Via valued commenter Lamh36 in last night’s primary results thread, a CNN clip of Van Jones calling out Trump supporter Jeffrey Lord about Trump’s dishonest and deliberate racist shell game on David Duke and the Klan:
Lord follows the conservative deflection playbook to the letter: The Klan is a liberal Democrat group! We just want to be a color-blind country but you are dividing us by race!
Trump has a little something for everyone, including formerly well-paid manufacturing workers who are now Walmart greeters. His views on building a huge, tremendous, beautiful wall to keep immigrants on the south side of the Mexican border are probably more aligned with rank-and-file Democrats’ opinions than many of us would like to admit.
But racism is a central component of his campaign because it’s a core part of who Trump is today and who he has always has been. Just a few years ago, Trump was a key figure in the explicitly racist birther nonsense, and he shouldn’t be allowed to wave that off because he’s “moved on.” Within the past several months, Trump has retweeted shit from neo-Nazis and publicized fake murder statistics to perpetuate dangerous, deadly lies about black-on-white crime.
In a country with a functional political media, that kind of bullshit would be fatal to a campaign. Hell, then-candidate Obama had to go out and give the speech of his life to calm a raging media firestorm about the exponentially less offensive things his pastor said when Obama wasn’t even present.
But it’s okay to play footsie with David Fucking Duke if you’re Trump; apparently this is the latest iteration of IOKIYAR. Well, it shouldn’t be. Hillary Clinton got some flak last night for countering Trump’s “Make America Great Again” line with this:
“We know we’ve got work to do. But that work is not to make America great again. America never stopped being great. We have to make America whole. We have to fill in what’s been hollowed out.”
Yeah, you can quibble about how great America is if that’s your thing. Arguably, your complaints (and mine!) are covered in the “hollowed out” part. But one thing that actually is kind of great about this country (though not unique to America by any means) is that we sometimes make progress. Haltingly. Often for the wrong reasons. But we move forward.
It’s easy to get discouraged and hopeless and cynical. To cite just one topic that could send a reasonable person down that path, there’s the fact that the frontrunner in one of our two major parties waffled about denouncing the fucking Ku Klux Klan in 2016.
But there’s still time to say no to that bullshit. To stand up and say we cannot, we must not, we will not go backward. That we’re all in this together. That’s what can make us whole, and I’m still naïve enough to believe this message will resonate more strongly than Trump’s.