Unless you’re a rabid Donald Trump supporter, odds are you probably don’t think very highly of the leading Republican presidential candidate. Even many within the Republican party itself cannot stand him. That’s part of the reason why, despite what Trump and his supporters think, many Democrats are hoping for him to win the GOP nomination. While he plays well to the crowd of hardcore right-wing angry white voters – which does very well in the primaries – his brand of hate-filled, angry, bigoted rhetoric isn’t going to go over very well in the general election.
Speaking of pandering to hardcore right-wing, angry white voters, Rachel Maddow had a brilliant segment on Tuesday night where she exposed how bigoted, racist and terrible Trump is by comparing his demeanor as a candidate with infamous racist and segregationist, George Wallace.
And when I say this was a brilliant segment, I absolutely mean it. It was a fantastic comparison between the two men and how eerily similar Trump’s tactics and rhetoric are with Wallace’s 1968 presidential run.
Watching the footage Maddow aired from several of Wallace’s speeches was jaw-dropping. Here we are, almost 50 years later, and Trump is using nearly the exact same tactics, rhetoric and talking points Wallace used to stir up crowds of angry white voters (especially in the South) to his side.
Much like how many Republicans bash the media today, Maddow pointed out how Wallace frequently made the media one of his targets. Often insinuating that they were working against him and lying to the American people to keep him from winning. He even went after polling results as part of this ploy to discredit his candidacy, using the enthusiastic crowds he drew as “evidence” that the media (and even the polls – unlike Trump, he wasn’t the frontrunner) were trying to delegitimize his grassroots campaign built upon people who were tired of establishment politics.
Maddow also played a clip of an interview with a Wallace supporter who expressed why he liked the former Alabama governor, citing the fact that he had “guts” and spoke his mind.
“Close your eyes and just listen to the news reports from that election, it’s almost like they’re talking about Donald Trump,” Maddow said of the news reports concerning Wallace.
While Wallace ran as a member of the American Independent Party – a far-right conservative party – he won 5 states (Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Arkansas – shocking, I know) and received nearly 10 million votes. While he came in a distant third, he was still enthusiastically embraced by racism in the South. This was at the beginning of the “Southern Strategy” taking hold in these former Confederate states.
I consider myself fairly knowledgable of events in our history and trends in politics over the years, but even I was rather surprised how seemingly very little has really changed. Looking at Wallace belittle protesters (like Trump), bash the media (like Trump), prey on fear, anger and racism (like Trump) – I fully believe that today’s conservative voters would enthusiastically support a candidate like Wallace.
In fact, they really already have, as evident by Donald Trump’s overwhelming domination atop the GOP presidential leaderboard.
Watch the segment below via MSNBC: