This is from the beginning of August, but I didn’t get a chance to link it earlier because there’s always so much damned news. Paul Waldman, in The Week, “It’s white nationalism week in the Trump administration”:
… The power of Trump’s campaign for so many of his voters was that it wasn’t couched in euphemism and it didn’t apologize for its appeal to racial, ethnic, and religious identity. His most ardent supporters thrilled to the permission Trump gave them to cast off the chains of “political correctness” and tell people what they really thought of them — immigrants, Muslims, African-Americans, women, all of them.
What do you think “Make America Great Again” was supposed to mean? It promised a return to a time when our country was less diverse and no one questioned a hierarchy that placed white men at the top (today, of course, the hierarchy still exists, but people question it all the time). Many of those white men feel like they’ve lost something over the years, particularly if their economic prospects are limited. For them, the idea of turning back the clock so they wouldn’t have to read signs in Spanish or be polite to people they consider their lessers was nothing short of intoxicating…
While President Trump may never have had any deep thoughts about his role in a clash of civilizations, he knows what whips up his crowds. And his impulses always run toward antipathy for people not like him — even, in his more vulgar moments, toward advocacy for violence, whether it’s telling his supporters to “knock the hell” out of protesters or suggesting that what America needs is more police brutality.
“See, in the good old days this doesn’t happen,” Trump said when protesters interrupted him at a campaign rally, “because they used to treat them very, very rough. And when they protested once, you know, they would not do it again so easily.” Everyone cheered. He promised his supporters a return to those good old days, and that’s what he’s trying to give them. They can look at Washington and know that non-white people and immigrants aren’t going to be treated with kid gloves anymore. It may not put food on their tables or solve the problems in their communities, but it might be enough to convince them that America is becoming great again. And that’s all Trump needs.
Apart from rededicating ourselves to a long battle, what’s on the agenda as we start the new week?