Thursday, August 27, 2015

T-rump Appeal: Ugly and Dangerous, Okay for Many, or Way Off the Mark

The Crowd He Panders to Most: Whites Only
(Divide, Separate and Alienate

Best Location for Trump Supporters
(Climb in, plenty of room)

Extracted from Yahoo News – my editing enables it to fit this blog format – contents are basically the same as original (reported by Michael Walsh).
Donald Trump picked up an endorsement last week — one that, uncharacteristically, he chose not to boast about. It was from David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan leader and Louisiana state representative, who asserted on his radio show that the GOP frontrunner “… understands the real sentiment of America, and I think he realizes that his path to popularity toward power in the Republican Party is talking about the immigration issue. He has really said some incredibly great things recently. So whatever his motivation, I don’t give a damn. I really like the fact that he’s speaking.” (Duke’s comments flagged by Buzz Feed).
As Trump has galvanized the anti-immigration movement, seizing control of a primary process that was supposed to be about traditional Republican economic and foreign-policy issues, he has begun attracting support from some of the more unsavory elements on the right-wing fringe: neo-Nazis, Klansmen and white-power advocates. (Note: The Daily Stormer, described by the New Yorker as “…America’s most popular neo-Nazi news site” quickly endorsed Trump (Note: their leader Craig Cobb, who gained national attention in 2013 over a failed plan to set up a whites-only town in ND, has resurrected the idea, and said he would name the place after Trump).
White racism and anti-immigrant nativism obviously share some attributes, but they have different policy implications and constituencies that don’t entirely overlap. So could Trump’s enormous magnetism be bringing them together?
Trump himself hasn’t made race an overt issue in his campaign or in his previous flirtations with public office. The consistent theme in his views over the decades has been xenophobia, directed at foreigners he blames for every shortcoming of the American economy — Japan and Germany when he was writing his books in the 1980s, China and Mexico now.
In any case, his campaign this year hasn’t made much of an effort to reach out to minorities. Over the weekend, he said he knows nothing about the Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality.
Trump further has said: “I know nothing about it. I’m seeing lots of bad stuff about it right now (Trump said in a FOX News interview that Think Progress flagged). He then called Democratic presidential nominee O’Malley a “…disgusting little weak pathetic baby” for apologizing to activists who took offense at his comment that “black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter.” Then Trump added: “When I watched that whole thing going on and how they’re pandering … I think it’s a disgrace.”
In April 2015, when civil unrest broke out in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray, then Trump tweeted, “Our great African American President hasn’t exactly had a positive impact on the thugs who are so happily and openly destroying Baltimore!”
Black Americans have taken notice. Earlier this month, Gallup released a sample of data collected between July 8 and August 8 on each presidential candidate’s favorability among African-American adults. Gallup data says Trump is by far the least popular candidate with the black community.

Trump is the candidate who will struggle most among blacks. Trump’s familiarity among blacks is about on par with Clinton’s, but he is deeply disliked. Nearly seven in 10 blacks have an unfavorable view of him — by far the highest negative opinion of any candidate. 
Blacks presumably haven’t forgotten the issue Trump brought to national prominence with his birth certificate disbelief rants (his unfounded speculation that Mr. Obama was born in Africa, which was often seen in the 2012 campaign as a proxy for racism) (Note: I would add: clearly it was racism and hatred). Trump then publicly doubted whether Mr. Obama’s grades were good enough to get into Columbia University or Harvard Law School, saying in part: “I heard he was a bad student. How does a bad student go to Columbia and then to Harvard?” (Note: Trump told the Associated Press in April 2011 then he added. “I’m thinking about it. I’m certainly looking into it. Let him show his records.”
That was widely viewed as both a slur on Obama’s intellect and an attack on affirmative action, implying that the future president benefited from racial preferences. Trump has often boasted about his own college grades, but his campaign has refused requests, including by the conservative website Daily Caller to release his own transcripts
Various other statements about Trump:
1.  From Reason magazine: Report about former NM Libertarian Party candidate, Gary Johnson: “Trump is appealing to a segment that many label simply as racist since it exists, and it’s out there. And, you know what? I don’t want to have anything to do with it. It embarrasses me. The electorate will paint the entire Republican Party with a broad brush as a result of Trump, and it won’t be positive,” Johnson concluded in his interview.

2.  Chris Christie: Even his brashness, which once felt refreshing to disaffected conservatives tired of “typical politicians,” now seems downright pedestrian to the legions of Trump converts.

3.  Trump’s GOP rivals: Like Scott Walker and Jeb Bush have both waded into divisive discussions with increasingly radical comments.  

4.  Republican strategists: Many fear Trump’s immigration streak will irrevocably alienate the nation’s growing demographic of Hispanic voters from the party.

5.  From The Atlantic magazine: Republican Party elites can already envision the attack Ads of sad-eyed children being torn from their parents. The harsh immigration rhetoric doesn’t only offend Latino voters, they say — it hurts the party with other minority groups, with moderates and independents, with young voters and with women.

6.  The Web magazine, the Federalist: Trump has tapped into widespread anger that could transform the party by seeing that Trump presents a choice for the Republican Party about which path to follow: (1) a path toward a coalition that is broad, classically liberal, and consistent with the party’s history, or (2) a path toward a coalition that is reduced to the narrow interests of identity politics for white people (only). The voters will get to decide, and a lot is riding on the outcome.
Conclusion: A Trump spokesperson declined to address the various issues affecting the African-American community, or the David Duke comments and endorsement.

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