Earlier this week, Rob Reiner was taken to task by MSNBC’s resident moron, Joe Scarborough, otherwise known as Morning Joke, for his claim that most media doesn’t follow up enough when they interview Donald Trump. Reiner definitely held his own and forced the hosts into a defensive posture, which indicates that they know they’re wrong and that MSNBC is aware of their complicity in providing Trump with what has been estimated as $1.2 BILLION in free media coverage so far.
Lost in the subsequent discussions of the exchange was the reaction to Reiner’s assertion that racists support Trump to a disturbing degree. While Mika and Joke apparently misunderstood the assertion (again, really defensive), Reiner wasn’t saying that most of Trump’s followers are racist, but that most racists support Trump.
Reiner is absolutely right, which can’t be a surprise to anyone who’s been following the arc of the Republican Party over the past several decades. While the “conventional wisdom” is that the GOP has been that bad for 20 years, but as I pointed out previously, they’ve been actively recruiting racists into the party for more than 50 years. The result is a fringe party that is so far out of the mainstream that the mainstream is no longer welcome.
This primary campaign was inevitable. Look at the terrible choices Republicans have had in recent years. I mean, Bush wasn’t exactly a prize in 2000, but even he was better than the Klown Kar they’ve fielded the last three primary seasons. Seriously, McCain and Romney were the best they could do in 2008 and 2012? And they only emerged because the crazy candidates canceled each other out. This year, the only semi-serious candidate running on that side was another Bush. And the RNC knew this was happening; Trump got the nomination because they tweaked the primary rules to prevent the worst of a bad bunch from getting the nomination. Why do you think half the party primaries were “winner-take-all”? They wanted Bush to have an easy path to the primary.
They didn’t anticipate Donald Trump.
These days, the Republican base is dominated by what I like to call the “Fuck You Caucus.” These are people who couldn’t care less about issues and who think the very idea of government is wrong. They are the people who gave rise to the Tea Party, and teabaggers love Trump because he shouts and screams about nothing and they love the idea of a government that does nothing and stands for nothing. He may seem outrageous most of the time, but what he says is really current Republican orthodoxy by design. There is nothing original about anything he says and does; he hired consultants, who combed right-wing talk radio so that he could mimic what callers to those shows seemed to care about. What he failed to note is that almost no one listens to right wing talk radio. I know, the numbers sound intimidating; Limbaugh and Hannity each claim 13 million listeners and Savage claims something like 10 million, but not only do the same listeners tune in all three, but those numbers are cumulative over 5 days. In all, if 5 million people listen to right wing talk radio overall, I’d be surprised. It’s probably closer to 3 million.
Apparently, those consultants must have listened to a lot more than the “mainstream” national shows. If I were a betting man, I’d suggest they even looked at the extremist online “radio” shows. I say that because Trump’s strategy is a veritable wet dream for the white supremacist movement. I usually follow Godwin’s law, but in this case, Trump really is playing to the neo-Nazi fringe, and that’s no exaggeration. Just days after he announced, The Daily Stormer, one of the top neo-Nazi websites in the country, endorsed him and his xenophobic announcement. And they were ecstatic this past week when he clinched the Republican nomination. One post at the site compared Drumpf’s win as “another holocaust” and crowed that “the Jews are in full freak-out mode.” Another post praised Drumpf for bringing Alex Jones, the nuttiest fucker in the history of radio, out of the shadows so that he could lead a “nationalist” movement.
Yes, that’s right. From the racist extremists, Trump is a “nationalist.” What do Republicans imagine “Make America great again” means, anyway? It means the opposite of “America the Beautiful.” It’s about as unpatriotic as it gets, really. Trump’s rhetoric, referring to Latinos as “rapists and criminals, ” is right up their alley.
According to People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch, a number of prominent white supremacists took to Twitter to express their admiration for winning the Republican nomination against a field of reprobates. For instance, they note that
“white nationalist Richard Spencer’s Twitter feed is similarly filled with celebratory gloating.”
They also noted that “White nationalist leader Matthew Heimbach, chair of the Traditionalist Worker Party (I know, it sounds Marxist, doesn’t it?) recently complimented Trump for going “…’full ‘America First’ for his foreign policy plan.’” Heimbach took to his Radio Aryan program that morning to
“…praise() the way Drumpf’s campaign has ‘opened up so much political space for nationalists’ and made it easier for people in both the U.S. and Europe to say things that were previously impossible to say in public discourse.”
And lest you think that only the white nationalist extremist fringe are happy about Trump’s win, the more mainstream Republican and former KKK Grand Dragon David Duke loves the guy. You’ll recall that Duke was once the Republican nominee for Louisiana governor in 1991. You may recall that part of his platform was to tattooing the genitals of everyone with AIDS, so they could be easily identified. (Source) On Duke’s radio show Wednesday (Listen here), when it was clear that Trump would be the Republican nominee, Duke praised him for having the right idea. He said,
“Even though Drumpf is not explicitly talking about European-Americans, he is implicitly talking about the interests of European-Americans. … Jewish extremists” who tried to defeat Drumpf would only expose “their alien, anti-American, anti-American-majority position to all the Republicans and they’re going to push people more into awareness that the neocons are the problem, that these Jewish supremacists who control our country are the real problem and the reason why America is not great.” (Source)
You may recall that, a few months ago, Trump took some fire for pretending to not know who Duke was and that he didn’t really didn’t understand what a “white supremacist” was. In fact, Hillary Clinton smacked him hard for it when it happened. (Source) It’s pretty certain that it’s just going to get worse from here.
Don’t feel bad for the GOP. They made their own bed, they have to live with the results.
But there is one more thing everyone should consider…
Every time you attack Hillary Clinton or you claim both parties are the same, you make Trump look bigger and you actually make him stronger. Worse, you’re propping up the chosen candidate of white nationalists and neo-Nazis.
Keep that in mind, not just for this election year but also in the 2018 mid-terms. It’s not in any way progressive to help keep racists in power or to promote racism in any way. And the GOP truly is the party of racists. Again, that doesn’t mean every Republican is racist, but it does mean that racists are largely controlling the party apparatus. IN a system where two parties are dominant, trashing Democrats is de facto support for racists.