The mainstream media is seemingly obsessed with this idea that somehow Trump might turn the page and become the presidential figure they long for him to be. Every time Trump delivers a boring and pre-written speech by his handlers, like he did last night, cable news anchors fall over in their rush to proclaim that we are seeing a New Tone from Trump, one that is inevitably immediately discarded the minute he gets his grubby sausage fingers back to his phone.
Even in the wake of inciting a mob to storm the Capitol building, CNN’s Dana Bash still felt the need to proclaim that Trump had taken on a “new tone” over his insincere and vaguely conciliatory video message that he posted to social media last night.
As always, that “new tone” went right out the window on Friday morning when Trump took to Twitter to send a message of encouragement to his voters, promising them that they wil have a “GIANT VOICE” long into the future and will not be “disrespected” by…who exactly is not specified, but we can all make some well-educated guesses.
The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 8, 2021
As usual, the president’s lines appear to have been fed to him by FOX and Friends, judging from this clip from this morning’s show in which the hosts weep crocodile tears for Trump’s voters, who they describe like scared and confused children rather than well-off grown adults who just invaded the United States Congress in a deliberate attempt to disrupt the democratic transfer of power.
Ainsley Earhardt: “There are 75 million people that voted for President Trump. And they are scared. They are worried about what the future of this country looks like. They are confused and heartbroken that their candidate didn't win and they don't want to be forgotten.” pic.twitter.com/OcqMYGjJtG
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 8, 2021
That “fear and confusion” that the FOX hosts are unsubtly alluding to is the root of white nationalism — the idea that the socioeconomic and political dominance of white pillow tycoons and the CEOs of small data analytics firms is threatened by changing demographics, immigration, and progressive ideas. Deep down, they know that their priveleged position in society comes at the expense of others and the fear that they feel is that someday they might be given the same treatment.
The above clip and its repetition by the President is an excellent example of how white nationalist and white supremacist ideology is promoted through right wing media and disseminated to the populace, its most pernicious implications laundered by the infantilization of its intended recipients — who, it’s true, often do behave like dumb whiny babies whenever things happen they don’t like.
But the fact of the matter is that Donald Trump, fresh off a 24 hour ban, immediately started using his social media platforms to blow dog-whistles and encouragement to the very people who just stormed the United States Congress, pissed all over it, and beat a cop to death with a fire extinguisher.
Far from there being any “new tone,” Trump is showing us once again that he will not stop until someone makes him.
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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.