Silence speaks volumes. It’s been almost one week since Donald Trump entertained Kanye West and Nick Fuentes at Mar-a-Lago, causing an uproar which has swamped the news cycle and this is in the wake of three mass shootings in one week and the Kari Lake debacle in Arizona — which, by the by, Trump endorses. His words on that, published at 2:30 a.m. Monday morning on Truth Social are:
Massive numbers of “BROKEN” voting machines in Republican Districts on Election Day. Mechanics sent in to “FIX” them made them worse. Kari had to be taken to a Democrat area, which was working perfectly, to vote. Her opponent ran the Election. This is yet another criminal voting operation – SO OBVIOUS. Kari Lake should be installed Governor of Arizona. This is almost as bad as the 2020 Presidential Election, which the Unselect Committee refuses to touch because they know it was Fraudulent!
Back to the Ye/West dinner, the fallout was so intense that one of his aides was quoted as calling it a “F***king nightmare” and other aides have been begging him to take some kind of remedial action and denounce the views of Nick Fuentes. He will not. He is afraid that in doing so he will alienate a portion of his base — which raises some very, very intriguing questions about exactly who the base is, that he believes he needs them to put him back in office. The Guardian:
Donald Trump repeatedly refused to disavow the outspoken anti-Semite and white supremacist Nick Fuentes after they spoke over dinner at his Mar-a-Lago resort, rejecting the advice from advisers over fears he might alienate a section of his base, two people familiar with the situation said.
The former US president was urged publicly and privately to denounce Fuentes in the aftermath of the dinner, which included the performer Ye, previously known as Kanye West, who has also recently been propagating anti-Semitic remarks.
But Trump eschewed making outright disavowals of Fuentes, the people said, and none of the statements from the campaign or on his Truth Social account included criticism of Fuentes, despite efforts from advisers who reached Trump over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Trump ultimately made clear that he fundamentally did not want to criticize Fuentes – a product of his dislike of confrontation and his anxiety that it might antagonize a devoted part of his base – and became more entrenched in his obstinance the more he was urged to do so.
This is as close to a formal stance on this topic as you are likely to get from Trump world. Which raises the immediate question, WHO is it that Trump does not want to alienate? The Putin wing of the GOP is one valued Trump splinter group, evidently.
As Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene and Rep Paul Gosar speak at this white supremacist, anti-Semitic, pro-Putin event, silence by Republican Party leaders is deafening and enabling.
All Americans should renounce this garbage and reject the Putin wing of the GOP now. pic.twitter.com/6fgpV6ohZ8
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) February 26, 2022
Liz Cheney makes a good point. The silence from GOP leaders is deafening and enabling. Touche.
And of course the “very good people” that we were assured existed on both sides, namely Nazis, are important. Trump doesn’t want to alienate the Nazi vote. Here’s the little Nazi Trump broke bread with threatening the Jews, openly.
This is not protected by by the 1st Amendment. It qualifies at “imminent lawless action”
— John Bolger (@Bolgernow) November 15, 2022
This is who Trump was impressed with. He said so. “I really like this guy. He gets me.” Yep, he’s right up your alley, Donald. We have seen this show before. Charlie Sykes’ newsletter:
For those of you keeping track, this is yet another replay of Trump’s winking denial of his long-standing and mutually beneficial alliance with bigots and conspiracists ranging from the KKK’s David Duke, and the “very fine people” of Charlottesville, to QAnon and the Proud Boys. He denies knowing who they are, even as he gives them oxygen and encouragement; and tacitly acknowledges his reliance on the openly racist and anti-Semitic troll base.
Meanwhile, the hate is normalized and mainstreamed.
Think of it as the muscle memory of cowardice. Here’s what I wrote last year:
Four years ago, after former President Donald Trump referred to some of the participants in the deadly rally as “very fine people,” Republicans had a chance to make it clear where they stood.
Torch-carrying bigots chanted, “Jews will not replace us!” An avowed neo-Nazi drove his car into counterprotesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer.
It was an easy call for a normal political party.
Republicans could have issued a historic denunciation of bigotry.
They could have denounced anti-Semitism.
They could have announced that there was no place for white nationalists in the party.
They could have drawn a bright, red line against political violence — and attempts to normalize violence.
Instead, for the most part, Republicans either looked the other way, kept quiet or went along with Trump’s gaslighting denials that he had, in fact, said what he said.
Here’s some Holocaust denying, just so you get the full picture of what it is that Trump will not denounce. This is what he endorses. The Holocaust deniers are the swine he doesn’t want to alienate.
Nick Fuentes tells Jews to stop being so disrespectful and ungrateful and to shut up about the Holocaust: "I've heard enough about this Holocaust. I've heard enough about it. … The real Holocaust was Jesus Christ being crucified." pic.twitter.com/Rm1BY1HMMN
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) November 25, 2022
And look at what else Trump doesn’t want to denounce. You know he endorses these thoughts. He wants to be a dictator. Don’t forget, Fuentes urged his Groypers to protest in cities until Trump was kept in office.
Republican operative Nick Fuentes reacts to GOP failures in the midterm elections: “We need a dictatorship. We need to take control of the government and force the people to believe what we believe.” (from @RightWingWatch) pic.twitter.com/qbC73Vs19A
— No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@NoLieWithBTC) November 10, 2022
Back to Liz Cheney’s comment, the failure of GOP leadership to come out, en masse, and denounce this awfulness, enables and normalizes the awfulness. That’s as simple as it gets. By not condemning this, the GOP’s silence, in essence, ratifies it. Silence is deemed acceptance.