Racist In Chief

 

Is anyone surprised about the latest outburst from Donald Trump?

On Sunday, Trump published a series of tweets urging four congressional Democratic representatives to go home: “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came?”

Go back to your country, essentially.

Since then, he has doubled down.  His officials have doubled down.

Kellyanne Conway, a Senior Counselor to the President, had yet another testy exchange with the press, seeking to get clarifications about what the President meant.  The question from journalist Andrew Feinberg was simple: he asked what countries Trump was referring to when he suggested that some politicians should return to their home countries.

“What is your ethnicity? retorted Kellyanne Conway.

The full exchange is available here.

This is where United States politics is at.  Just another example of the racist and xenophobic undertone on which Trump and his team intends to motivate his electoral base, in the hope of being re-elected in 2020.

Is Donald Trump actually racist?  Is he actually xenophobic?  Even if he thinks he is not, by playing those cards he proves that he is.  If you fake being racist for political gains, you actually are racist.  Trump’s actions and his statements are totally about exploiting the underlying racism and xenophobia that still exist in a large part of the American population.  There is a deep sense of insecurity in the United States, and Trump is not only exploiting it, he is fueling it.

It is also no coincidence that Trump is targeting four young Democrat representatives from minority groups.  Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) and Ilhan Omar (Minn.) are among the most prominent critics of President Trump.  They can be loud and outspoken and never shy away from calling Trump out.

This is exactly what Trump wants.  These four women represent the left, even the extreme-left of the Democratic Party.  He wants them to take the bait.  He wants them to be furious.  He wants to draw them out.

To many ordinary voters, as obnoxious, rude and out of line as Trump might be, he is still better than the rabid socialists.  By drawing them out, Trump and his team are trying to frame them as the clear representation of the Democratic Party.

No matter that they are all American citizens, no matter that three of them were actually born in the States and that the fourth one, Ilhan Omar, fled Somalia with her family in 1992 when she was only 9 years old.

In Washington, the Democrats were unanimous in condemning these remarks while the Republicans were largely silent.  Partisanship and winning, you see, is more important than basic decency.  No matter that the country is burning up amid divisions and racial tensions.

This is nothing new for Trump.  Playing on these fears and divisions is exactly how he got to the White House.  His whole candidacy started with Trump joining the birther movement.  In fact, Trump became the most prominent promoter of these conspiracy theories, alleging that President Obama was not a natural-born citizen of the U.S., as required by the US Constitution.  He kept going by promoting a wall to stop migrants from entering the country.

He won and believes he knows why.

So he has kept playing those cards.

And he’ll keep playing them. 

More from Karl Bélanger.    Follow Karl Bélanger on Twitter at @KarlBelanger.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone.  They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.

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