Well, I commented yesterday on Trump’s “shithole” comment. Not much new there, honestly. In many ways, the repetitious displays of racism radiating from the White House make consistent insightful analysis difficult.
Decided to watch Don Lemon’s show last night, just to catch up on different opinions. Some toad-lookin’ fella thought it was a good idea to parrot the “It’s all about the economy!” line.
We’ve heard this view before, that trump supporters’ real motivation stems from their collective concern about economic prosperity and the jobs flowing from a thriving, unshackled free market. I’d say “the economy” is a vague pretext for supporting racist policies and racist language among Donald Trump’s supporters.
How to while away the time when we are frolicking in the land of not very plausible deniability? Simple. Let’s stop and think about this for a second. Republicans have lived in a liberal atmosphere alongside their Democratic counterparts, and so conjuring a vague reason (such as the economy) to support racism so that they might maintain a sliver of “traditional” American values is important to many of them. To many others in the Republican party, maintaining that cover is much less important. Or not important at all.
But that’s the problem with code language. The economy is one such code phrase that the Republican party has used for some time to signal to ardent bigots that the white tide is at hand. It has worked out beautifully for the GOP in a two-fold way. Open, scheming racists will interpret it through the lens of achieving a very hyper-conscious goal. The common man gets to fool himself that he isn’t being racist, that only a pro-corporate atmosphere and a healthy economy are what matters. Is the “common man” also hyper-conscious in his racism? That probably depends on the individual. But the everyman might view himself differently than someone like David Duke.
Dog-whistle politics helps to further very specific goals while appealing to a broader base. It helped Donald Trump out immensely during the campaign trail, who combined dog-whistle language with open bigotry. He constantly invoked the danger of Mexican immigrants, essentially claiming they were inclined to commit various criminal offenses, and that they were taking jobs away from American citizens.
Not to mention, he exploited the existence of ISIS to further prejudice against Muslim Americans. Any way you slice it, Donald Trump is a bigot that appeals to bigots. Living in the land of laughable deniability doesn’t change that. Even though the act of denial helps to feed dog-whistle political maneuvering, it’s still the same old racist bag. Well, maybe not quite the same old bag. Once the behavior is normalized enough, “the economy” won’t be used as vague pretext. Maybe an even thinner pretext will be used in the not-too-distant future. “I feel like I’m a bit crowded, let’s just get ’em outta here. I’m not racist, not by a long shot. I just like to spread out, having a little leg room. Nothing wrong with that. That’s 100% American.”
Someone blow the whistle on this guy already.