Trump’s racism is about to have an impact.


For four long, embarrassing, tortured years, Donald Trump has gotten away with being a virulent racist. He’s gotten away with it mainly because the party he purports to represent has consistently ignored, laughed off, refused to comment on, or attempted to explain away his inexcusable behavior. But those days may rapidly be coming to a close.

Trump is devolving, and everybody but Trump knows it. His blatant racism is becoming more frequent, and more pointed. And it’s only going to get worse from here on out, since he is rapidly losing all of the other distractions that he could call on, such as the Trump-Russia investigation, and Robert Mueller. The attacks are becoming more base and disgusting, and it’s becoming harder for anyone, even the Republican party to ignore or explain away.

I’ve said before, and I’ll say it again: while very few of us are racists, all of us have prejudices. There are things, people, and even groups that we individually just instinctively just don’t like. That’s called humanity. But the vast majority of us make the conscious decision to keep those personal feelings walled off from the world at large, that’s why we’re not racists. They have no such moral compunctions. Like Donald Trump.

It was one thing for a Jewish-American like Gary Cohn to stand idly by while Der Trumpenfuror praised racists and neo Nazi’s. That was Cohn’s personal choice, and he is welcome to it. But Cohn had the additional advantage of not having voters to face, and that’s not true for almost everybody else.

Right now, there are 197 Republican House members up for reelection in 2020, along with 22 incumbent GOP Senators, and Trump has potentially put them at risk. And while the 2018 midterms may have culled down the GOP House herd to more base Trump-friendly representatives in allegedly “safe” districts, there are still some like Will Hurd in Texas that are on the bubble. And Trump’s overt racism is making it nigh on impossible for the Republicans to try to flip back any of the swing House districts that they lost in 2018. And in the Senate it only takes three seats to flip control if a Democratic President is elected, and Arizona is already well within reach.

Every GOP incumbent in 2020, both House and Senate, is going to have the anvil of Trump’s racism hung around their necks by their Democratic challengers. Incumbents are going to be hard pressed to respond, since they have all either ignored, or worse yet, defended Trump’s racist claptrap.But Republicans challengers to Democratic incumbents will face the same stiff challenge, since their opponents only have to bring up Trump’s overt racism, and leave the challengers trying to deal with the guilt by association.

Trump’s racism is not going to get better, in fact it is only going to get worse. And as it does, it places every GOP candidate in an ever increasingly untenable position electorally. It will be interesting to see at what point do some, and how many GOP incumbents jettison Trump, in order to try to save their precious seats. Don’t touch that dial.

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  1. This doesn’t get much attention but I find it interesting. In May, the Associated Press updated their style guide, and the new standards (followed by most American news rooms) include a 2+ year overhaul of the sections of discussing race and racism.

    Before the changes, journalists were advised to avoid calling something racist or racism unless they could show intent. For example, Trump’s “go back” Tweets. Did he aim these comments at the four freshmen because they’re popular Democrats, or because they are minority women? We can’t know his intent for certain. So previously, journalists would use weak language like “racially charged,” which I suppose means “people sensitive to racism were pissed even if we aren’t sure this was racist intent.”

    The new guidelines eliminate all of this. If a comment can be reasonably taken as derogatory toward a specific race, journalists are now advised to call it racism…and are advised to avoid terms like “racially charged”. If something can be called racism or a euphemism, journalists are told to avoid the euphemisms.

    Will this affect this debate going forward? I think it could. On the day Trump made his attacks on the freshmen, the digital front page of The NY Times used the words racism and racist nine time, and xenophobia twice. If the media begin following these guidelines in earnest, we could see the president and his followers being increasingly slammed as racist…which I think will influence the electorate to some degree.

    • Given that Trump jettisoned the other three to focus on Ilhan Omar with her trifecta of things to hate (woman, black, Muslim) I’d say it’s definitely racism. Oh wait — FOUR things. She’s also a Democrat.



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