Unless you’re someone who supports Donald Trump, odds are you’re well aware of the fact that a large part of his campaign has been based upon, and driven by, racism and bigotry. While there are obviously other reasons why people back him, a good chunk of his support comes from racists, bigots and people who generally want the United States to be a “whites only, Christian nation.”
On several occasions, Trump or his campaign has been linked to some form of white supremacist-created racist propaganda — which doesn’t “just happen” by accident.
Then there was the interview where Trump played dumb when he was asked to disavow the praise and support from well-known white supremacist (and former Grand Wizard of the KKK), David Duke. Let’s also not forget when he was busted using blatant racism against Native Americans as he attempted to sabotage the Mohawk tribe from building a casino that would have competed with his.
It’s been clear since the very beginning that Trump realized he could do very well by appealing to the racism on which the GOP has built itself since the party embraced the “Southern strategy” during the 60’s. And it’s obviously worked; Trump is, without a doubt, the most popular Republican we’ve seen storm through the party in a very long time.
Well, on Tuesday, Republican strategist Rick Wilson addressed the latest controversy from the Trump campaign concerning an anti-Semitic symbol that was used in an attack against Hillary Clinton. Wilson didn’t defend Trump like so many on the right have. Instead, he called out the presumptive Republican nominee for basing a good portion of his campaign’s message on pandering to white supremacist groups.
“This is a guy who understands that the center of his play is this deeply resentful, edge case group of people who really believe that the Jews control the world, and that white nationalism is the future of American politics,” Wilson told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes. “And they range in sophistication from, you know, the guys who are fairly clever race-baiters who try to stay out of the dirtier slums to the crazies in mom’s basement screaming for hot pockets and a new Holocaust.”
Hayes then stated that normally something like this would be harmlessly dismissed as an oversight by someone in the campaign, except this sort of thing has happened far too often since Trump launched his campaign to be dismissed as just a “coincidence.”
Wilson then mocked the excuse Trump tried to use, claiming that it wasn’t a Star of David — but a “sheriff’s badge.”
“As I put it, the dominant semiotic weight of a Star of David over a pile of money is not ‘a sheriff,’” Wilson quipped, “This is a guy who understands this. These people know what’s going on.”
Wilson is exactly right. I completely agree with Chris Hayes that it would be reasonable to dismiss a random mistake like this Star of David incident as an oversight by a low-level staffer on the campaign. However, when it keeps happening, that’s a pattern — and it’s a pattern that’s being deliberately driven by Donald Trump.