After Donald Trump played dumb by saying he did not "know anything about David Duke or white supremacy", most Republican condemnation of their frontrunner totally missed the point. Unlike Ben Sasse, and even Mitt Romney, who took moral stances against Trump following his ambivalence towards white supremacy, other Republican politicians balked at the frontrunner losing them elections, not at the prospect of supporting a race baiter. For example, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) said, "We can't have a nominee be an albatross around the down-ballot races... That's a concern of mine."
Arkansas Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin is most concerned with his children being exposed to "cussing". Ted Cruz has taken a similar "hardliner" stance, stating, "America shouldn't have a president whose words would make you embarrassed if your children repeated them." Never mind the unarmed black children whose deaths are what the Black Lives Matters protesters are speaking out against at Trump rallies. And never mind Syrian children, whose lives GOP candidates have uniformly made clear don't matter. After all, Trump's super PAC is using Syrian refugees as political leverage against Cruz. Conservative politicians must make sure that their white Christian children not be exposed to "cuss" words, while throwing other children to the dogs.
Following Trump's failure to condemn David Duke, Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson said he, "prays every night" that the Republican presidential nominee "is a person of integrity, intelligence, ideas, and courage." However, like so many other GOP politicians, he now too has "no problem supporting whoever the Republican primary voters select as our nominee." He added, "I just remind everybody that it will be a comparison. Would they rather have Hillary Clinton sitting in the Oval Office?", citing Hillary's email server "investigation" and Benghazi.
Meanwhile on February 22, 2016, would-be candidate Donald Trump said about a protester in Las Vegas, "I love the old days. You know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They'd be carried out on a stretcher, folks." What Trump means is that in the "good old days" his people would have black protesters demonstrating against the killing of unarmed black youth hanging from a tree. Trump's most visible protesters are the Black Lives Matters movement, some of whom have been violently assaulted by his supporters at mostly white rallies while Trump ironically bemoaned, "Whatever happened to the freedom of speech?"
But of course Trump is someone who thinks that race "shouldn't matter", he explained, while chastising Chris Matthews for pointing out that many blacks and Latinos live in Chicago after Trump cancelled his rally there. This is a typical conservative tactic that is also used by Trump's horrendous supporter Jeffrey Lord, who has been masquerading on CNN as a "contributor". After his candidate hesitated to disavow the Ku Klux Klan, Lord argued with Van Jones, who is African American, about the Klan, ludicrously saying, "We're all Americans here, Van. This is what liberals do. You are dividing people by race." You could bring up anything, even Genocide to Jeffrey Lord, and he would still fire back a canned line about Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton and how you are displaying typical Democratic divisiveness by acknowledging the ugly, unforgivable racism of the Trump campaign.
Donald Trump is truly despicable; he race baits to make opportunistic political gains and revels in the resulting violent chaos he has provoked. After all, this is the candidate who hoped that the recent violence at his rallies would earn him more votes. Then, after doing everything he can to guarantee conflict, Trump claimed that he did not "want to see the real violence", which is why he said his Chicago rally was cancelled. If not for security concerns, this was surely another ploy meant to increase his supporters' sense of victimization. Trump manipulates the emotions of white voters who have gotten the short end of the deal to feel that their rage and fear are legitimate and that they need him. He vilifies his protesters using heavily racialized language: "Some of these protesters are extremely dangerous, extremely physical." On March 11th in Saint Louis, Trump bemoaned that "nobody wants to hurt each other anymore."
He then went on to explain, "There used to be consequences to protesting, there are none anymore... These people are bringing us down, remember that, they're bringing us down. There's no reason for it. These people are so bad for our country, you have no idea. They contribute nothing. These are the people that are destroying our country." Trump has also told black supporters to "get a job", adding "these are not the people that made our country great." But Trump's thinly-veiled race baiting should not come as a surprise. After all, he is running to be the nominee of the party that brought you Ronald Reagan's welfare queen, George H.W.'s Bush's Willie Horton ad and George W. Bush's disgusting racial smear against John McCain in the South Carolina primary.
Trump the inflamer incites the ugliest parts of American society as he pits undereducated white people against protesters and black youth. Like marionettes, Trump's supporters respond to their master's cues. This past week in Jainesville, Wisconsin, Trump fans assaulted a 15-year-old girl while calling her a "n**er lover." They are probably just "passionate" people who "love this country", as Trump described the two Bostonians who urinated on and beat a homeless Latino man with a metal rod in his name. MSNBC contributor Joy Reid explained to Rachel Maddow, "He understands who he is attracting."