Trump Supporters: the Real Story
Having demeaned every ethnic and minority group in the book, Donald Trump is something else. Mexican immigrants are rapist and criminals while women are bimbos, fat pigs, dogs, ugly and disgusting animals. Others are on the rag, bleeding out of whatever, or flat chested and therefore incapable of being a ten. Trump has attacked the Hispanic wife of Jeb Bush and the Hispanic Republican Governor of New Mexico, Susana Martinez. And he once predicted that a female candidate for political office would end up getting schlonged. Sadly, it doesn’t end here.
He has expressed disdain for John McCain and other captured prisoners of war. He aped the affliction of a disabled reporter and during a Congressional Committee hearing over his gambling interest questioned the authenticity of Native Americans for not looking sufficiently Indian. See http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/04/opinions/trump-the-divider-opinion-dantonio/index.html.
He re-tweeted false data alleging that black assailants account for more than 80% of white deaths due to homicides, recently referred to a minority who attended one of his rallies as my African American who is sitting there behaving and even opined that laziness is a black trait. See also http://www.msm.com/en-us/news/opinion/trump-endorsers-cant-disown-his-comments/ar.
Trump falsely accusing thousands of New Jersey Muslim Americans of celebrating the destruction of the twin towers on 9/11 and would ban 1.4 billion Muslims from entering the country because of their religion. And of course he led the birther movement claiming to have hired a team of investigators who discovered evidence that President Obama was born in Kenya. To date, he has produced no such evidence.
Last week, the presumptive GOP candidate turned his attention to U. S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel. Born and raised in Indiana of Hispanic parents, Judge Curial is presiding over two of the three lawsuit involving Trump University. According to Trump, Curiel is a Mexican whose ethnicity automatically makes him biased against Trump and therefore disqualifies him from presiding over the case. Not surprisingly, Trump feels the same way about Muslim judges.
Trump offers no evidence that the judge has been unfair, has any personal animus towards him or that race/ethnicity has prejudiced the case. Nor has Trump’s legal counsel complained of racial bias or filed a motion of reclusal. To do so would be frivolous and result in legal sanctions.
In addition, Trump’s grandparents were immigrants. To follow the Trump Doctrine, his German heritage makes him inherently biased against anyone of the Jewish faith. And since he has slandered so many, no female, African, Muslim, Native, Asian, Hispanic, prisoner of war or disabled American could serve as judge in any of the estimated 35,000 lawsuits to which Trump has been a party.
But as bad as he is and Trump is bad, the presumption Republican presidential nominee is not the issue. He never has been. The real story, problem and danger of the Trump candidacy is those who support him.
Trump taps into, reflects and reinforces the fears, hostilities and prejudices of a distressing number of Americans. Adverse to a pluralistic society his supporters self identify as victims of a changing America they neither appreciate nor understand. Their fear and loathing of the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgendered community is palpable. Their mistrust of any religion other than their own is omnipresent. And their contempt for racial minorities is real and material. Ergo, the bathroom wars, their hatred of Mooslims and their support for voter identification laws and the Southern wall.
To Trump supporters, the election of the first African-American President and potential election of the first woman Chief of State represents the fall of the Roman Empire. Their goal is to therefore turn back the clock to a time when they were ascendant and everyone else knew and kept their place. Anything contrary to this world view is a damn lie, propagated by a mainstream liberal media that is out to get Trump and by extension them.
In short, his crazy is their crazy. His bias is their bias and they are enured to the reality that while Trump bad mouths trade deals, he off shores the manufacturing of his clothing line to China. They are unconcerned with the fact that while he bemoans insecure borders and the loss of American jobs, he hires foreigners to work his casinos, including the same Mexicans he labels as criminals.
Trump will not change the status quo. He is the status quo and has consistently used his wealth and privilege to game and manipulate a system he now rails against. It is the little man who has been hurt by Trump University, his multiple bankruptcies and his penchant for not paying his bills; not corporate America. Regrettably, the racial, ethnic and sexual biases of the average Trump supporter is so deep, their fear of losing political sway so pervasive that Trump could indeed stand in the middle of 5th Avenue, shot some one and not lose one acolyte.
Even more disconcerting is that they have become nose blind to the stench of bias. According to a recent survey 57% of Americans took exception to Trump’s comments about Judge Curiel. A full 51% found the statements to be racist. Not so the Trump base.
With excuses ranging from Trump comments are not racist because Mexican isn’t a race, to Trump is a bold truth teller, to the what about Hillary defense, to the false conclusions that Judge Curiel is the real racist because he is a member of La Raza which is a hate group, fewer than 25% of Republicans concluded that Trump had played the race card. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/poll-donald-trumps-attacks-on-a-judge-were-racist-and-wrong_us_5758653ce4b0ced23ca6b902.
But, perhaps even worse than the Trump doppelgangers are the party loyalist, those who are well aware of Trumps many faults but support him anyway. This includes Mitch McConnell who admits that Trump doesn’t know a lot about the issues and Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan who said that Trump’s comments are textbook racism. The entire party is holding open a seat on the Supreme Court for a candidate even they admit is misogynistic.
Trump is anything but nuanced. His comments are neither subtle nor coded. They are instead blatantly racist, sexist and intentionally divisive. And his supporters are anything but confused. They know full well who Trump is and what he represents and are all too willing to buy into the ignorance, delusion and division he peddles.
More troubling, no matter what happens in the fall, the Trump supporters are going nowhere. They and their hostility will remain, emboldened if he wins and resentful should he lose.
This is not to say that the political process is flawed or that the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton is the ideal candidate. The assessment and calculus of anyone but Clinton is a conclusion with which we disagree but nonetheless respect. And it is perfectly acceptable to have a conservative political perspective. Still, there is something sinister at work, an undeniable ugliness about this candidacy that we dare not ignore.
In conclusion, Trump will undoubtedly exploit today’s terrorist attack in Florida to further stoke hatred and fear. And true to form, his supporters will eat it up. Still, his is not a winning strategy. We cannot defeat hate with more hate. We cannot vanquish fear with additional fear.
A recent cover of the New York Daily News said it best. The cover depicts Speaker Paul Ryan pointing to a smug Donald Trump with the caption, I’m With the Racist. It is the Trump supporters intentional alignment with a known narcissist, bully and bigot that is both the story, the problem and the danger of the Trump candidacy.
Leo Barron Hicks, Founder and CEO
Blackacre Policy Forum