Examining the connections between Trump and the Republican Party is on-going source of neck-dislocating head shakes for many people. There is a persistence to it that defies logic when one examines it from the standpoint of normal political calculus. But normal political calculus has never worked with Trump in the equation. And of course neither has logic. Some people compared him to “the Mule” in the Asimov science fiction opus, The Foundation Series. The Mule (whose real name is never revealed) is a mutant, and possesses the ability to sense and manipulate the emotions of others, usually creating fear and/or total devotion within his victims.
This however doesn’t really help in explaining Trump’s “stickiness” in the current environment and why so many people, normally quite intelligent, are still so easily convinced by his obvious lies.
My own opinion—and to be clear, this is an opinion piece, while it is examining facts, the conclusions are my opinions—is that his validation of white supremacy is the lynch pin.
From the moment Trump announced his candidacy he endeared himself to white supremacists. His quips about Mexicans, correctly regarded as racist, were a dog whistle to bigoted minds. When he progressed to professing America First, the game was up. “America First” is and has been for the better part of a century, the motto of the KKK. Then came endorsements from David Duke, a former leader of the Klan, endorsements from even worse bottom feeders like the now defunct Nazi site, the Daily Stormer, etc.
Part of his resonance with many of those in his fan base is the “self-made” aspect his supposed success. This appeals to the idea prevalent in conservative circles that anyone can pull themselves up by the bootstraps, so why do we need to worry about these “others” who can’t make it. Not our problem. Trumps adherents fail to recognize that this very idea itself is part of the Nazi philosophy of white superiority—make no mistake, white supremacist is just a longer way of saying Nazi. And any opportunity to paint others as different or inferior gets easily sold to this mindset.
The same lens of “difference” gets then played on any person of intelligence or actual success. Those who see past the thin veneer of Trump’s success—his bankruptcies, his long reputation of refusing to pay for services rendered, his outright frauds, his misogyny and his near total hypocrisy—are painted as “elites.” This is a code word for the white supremacist crowd. It really means Jews.
Thus, intelligence and ability to discern facts is denigrated as clever. And ideas of inclusion or caring for one’s fellow man are painted as “communist” or “socialist.”
The underlying message being peddled is that individual effort is all that matters. And the subtext of that is that society and government structure are unnecessary and even undesirable. And now we arrive at our present situation. Republican legislatures are trying to wring out new versions of the Jim Crow laws, restricting voting and then other rights.
This is not just an assault on voting rights, it is a direct, and frankly treasonous, effort to dismantle the democratic structure and systems of this country at its core.
The US electorate had the effrontery to elect a black man as President in 2008. The white supremacist elements of the Republican Party to this day have never forgiven the electorate for that. And because at their core, they believe—against all visible evidence—in their own superiority, they feel some sort of racial duty to prevent this possibility in the future.
Steve Bannon, former Trump advisor and still current ally—whom I nickname as Wannabe Martin Bormann—rebranded the white supremacist factions of this country under the banner of “alt-right.” In 2017 this branding was used to have the “Unite the Right Rally” in Charlottesville, resulting in the march of the Tiki Torch Nazis, street violence and the murder of Heather Heyer by a white supremacist.
Trump cemented his relationship with this despicable portion of our electorate by calling them “very fine people.” That bond remains.
The possible saving grace in this unholy alliance is that these people at their core, like Trump, are inherently incompetent. While they are experiencing short-term gains with the anti-voting laws they are pushing forward, there are many indications that their popularity is fading and that Trump’s hold over the more intelligent elements of the party are actually at an end.
When you get down the basics of the matter, racism is a foreign concept to humans. It is not inherent, it is taught. And the lessons ring false even to the adherents of these views. Though getting a racist to admit his error takes a lot of work. In another article we will talk about a fact hero that has shown how it is done.
Showing faith in the inherent goodness in man is THE essential element. And keep in mind the other essential basic fact: skin color does not denote race. Artificial divisions do not make actual different versions of Mankind. There is only one human race.