions into action.
h/t to MediaMatters
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.