Trump: Opening the Floodgates of Hate (Gage Skidmore / Flickr)
by Peter Montgomery
The staying power of Donald Trump's presidential candidacy has surprised and unsettled people across the political spectrum. Many voters who are angry about the loss of middle-class jobs and frustrated with our broken politics have rallied to Trump's outsider campaign.
“You can’t help who admires you,” says Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center. “But when white supremacists start endorsing you for president, you ought to start asking why.”
Less than two weeks after Trump launched his campaign with ugly rhetoric about Mexican immigrants, the neo-Nazi news site The Daily Stormer endorsed him. Since then, he’s attracted praise from icons of the movement like former KKK leader David Duke, who told whites it was “treason against your heritage” not to support Trump.
Trump's incendiary rhetoric against Muslims and Latinos is bringing racist groups like these more openly into our politics. His campaign has become “a great outreach tool” for the KKK, gushes one Klan activist. According to Media Matters, it’s “a fundraising engine for white nationalist media.”
Trump’s campaign against “political correctness” has given people permission to trumpet views they may once have kept to themselves — and rallies to gather together. Duke has encouraged his own followers to volunteer for Trump’s campaign, promising them, “You’re gonna meet people who are going to have the same kind of mindset that you have.”
Given all this, it’s hardly surprising that Trump’s rallies have drawn protests.
However, Trump didn't need to openly welcome violence against peaceful protesters. In case you somehow missed it, at recent rallies he’s complained that it’s only “political correctness” that prevents people from beating up protesters — and that in the good old days they would have been “carried out on a stretcher.”
Of course, not all of Trump's supporters are racists. Some are fed up with dwindling economic opportunity and politics as usual. They think that a strong-willed outsider can somehow shake things up, or “make America great again.”
But how exactly would that work?
Trump has shown contempt for many of our defining constitutional principles: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, equality under the law.
Trump has said he’ll re-write laws protecting the press to make it easier to go after journalists who criticize him. He’s argued for shutting down mosques and discriminating against Muslims on the basis of their religion. He’s a bully who’s used his deep pockets and teams of lawyers to threaten and harass his critics.
Republican officials helped create the conditions for Trump’s rise by promoting the angriest voices in right-wing media when they thought it was to their political benefit. This sea of anger is everyone’s problem now. We should all be concerned about the long-term impact of the forces Trump and his supporters are unleashing.
As Matthew Heimbach, a 24-year-old white nationalist who thinks America should be divided into ethnically homogenous regions, told The Washington Post: “Donald Trump, whether he meant to or not, has opened this floodgate that I don’t think can be restrained regardless of what happens in the 2016 elections.”
Peter Montgomery is a Senior Fellow at People For the American Way. PFAW.org>
More AMERICAN POLITICS ...
- Clinton Regains Lead
- How Much Candidates Spent Per Vote
- Tim Kaine Cheat Sheet
- Mike Pence by the Numbers
- Americans Divided on Bathroom Bill
- Clinton's Stubborn 75 Percent Chance Finally Dips Following Email Revelations
- The 2016 Democratic Convention by the Numbers
- The 2016 Republican Convention by the Numbers
- Trump's Fundraising Turnaround: June Marked Best Month So Far
- Trump Captures His Largest Lead So Far in Polls
- Trump Pulls Ahead of Clinton in Key Swing States
- Donald Trump and America B
- House Sit-In Would've Been More Powerful if It Rejected 'No Fly, No Buy'
- Clinton's Foreign Policy Poses a Challenge to the Left
- Hillary Wants to Bring Back Bill. She Shouldn't
- The Real Reason Republicans Are Going after the IRS
- ISIS Must Love Trump
- Can Trump Ride the Anti-Immigration Wave to the White House?
- Trouble for Donald Trump's Campaign
- America's Most Followed Members of Congress
- Hillary Clinton's Major Foreign Policy Address Was Anything But
- Donald Trump Down in the Polls After Rough Week on the Trail
- There's No More Denying It: Trump Is Openly Racist
- Donald Trump: Joker's Wild
- After Orlando: Twitter Recoils from Islamophobia, Takes Aim at Gun Laws
- How Much Blame Should Hillary Clinton Bear for Libya?
- Countries That Receive the Most Foreign Aid From the U.S.
- Hillary Clinton Secures Democratic Nomination
- Welcome to Half Dome, Sponsored by Nike
- Companies Need to Stop Bankrolling Hate
- For Billionaire Donors, Academic Integrity Comes Cheap
- America's Cosmic Tax Gap
- Trump's 'Realty Check' on Climate
- Putin and Trump: Symptoms of Creeping Caesarism
- Obama Promised Open Government, But Hasn't Delivered Yet
- A Coalition of the Unhinged
- Putting Free Speech Out to Pasture
- The Only Sane Conclusion from Orlando
- Orlando Shooting Fuels Debate on Gun Control
- They're Killing Us. Help Us Stop Them
- A Commencement Address for the Most Indebted Class Ever
- Our Poverty Myth
- Which States Have Banned Assault Weapons?
- Government Agencies that Spend the Most
- The Government Agencies that Employ the Most People
- Odd Ways Political Campaigns Spend Their Money
- Congressional Districts with the Youngest and Oldest Voters
- Trump Nabs First Lead Against Clinton in Poll
- Bernie's Bucks: Sanders' Fundraising and Spending Prowess in 5 Charts
- Clinton Holds Razor-Thin Lead
- Doling Out the Dough for Pro-Clinton Super PACs
- States with the Most Women in Politics
- Do First Ladies Influence the Popularity of Baby Names?
- Counties Where Medicare Spends the Most per Patient
- We Live in a Democracy, Not a Theocracy
- Is Trump an American Exceptionalist?
- Sanders vs Clinton on Economic Inequality
- Nine Lessons for Navigating National Security
- Trumped Up Alliances?
- Big Money in Politics Drives War
- Why Clinton Supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Trump Does Not
- The Trans-Pacific Partnership and the 2016 US Presidential Election
- Obama: The Conflict Resolution President?
- Bernie Sanders Still the 2016 Fundraising Champ
- Inequality Will Get Worse Until There's a Revolution
- Crime Can Pay if It's Big Enough
- Political Campaigns May Put Your Personal Data at Risk
- Fear, Anger and Attitudes Toward Immigration
- The New (Anti-)Secularism
- Clinton, Trump Poised for Northeastern Sweep on Tuesday
- Trump's Bad Ideas Aren't Un-American After All
- The Death Gap
- Why Trump Is No Longer a Safe Bet
- 22 People, $43 Million: The People Doling Out the Dough for Pro-Clinton Super PACs
- It's Literally Impossible to Deport 11 Million Immigrants
- Here's What a Budget That Prioritizes Peace Looks Like
- Does the Military Support Trump?
- Where Are the Wealthiest Voters?
- How the Pentagon Wastes Your Money
- This Election, We Can't Afford to Ignore the Climate
- The Children's Crusade
- When Islam Polices Extremists
- Hillary Clinton's State Department Armed Saudi Arabia to the Teeth
- Free From Jail, Imprisoned by Debt
- American Cities Most at Risk of Zika Virus
- Operation Paul Ryan
- What Trumpism Means for Democracy
- Trump Opens Floodgates of Hate
- Missing in Action: Political Reality and Leadership
- Give 'Tax and Spend' a Chance
- Donald Trump: Foreign Policy's Useful Idiot?
- When Red Tape Is a Good Thing
- Trump Holds Strong Lead in New York, Clinton-Sanders Race Tightens
- These States Give the Most Money to the Presidential Race
- The Most Influential Presidential Power Couples
- The Most Influential First Ladies
- Wall Street Should Pay a Sales Tax, Too
- Cruz, Not Trump, Has Shot to Beat Clinton
- Republicans Who Really Don't Like Donald Trump
- What Would Nancy Reagan Say?
- The Humpty Dumpty Party
- What Are Trump's Values -- and America's?
- Primary Trends: Media Goes Crazy, Bettors Yawn
- Most Liberal Members of Congress
- Most Conservative Members of Congress
- 25 Facts About Abraham Lincoln
- 25 Facts About John F. Kennedy
- Marco Rubio Is Winning the Neocon Primary
- Obama: The Fairy-Tale President?
- Terrorism & Trump: New Challenges for Social Justice Organizations
- How Sky-High CEO Pay Pollutes Our Planet and Our Politics
- Foucault's Analytic of Power
- The Cliché of Civilizations
- Religious Politics & Illiberal Religion
- Endless War, Undeclared and Undebated
- Bernie Sanders Has America Talking About Denmark
- Paul Ryan vs the People
Article: Distributed by OtherWords.org.
"Trump: Opening the Floodgates of Hate"