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Screaming Racist at Trump Won't Beat Him

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Trump knew exactly what he was doing and didn't even bother to hide it. He tweet baited four Democratic congresswomen with taunts to go back to where they came from. He then gleefully watched House Democrats pass a resolution branding his taunt as raw, naked, unabashed racism. He then double downed and ripped Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings for doing nothing for his alleged rat infested deteriorating congressional district. He again got the response he wanted. Fury, outrage, and loud screams at him as a racist.

This response has paid instant dividends for him. He used it to fire up delirium at a rally in North Carolina. His approval rating nudged up. Polls showed that nearly all Republicans don't see anything racist about him or his bashes. But even more worrisome a lot of others who don't wear the GOP tag also don't see think he is a racist. His immigrant bashing tweets inappropriate and even offensive, yes, but Trump a racist, no. He publicly made clear that there is more of this racial savaging to come and it will be a big part of his strategy to stay in the White House in 2020.

None of this is new. In fact, it's tired, old stuff. But it has worked. When he race-baited black reporters a couple years back polls showed then that the great majority of Trump supporters didn't think there was anything wrong with using the N-word. Nor did they think anyone using the offensive term was a racist. Nearly all saw nothing racist about the N-word and said they had no problem voting for someone who used the offensive epithet.

Most Democrats were appalled by this crude outburst of bigotry. However, who did or doesn't use this blatantly racist epithet, or immigrant bash someone on their point of origin even if that point of origin is the U.S., is less important than its underlying political implications. A lot of people simply don't have any problem with crude, naked bigotry.

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The oft stated political article of faith is that Trump won in the key swing states in 2016 with his quasi populist bring the jobs back, industry, and American products to the U.S. pitch. But surveys of voter attitudes in those states that dug deeper found that this is more window dressing than anything else. Trump touched a raw, festering, nerve of racial animus that always lurks beneath the surface within many white voters in those states. Tapping that animus has been a staple in the GOP playbook stretching back to the Nixon years. Trump just does it louder, cruder, and more in your face than any of the other GOP presidential contenders.

He quickly figured out something ese. That the more he took outrageous racial shots at Democrats, civil rights leaders and blacks in general, he could be sure of igniting a spate of name calling by them of him as a racist. This has a big political pay-off. It keeps the racial pot stirring, deflects, distracts, and diverts attention from his bumbling, inept, policy failures, flawed legislative initiatives, the revolving door of coming and going appointees. Most importantly, it serves to pivot away from anything connected with talk of former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation and Trump's Russia dealings.

He has spotted yet another angle to exploit his calculated racial bashing. That's the four freshly minted leftist non-white congresswomen. He's latched onto them as the perfect foil for his name calling distraction ploy. He banked on them lashing back at him, House Democrats rallying behind them, and the media playing the back and forth exchange between them for all it is worth. The distraction now has a life of its own. This is just the kind of life this serves to keep his base energized and outraged that their hero is under constant and unfair attack from the alleged evil and vindictive Democrats.

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Now with the ground-work set, it was an easy step for Trump to crow that he will use raw race tinged appeals and attacks whenever and wherever he pleases in the run up to the 2020 campaign. The media, the public Democrats, the GOP, are now conditioned to expect and be variously outraged and mesmerized by the sheer breath and audacity of his race baiting. It's almost a perverse win-win for his crass, cynical and very dangerous ploy.

This is in some ways reminiscent of how he conned enough newsrooms, talk show hosts and legions of the GOP's inveterate Obama bashers to talk up a Trump presidential candidacy in 2012 with the Birther issue and Obama. Trump got what he wanted then. Tons of fresh media attention, a momentary seat at the GOP presidential candidate's chat table, and starry-eyed idolization from legions of ultra-conservatives and untold numbers of unreconstructed bigots.

This time the stakes are much higher, and his inflammatory rhetoric is even hotter and heavier. The only certainty in all this is that playing Trump's game, by screaming racist at his racism, simply plays into his hands. It won't beat him.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on Radio One. He is the author of Why Black Lives Do Matter (Middle Passage Press). He is host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on Pacifica Radio.

 

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Earl Ofari Hutchinson is a nationally acclaimed author and political analyst. He has authored ten books; his articles are published in newspapers and magazines nationally in the United States. Three of his books have been published in other (more...)
 
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7 people are discussing this page, with 9 comments


Kenneth Lee

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Thank you ,Earl. I've been saying the same things for 2-1/2 years and can only hope that now that you have articulated it so well some of us will pay more attention and stop falling for this obvious manipulation.

Submitted on Sunday, Jul 28, 2019 at 6:04:33 PM

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Old Codger

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True, it is a great manipulation, one that is guaranteed to work. It is easy to play the Trump hating Democrats like a cheap violin. Their reactions to most anything Trump does and says are anticipated. It is almost as though there is a previously written script that they will follow automatically and without even thinking about what has happened.



The predictable ravings and rantings of the Democrats are certainly not going to change any of his supporters minds when it comes time to enter the polling place. What it does do convince would be voters to lie to and mislead the pollsters when they are asked who they support. We saw a preview of that in 2018. No one wants the added attention they would receive if they came out and stated that they support Trump. That statement alone is an invitation to, at the least, a political discussion, and at the extreme, a discussion where folks are exchanging something a lot heavier than hellos and greetings.



I personally don't agree with the verbiage that Trump uses, but it is not my job to try and explain it or defend it. Way I figure it is if Trump wanted to defend what has said, he has the financial means to hire someone to do damage control. Since he and the campaign are not engaging in that type of process, it's apparent to me that he doesn't see a need to do that. As an aside, it's always fun to listen to weaker candidates, at this time limited to Democrats, embark on a program of damage control.



At this juncture, when Democrats start attacking Trump, ad nauseum, for things he has said, they are only preaching to the choir. It is easy for someone who has not made up their mind, to rationalize it all by saying to themselves, that if a politician can stir up the opposition so much and so well it won't be business as usual with that candidate.




Submitted on Sunday, Jul 28, 2019 at 7:04:31 PM

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Fred W

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I agree with the points in the previous comments. One of the uglier aspects of Tump's foils' replies that does not seem to get mentioned is that, to many of Trump's supporters, the Democrats often seem to actually be instigating a "race war". I say that because although I'm not a Trump supporter, it often seems to me that that's what they are doing. They really wish to make a race a large campaign issue and so talk constantly about the huge amount of racism in the US, that things are getting worse and worse, approaching a boiling point, and so forth.

Since I usually think that race relations in the US are pretty good, probably one of the best places in the world in terms of diversity and tolerance, I just don't see that. I know blacks and some other racial "minorities" (I put that in quotes because I live in California where Latinos are a plurality) don't have as rosy a picture of things as I do, but I still think that most of us get along pretty well, with the exception of the fact that cops seem to shoot black and brown people disproportionately often.

My last paragraph may be an unpopular view, but I still think it's obvious that Democrats are busily adding fuel to the fire, whereas most of the Republicans, especially because they are white and seldom suffer much if at all from racism, probably don't even find the subject interesting.

I know this sounds a lot like the complaints of the white southerners at the time of the Freedom Rides: that the northern liberals were just coming down to "stir up" the poor disenfranchised blacks who would otherwise be perfectly content with their lot. I was contemptuous of that view at the time, but today I feel that the Democrat "liberals" really are doing something like that.

Submitted on Sunday, Jul 28, 2019 at 11:12:30 PM

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Stan Crawford

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You cannot reason with a tRumptard, as it doesn't matter how many years expertise in a field of study, or how many decades of military service, his base believe King Con Don over them. These people have been programmed to fear former Reagan "Freedom Fighter's" now relabeled Terrorist's, non-whites, and those who don't believe in the prosperity gospel. They really have wanted to do/say how tRump acts, but didn't want to bring attention to themselves individually, yet as a mob their inhibitions are lowered to show their true intentions/feelings.

It is sad to see through these people the country has really not progressed at all, but its racist/bigoted past has festered until tRump came along to lance this carbuncle, having its pus full of hate, whining and blaming others for the country's self-created problem's to come oozing out onto the landscape for all to see/hear. This country is going to have decades of challenges (if humanity has this long) to rectify the damage tRump has caused the country and world.

I'm just thankful I'm in my slow downward slide in life and chose not to have progeny who will have to suffer the consequences the tRump regime has wrought.

Submitted on Monday, Jul 29, 2019 at 11:02:43 AM

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Don Smith

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The author says that accusing Trump of being racist isn't effective at stopping support for him. What, then, should Trump opponents do? The author doesn't say.

Submitted on Monday, Jul 29, 2019 at 2:43:13 PM

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Old Codger

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As a Trump supporter, I would simply say "suck it up cupcake" but I know that won't happen or appease those on your side of the battlefield Don.


No, accusations that Trump is a racist don't faze his supporters. One important reason is that the actual definitions of "racist" are not clear, especially as that term is often thrown out by liberals rather indiscriminately and freely. One important thing in this discussion is that Trump doesn't protest all when he is called a racist. He doesn't seem concerned, so why should his supporters be concerned? Remember also that much of what Trump says is for shock value - read as free publicity.


The best solution is to get the media to stop the coverage. Of course, the liberals will protest that believing that it is giving Trump a free pass. Liberals want all their criticisms of Trump to be aired thinking that will increase the odds of Democrats at the ballot box.


Once again, suck it up cupcake. Trump is in control and he is running the game. Y'all can't win in this game. You have been out smarted and out played.



Submitted on Monday, Jul 29, 2019 at 4:30:15 PM

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Ms Nan

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The terms racism or racist has been so over used by the Democrats to slander anyone disagreeing with them on any issue that the term has become meaningless, IMO.

Why is this issue brought up only during election cycles? To ensure the minority vote by Dems,since they are the only ones making it an issue?

The D's are the race batters.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jul 30, 2019 at 8:29:20 PM

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Maxwell

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Strongly implied is to keep our eye on more important things and not be distracted by outrage. Nobody is being denied employment, housing, or services as a result of anything Trump tweeted. Letting him talk like a bigot is actually a good tactic.

Submitted on Monday, Jul 29, 2019 at 5:59:59 PM

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Maxwell

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Agreed. The left cries "racist" like the little boy cries "wolf". It's old, hardly anyone listens. And the MAGAites love it when liberals get triggered. All the more reason to vote for Trump again.

Most of Trump's outrages have race neutral angles. For example, he essentially called Baltimore a "shithole city". Some white residents of Baltimore may have something to say about that too

.

Submitted on Monday, Jul 29, 2019 at 5:37:23 PM

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