If you can't win on issues, you win on racism.
Why is it that the president and the vast majority of Republican elected officials are refusing to refer to the white Christian neo-nazis who committed mayhem and murder and, yes, terrorism, as exactly what they are? Why the false equivalence suggesting that antifascists and peace protesters are the same as Nazis and Klan members?
As Holly Yan of CNN summarizes on their website, ISIS has a long history of using vehicles as weapons for terror attacks. London, Stockholm, Nice, Berlin, Jerusalem, and, in North America, St.-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec and Columbus, Ohio.
All these terrorists intentionally used cars or trucks to kill people and inflict maximum terror. All were condemned by Republicans and "conservative" media as "radical Islamic terrorism," and any number of Republicans, including Trump, milked them for all they were worth.
Yet on August 12, members of the oldest terrorist organization in the United States -- the Klan -- along with devotees of one of Europe's most terrible terrorist cults -- Nazis -- showed up in Charlottesville, Virginia, to reprise the Nazi and Klan traditions of torchlight night-time parades specifically to create terror. And when asked about it, Trump waffled.
He'll threaten North Korea with nukes, but won't even name the terrorists who showed up in Virginia.
And it's very, very hard to find an elected Republican (who isn't a presidential wannabe) who will call this what it is: White Christian Racial Terrorism.
The answer is really simple: If you can't win on issues, you go for what used to be called "wedge issues."
The Republican Party has basically one goal and one reason for existence right now: to protect and promote the interests of the rich and powerful, be they billionaires or the big corporations that spawn them.
But no Republican will run a TV ad saying, "If elected, I promise to destroy the social safety net and give the money to the billionaires; I promise to increase the levels of pollution and cancer-causing chemicals in our food, air, and water; I promise to block renewable energy and increase your utility bills; I promise to cut the taxes of the fat-cats and record-profitable corporations, while throwing you a bone of a few hundred bucks."
So what do they do? They create a "coalition." They do, after all, need voters to put them into power (although it's getting so tough for them that they have to rely on massive voter suppression among woke communities, and rigged voting machines and tabulators like were used against Governor Don Siegelman).
There are a number of American constituencies that really don't care how big a tax cuts the billionaires get, whether health care and education are savaged, or how badly our environment is poisoned, because they consider their own issues to be so Far More Important.
These include the anti-abortion/misogynists, the white supremacists, the anti-Semites, small-penis gun-nuts, and a very large group of white formerly middle-class people whose livelihoods have been wiped out by Reaganism and the so-called "free trade" policies that have been pushed by Republicans since Nixon.