Trump’s only campaign promise is to make bigotry safe again


Category:  Op/Ed

Via:  john-russell  •  3 months ago  •  19 comments

By:   Eugene Robinson

Trump’s only campaign promise is to make bigotry safe again

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

Trump’s only campaign promise is to make bigotry safe again

JUNE 29, 2020

“White power!” shouted the elderly man, raising his fist as he drove his golf cart past a group of demonstrators advocating racial justice. On Sunday, President Trump  offered an “amen .”

A white couple stood outside their St. Louis mansion  aiming deadly firearms  — the man wielding a semiautomatic rifle, the woman waving a handgun — at Black Lives Matter protesters who were peacefully marching past. On Monday,  Trump joined  that hallelujah chorus, too.

In both cases, Trump offered his encouragement to white tribal fear and anger in the form of retweets on his Twitter feed. There’s plenty of bad news the president might want to overshadow: the  explosion in covid-19 cases  in Sun Belt states he pushed to reopen prematurely, for example, or the reports that Russia  offered bounties  for killing U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan. But why choose “white power” as the bright, shiny object he wants everyone to focus on? Why not some other, less incendiary bit of nonsense?

The logical conclusion is that, in his desperate campaign to win reelection, Trump has decided to position himself even more explicitly as the defender of whiteness and all its privileges. Certainly, in his ideologically flexible career, maintaining the primacy of whiteness is a rare constant.

The “white power” incident took place earlier this month at The Villages, a sprawling retirement community near Orlando. Some residents were participating in the nationwide protests over police violence toward African Americans, and many were chanting slogans against Trump. Others came past the demonstration in their golf carts, and some defended Trump, including the man who called forthrightly for white racial solidarity.

Trump retweeted a video of the incident, appending the comment, “Thank you to the great people of The Villages.” The tweet was deleted a couple of hours later, with the White House claiming that  Trump hadn’t heard  the “white power” rallying cry. That is likely a lie, since the shouted slogan comes right at the beginning of the  two-minute video clip . You can’t miss it — unless you’re just retweeting things you haven’t bothered to watch. Which if you’re the most powerful person in the world, behaving carelessly on an enormous platform, is a whole other problem.

And if Trump didn’t mean to amplify the “white power” message, then why — one day later — would he retweet a video of the St. Louis incident? You don’t have to be a semiotician to understand the message of that video, which reinforces a message Trump has repeated over and over again: White people, when you see a diverse crowd of protesters coming down your street, be afraid. Go get your guns. Be ready to shoot.

With Trump’s hope of reelection fading, I fear this is the gambit he has chosen: using this moment to exacerbate racial animus — rather than lessen it, as any responsible leader would try to do — by heightening white fear and loathing of the nation’s growing diversity.

“Black lives matter” does not imply some sort of zero-sum game. The whole nation will benefit if we can curb the kind of police violence that led to the deaths of  George Floyd Rayshard Brooks Elijah McClain  and so many others. The whole nation will benefit if we finally acknowledge and then address systemic racism. What makes this moment of upheaval and protest different is that so many white Americans see how racism is a ball and chain that holds all of us back — and see what a braver, fairer, stronger nation we can be if we confront our original sin with honesty and determination.

Trump encourages whites to see any reckoning with race as a threat:  They’re coming for you and your family. Don’t listen or try to understand; assert your supremacy. Prepare to fight for your lives.

As a political strategy, this can work only if Trump motivates enough older, white, non-college-educated voters in the Sun Belt and rural Midwest to see the coming election as a matter of us vs. them — while the Republican Party simultaneously uses various techniques of voter suppression to limit Democratic turnout. Polls suggest that all of this is unlikely to work, and that Trump may be dragging the  GOP’s Senate majority  down with him.

As presidential leadership, Trump’s “white power” strategy is tragically irresponsible. His narcissism leads him unerringly to adopt any course of action he sees as beneficial to himself, no matter what the potential impact on the nation might be.

Look at the nation today — beset by the  covid-19 pandemic , battered by economic crisis, roiled by widespread protests. Trump makes no sustained effort to solve any of these problems. His focus is on a despicable effort to make white people angry and frightened enough to give him a second term. If he sincerely wants anything beyond his own glorification, it is to make America safe again for bigotry.


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1  seeder  JohnRussell    3 months ago


2  seeder  JohnRussell    3 months ago

It seems that Trump has set his course. He is going to try and win with the 'white' vote , and is going to campaign as the "white man's " champion.  Only that approach can explain him retweeting "white power" and a photo of two white people pointing guns at black protesters. 

It's on.

2.1  1stwarrior  replied to  JohnRussell @2    3 months ago


2.1.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  1stwarrior @2.1    3 months ago

This isnt a dead horse, it's how Trump has chosen to direct his campaign. 

3  JBB    3 months ago

So sad, but true....

4  seeder  JohnRussell    3 months ago
Presidential hopeful  Joe Biden  has hit out at  Donald Trump ’s retweet of a video that included a demonstrator shouting “white power”, insisting that the president has “picked a side”.

“Today the President shared a video of people shouting ‘white power’ and said they were ‘great.’ Just like he did after Charlottesville,”  Mr Biden tweeted on Sunday.

“We’re in a battle for the soul of the nation — and the President has picked a side. But make no mistake: it’s a battle we will win.”
4.1  sixpick  replied to  JohnRussell @4    3 months ago

So, you really think Biden tweeted that, huh?

Biden lied about that before and whoever tweeted that for him lied for him again this time.

Trump cleared that up a long time ago and anyone with an ounce of gray matter above their shoulders already knows that's just phony from the start and very misleading as well.

I bet you didn't know Trump made animal cruelty a felony.  The Humane Society was very pleased with that action.  Isn't that a nice thing to do? 

Oh, and he secured $6 billion in funding to fight the opioid epidemic and in 2018 his administration provided more than $2 billion in grants to help states, territories, tribes and local communities to prevent and treat opioid abuse.  So you see, he has done a few good things, but as I listen and read the Democrat Media I never see anything about any of this.  Well not that often compared to the twist and turns they grind themselves into in order to damage him. 

You know, they are so phony and so transparent about it.  I don't think they are effective as they would like to be, so they just keep going overboard with it, while sensible people can see right through it..

You know, hate is really bad for your health.

Toxic Emotions Can Lead to Serious Health Problems

Anger and hatred can be directed at yourself or at other people, but either way you lose when you allow these negative foods for the soul to take over. Fortunately, there are some ways to overcome anger and hatred in your life.
Anger and hatred are natural, but they are also some of the most toxic emotions that we can have. Feelings of rage and hatred build up in the mind, body and soul, affecting the body's organs and natural processes and breeding even more negative emotions. Expressing anger in reasonable ways can be healthy, but explosive people who hurl objects and yell at others frequently may be at greater risk for heart disease . Prolonged bouts of anger can take the toll on the body in the form of high blood pressure, stress, anxiety, headaches and poor circulation. Research also shows that even one five-minute episode of anger is so stressful that it can impair your immune system for more than six hours. All of these health issues can lead to more serious problems such as heart attacks and stroke . Anger and hatred can be directed at yourself or at other people, but either way you lose when you allow these negative foods for the soul to take over. Fortunately, there are some ways to overcome anger and hatred in your life.
4.1.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  sixpick @4.1    3 months ago

How do explain Trump posting a video on his twitter page that shows someone ( a Trump supporter)  shouting "white power" in the first 10 seconds of the video? 

Is he senile? 

Or Trump posting a video of two white people pointing guns at black protest marchers.  Is that just an accident on Trump's part? 

He's the president of the United States, not a You Tube provocateur.  Apply some standards to his behavior for a change. 

5  Adam_Selene    3 months ago

My time is not wasted here  -  "semiotician". I had to look that one up.

Is there anything  that Putin, in his wildest fantasies,  has wanted to befall the United States;  that Trump has not provided.

(Ok - i'm not sure about that semi-colon  but I just wanted to try it out.)

Buzz of the Orient
5.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Adam_Selene @5    3 months ago

LOL.  I don't think any puctuation is required there. 

6  seeder  JohnRussell    3 months ago
“In the video a man was yelling ‘White Power,’ ” the group wrote. “This is NOT what we stand for and is NOT a reflection of Village residents. We must unite as a Country!”

A spokesman for the club, John Calandro, said in an interview that there was “no justification” for the comment and that it was “disappointing” that it had been amplified to Trump’s 82 million followers.

“When you have a community like ours you don’t like to have anybody cast it in a light that’s not favorable,” he said, adding that Trump continues to enjoy strong support among residents.

The Villages, where 97 percent of the population is white and less than 1 percent is black, is the kind of place where Trump’s “Make America Great Again” pitch has a specific racial appeal, said Andrew Blechman, who wrote “Leisureville: Adventures in a World Without Children,” a book about the sprawling retirement community.

“The entire place is a pantomime of a make-believe sepia-toned fantasy of ‘the way America used to be and should be’ — where white people dominate, blacks are either nonexistent or nonthreatening domestics / low-wagers, and teens go to sock hops and jerk soda,” he said in an email, adding that he was not surprised by the views expressed in the video.

Buzz of the Orient
7  Buzz of the Orient    3 months ago
"The whole nation will benefit if we finally acknowledge and then address systemic racism."


7.1  sixpick  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @7    3 months ago

deleted at request of poster. [ph]

8  Kavika     3 months ago

I live about 25 miles from The Villages. When we were looking for a home in Florida we looked there and decided it wasn't for us.

8.1  shona1  replied to  Kavika @8    3 months ago

A/noon Kavika...And looks like it was a good choice to look elsewhere.....When it was shown over here "The Village idiots" sprang to mind"..Keep safe Kavika and your wife....

8.1.1  Kavika   replied to  shona1 @8.1    3 months ago

They sure weren't the Village People, shona...jrSmiley_4_smiley_image.png

Mark in Wyoming
8.2  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  Kavika @8    3 months ago

only because your buffalo briefs would be as out of place as my kilt....

8.2.1  Kavika   replied to  Mark in Wyoming @8.2    3 months ago
only because your buffalo briefs would be as out of place as my kilt....

LMAO, true story.


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