From Hartmann ReportDonald Trump is the man George Wallace hoped he could one day become. He rode the train of white supremacy all the way to the White House, something Wallace only dreamed of .
If you run a search on "What is Trumpism?" a wide variety of answers and theories pop up.
Wikipedia suggests it is "a term for the political ideology, style of governance, political movement and set of mechanisms for acquiring and keeping power that are associated with Donald Trump, and his political base."
The BBC quotes a Republican analyst as saying Trumpism is, "What the president believes on any particular moment on any particular day about any particular subject."
The Atlantic argues its, "A populous prototype, a personality cult, or something stranger."
The answer, however, is very straightforward and all you need do is look at Trump's policies, history and statements.
Trumpism is white supremacy.
And while white supremacy has been a "feature" of many movements over the centuries, from the Doctrine of Discovery to Nazi-era fascism, it's also its own standalone ideology.
Donald Trump's incarnation as a Republican in the modern era, what led him straight to running in the Republican primary, was often called "birtherism."
This was the theory, whose principal and most high profile advocate was Donald Trump, that America's first Black president couldn't possibly have been born in this country, because, in Donald Trump's mind and those of his white supremacist followers, no American Black man could be that smart, articulate or politically savvy.
Obama must've been a Muslim Trojan horse, Trump supporters said, a cleverly installed plant, sent here by China or Kenya to bring America to its knees. The headline in the Chicago Tribune summed it up: Obama Faces Vile Insults Like No Other President Has, and chief among Obama's antagonists was Trump.
Prior to being politically famous for birtherism, Donald Trump made his chops in New York politics by running a full page ad in The New York Times calling for the death penalty for five innocent young Black men who were falsely accused of beating and raping a white woman in Central Park.
Even though they were exonerated by DNA and the actual perpetrator was captured, confessed and already imprisoned for another, similar crime, Trump continues to this day to insist that they should be put to death. They've got to be guilty of something terrible, right? They're Black!
There is literally an entire, lengthy wikipedia page dedicated to the racist comments by Trump. Even newspapers in other countries get it.
Donald Trump learned white supremacy at his father's knee.
As a young man working in his dad's real estate empire, one of young Trump family member's jobs was to put the letter C for Colored on rental applications from Black people so they could get the phone call that, "So sorry, but the apartment has just been rented out to somebody else."
As former Trump Organization senior executive John O'Donnell notes in his book Trumped, Donald told him, "Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day."
In 1989 Trump offered a positively Limbaughian observation about the white freak-out then going on around affirmative action programs: "A well-educated black has a tremendous advantage over a well-educated white in terms of the job market. ... I've said on one occasion, even about myself, if I were starting off today, I would love to be a well-educated black, because I believe they do have an actual advantage.''
In 1990, he noted, "Laziness is a trait in blacks."
He kicked off his primary campaign by characterizing brown-skinned Mexicans as rapists and murderers who, he said, were bringing crime and disease into America.
When an American-born (Indiana) judge who is ethnically Hispanic convicted Trump for committing a massive fraud on thousands of Americans in the Trump University case, Trump referred to him as a "Mexican judge." He's got brown skin: case closed.
In Charlottesville, Nazis and white supremacists were marching in response to a widespread meme on social media that Jewish Billionaire George Soros was financing abortion and homosexuality among white people to reduce white numbers and replace whites with darker-skinned people. There's an entire international movement promoting this "Great Replacement theory" that they say includes everything from birth control to immigration to affirmative action.
The theory has been implicitly endorsed by rightwing media and Trump for years. Thus, "Jews will not replace us" was their chant. These marchers/murderers of Heather Heyer were, according to Donald Trump, "very fine people."
He called African countries "shithole countries," and when he later denied it, Senator Dick Durban who was in the meeting with Trump where he made the comment said about his denial, "It's not true. He said these hate-filled things. And he said them repeatedly."
Trump, for his part, said he wasn't opposed to immigration generally, he just wanted more people from "Norway" instead of "shithole countries." His actual quote was: "Why do we want all these people from Africa here? They're shithole countries ... We should have more people from Norway."
Trump publicly told several Black and Latinx congresswomen to go back to where they came from. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez replied on twitter, "When @realDonaldTrump tells four American Congresswomen to go back to their countries, he reaffirms his plan to 'Make America Great Again' has always been about making America white again."
When asked to simply and publicly denounce white supremacy and racism in his first debate with Joe Biden, Trump refused with his famous "stand by" comment to one of the nation's more high-visibility white supremacist groups. "But I'll tell you what," he told the moderator, Fox News' Chris Wallace. "Somebody's got to do something about antifa and the left." Yep, that's his solution for solving racism in America: "do something" about "the left."
Donald Trump is the man George Wallace hoped he could one day become. He rode the train of white supremacy all the way to the White House, something Wallace only dreamed of.
While Nixon and Reagan both had a long history of making racist comments in private, and were perfectly willing, as was the elder George Bush, to use racist appeals to gain the White House, there's little evidence that the fires of white supremacy burned as hot and deep in their bellies as they do in Donald Trump's. It was peripheral, not central to their core identities.
For Trump, though, it's a religion, a mantra, a catechism.
Virtually every person he appointed throughout his presidency, from federal judges to officials up and down the various government agencies he had control over, were white (and most men). The occasional Black person he did appoint had to first publicly demonstrate, after being attacked by Trump, their fealty and obeisance to Trump, certifying in his mind that they "knew their place" and could be trusted not to challenge his white supremacist rhetoric and policies.
And his white supremacist followers are right there with him.
During the treasonous January 6th attack on our Capitol by Trump's white supremacist followers, every Black police officer willing to talk with the media recounted how they were repeatedly called the N-word. Some of those traitors called for the Black officers to be lynched (and they'd brought a gallows with them, although it's intended target was apparently Mike Pence).
Among Trump's political lapdogs, Senator Lindsey Graham just publicly spoke about how if the power ever went out in his neighborhood and the "gangs" started ravishing his neighbors, they couldn't get him because he has an AR-15. "Gangs" of course, has long been white supremacist shorthand for any number of Black or Latinx people greater than three or four.
Trump's two "accomplishments" as president were to give a massive, trillion-dollar tax break to almost-exclusively-white billionaires, and siphon money away from GI housing repairs to build a wall to keep out brown-skinned refugees.
Most white Americans have, at one time or another in their lives, known somebody who was a fulminating white supremacist like Trump. People who love to use the N-word and rail against affirmative action and blame their problems in life on folks who aren't white.
Which makes it all the more curious that our mostly-white media so rarely identifies this singular touchstone of his cult.
Instead, they desperately look for other labels. Populist. Demagogue. Conservative. Movement-driven.
The simple truth is that Donald Trump and his followers are white supremacists.
It's about time we and the media started saying it out loud.