by Justin Rosario
It’s been over two years since Trump oozed his way down that escalator and launched his explicitly racist campaign to be a white nationalist president. Yet, the media is still reluctant to call him racist and his followers still clutch their pearls when someone points out just how racist he is. This gets particularly amusing when a white nationalist gets in front of a camera and declares that he doesn’t hate black people, he just loves white people so much he thinks they should have their own separate country where black people aren’t allowed to live.
Yeah, sure. You’re not a racist, buddy.
But as time goes by, the right wing is slowly forgetting they’re supposed to lie about their “economic anxiety” and that leads to delightfully honest tweets about their actual motivation like this one:
The Democrats have nobody.
Their party is a mess.
As long as Trump follows thru on his immigration policies he will easily win election.
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) February 10, 2018
Not, “As long as Trump follows thru on his economic polices” or “As long as Trump follows thru on his foreign policies” or “As long as Trump follows thru on his promise to drain the swamp” or any of the hundreds of other promises he’s made and already broken. No, Trump’s followers literally only care about his immigration policies because those were his most racist promises and that’s what drew millions of white Republican voters to follow him like lemmings.
This is why after a year of a foreign policy that could be charitably be described as “deeply humiliating”, his support among white Republican voters is still solid. Mind you, Republicans are supposed to be the party of international awesomeness while Democrats are weak apologists. Trump was going to stride the globe as a titan. Our enemies would cower before us. Our allies would kneel in awe. America would make Mexico pay for the wall and renegotiate all of our treaties so we would win and everyone else would lose.
Instead, our enemies are laughing at us, our allies are ignoring us, ain’t nobody paying for that wall, and America is weaker than it’s been at any point since the end of World War II. Meanwhile, Trump’s supporters, who just a few years ago were terrified Obama was making America weak, could care less because Trump banned Muslims.
The same goes with Trump’s economic policies that are literally the exact opposite of what he promised on the campaign trail. His white Republican voters gave a collective shrug over a $1.5 trillion tax cut that overwhelmingly went to the ultra-wealthy while tripling the deficit. In the same vein, they don’t care about the blatant corruption, the dozens of scandals they would have rioted in the streets over under a democratic president, the lying, the incompetence, the obvious collusion with Russia…none of that matters as long as Trump delivers on his attacks on immigrants.
Possibly the most perfect encapsulation of American right wing politics is the famous Lyndon B. Johnson quote, “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.” Trump is the living embodiment of how low white Republican voters will stoop to inflict suffering on Those People. They’ve thrown away their children’s and grandchildren’s futures for one last shot at hurting people with brown skin. Hell, just like LBJ said, in their rush to blindly lash out at their enemies, they’ve even pissed away their own future. Who do they think those cuts to Medicare and Social Security Trump and the GOP are demanding are going to affect? Just blacks? Is there a special “whites only” social safety net that will stay protected?
Sorry, white Republican voters, you’re getting nostalgic for the water fountains of your youth. That’s not not how any of this works.
I know this sounds like I’m beating a dead horse. It’s no secret that white Republican voters are overwhelmingly motivated by racism; so much so that they’ve started openly siding with white nationalism because they think they can get away with it. But it’s important to keep talking about this for two reasons:
1. We have to remember that this is not normal. Aside from all the other ways Trump is eroding our democracy, laws, ethics, traditions, constitution, and morals, the fact that he is openly appealing to white nationalism to keep his base happy is anathema to everything this country stands for.
It’s very easy to forget how aberrant it is to see Nazis marching in broad daylight and be supported by one of the two major political parties. The “liberal” media has been working overtime to normalize this abomination. Fuck that shit. Nazis should be met with a clenched fist, not an open hand. We fought a world war to wipe them out. Destroying Nazis is as American as mom’s apple pie.
2. After Trump is gone, the roaches are going to scatter. Trump is going down in flames. It’s inevitable. He’s too corrupt and too incompetent at being corrupt not to. His kind of scumbaggery was fine-tuned for the world of real estate where sleazy rich people protected other sleazy rich people but it has not translated well to the world of government. While career politicos like Karl Rove and Dick Cheney knew how to manipulate the system on a grand scale and get away with it, Trump has surrounded himself with, to be blunt, morons. Their corruption is so cartoonishly obvious and poorly concealed that the second the Democrats take over the House and start doing the kind of investigations the GOP has been avoiding like the plague, the last year of nonstop scandals is going to look like a honeymoon for Trump and his cronies.
After that, Trump will very publicly implode under the pressure and his followers will suddenly declare they were never all that supportive of him in the first place. They’ll “suddenly” discover that Trump wasn’t a “real” Republican all along or that they’re actually “Independents” or “Constitutional Conservatives”. They’ll blame both parties for the anger in politics and feign total confusion how it could have ever gotten so bad. Then they’ll dust off their Tea Party outfits and proudly march against immigrants again, expecting us to go along with the lie.
These people came out of the white nationalist closet and they don’t get to go back inside. They proudly stood up to be counted alongside murderous Nazis and when their glorious leader is gone, they’re going to try to wash the stench off and demand we pretend it never happened. To repeat, fuck that shit. No backsies. No absolution. No forgiveness. They have to wear that albatross for the rest of their horrible little lives and they never again get to tell us about their moral superiority or how they deserve to be treated with respect.
No one who bases their entire political identity on their hatred of immigrants deserves a seat at the table and Trump’s white Republican voters have made it very clear what their only priority is. As the saying goes, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Trump’s faithful white nationalists keep telling us over and over who they are.
We believed them the first time. It’s time the rest of the country believed them, too.