Trump Plays With Racism as a Campaign Tactic
Even some Trump supporters were floored by the Presidents racist tweets yesterday telling four minority congresswomen to "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places [countries] from which they came." Trump was referring to four progressive first term representatives, known as "the Squad," that have been feuding with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently. The President had no reason to inject himself into that squabble but he just couldn't help himself. And he saw an opening to tie the "Squad's" progressive views to something "foreign" or un-American.
Two things the President's tweets clarify for us:
1. Trump doesn't believe that facts should get in the way of a good old xenophobic rant and he doesn't think his supporters care much about details or minutia. Only one of the four women is an immigrant. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota is from Somalia, but Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was born in New York, Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts was born in Cincinnati, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan was born in Detroit to Palestinian immigrants. All are women of color which, apparently, is synonymous with "foreign" in the world of Trump.
2. President Trump understands the power of race as a political tool. This isn't news, but tweets such as these remind us of how the man thinks. Instead of responding to the substance of the "Squad's" policy prescriptions, he equates their views with something un-American, something alien because of their color. His "birther" attacks on President Obama had the same origin. As we have written about before, Trump understands that many in his base are uncomfortable with a increasing diverse America and he will use that as part of his 2020 strategy.
Peter Baker, New York Times: His assumption that the House Democrats must have been born in another country — or that they did not belong here if they were — fits an us-against-them political strategy that has been at the heart of Mr. Trump’s presidency from the start. Heading into next year’s election, he appears to be drawing a deep line between the white, native-born America of his memory and the ethnically diverse, increasingly foreign-born country he is presiding over, challenging voters in 2020 to declare which side of that line they are on.
Peter Baker's piece in the Times goes on to list Trump's long sorted history of racism.
President Trump is playing with fire by using racism and xenophobia as a campaign tool and even some supporters believe he may have gone too far this time. However, it's what got him to the White House, it's who he is. It's not like he is going to run as a policy wonk in 2020. It will result in a more racially and culturally divided nation, but that's the atmosphere that Trump's brand of "nationalism" thrives in.
By: Don & Curated Content