Are Trump supporters racist? By abandoning both facts and logic, That Atlantic claims Trump is a neo-Nazi, so his supporters must be racists too.
My Progressive friends have been on fire this holiday weekend, posting all sorts of articles from anti-Trump mainstream media publications. When I wasn’t cooking, eating, or stuporously digesting, I glanced through a few of them. It would take too much time to fisk them all because, as is the case with Ruth Bader Ginsburg decisions, they are all long, long articles, with the MSM manifestly hoping that length, repetition, and partisan fervor will hide warped facts and contorted logic.
Just for the heck of it, though, I’ve fisked one of the The Atlantic’s latest offerings because it overflows with outrageous assumptions and arguments. In The Nationalist’s Delusion, the author, Adam Serwer (or, as I came to think of him, Adam Sewer) promises to prove to us that “Trump’s supporters backed a time-honored American political tradition, disavowing racism while promising to enact a broad agenda of discrimination.” Well, with that agenda, how could I stop myself from seeing what it takes to make good on that promise?
The article starts with an endless riff about the Louisiana voters who once elected David Duke to Congress. The riff wraps up with Trump’s long-ago prediction that voter anger at Bush Sr.’s weak economy would lose voters to a hypothetical “Duke for President” run or a real Pat Buchanan run. Serwer’s logic is (1) Duke once won a Louisiana seat in Congress and (2) Trump explained why he thought Duke won, therefore (3) Trump is a neo-Nazi. Reading that syllogism, all I can think of is the Professor’s oft-repeated complaint in C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe: “Why don’t they teach logic at these schools?” Whatever school Serwer attended clearly failed the Professor’s test.
In the face of Serwer’s syllogism, which is ridiculous on its face, it’s important to follow-up by reading Serwer’s own effort at summarizing what Trump actually said. Trump’s words had nothing to do with white supremacism:
A few days after Duke’s strong showing, the Queens-born businessman Donald Trump appeared on CNN’s Larry King Live.
“It’s anger. I mean, that’s an anger vote. People are angry about what’s happened. People are angry about the jobs. If you look at Louisiana, they’re really in deep trouble,” Trump told King.
Trump later predicted that Duke, if he ran for president, would siphon most of his votes away from the incumbent, George H. W. Bush—in the process revealing his own understanding of the effectiveness of white-nationalist appeals to the GOP base.
“Whether that be good or bad, David Duke is going to get a lot of votes. Pat Buchanan—who really has many of the same theories, except it’s in a better package—Pat Buchanan is going to take a lot of votes away from George Bush,” Trump said. “So if you have these two guys running, or even one of them running, I think George Bush could be in big trouble.” Little more than a year later, Buchanan embarrassed Bush by drawing 37 percent of the vote in New Hampshire’s Republican primary.
In February 2016, Trump was asked by a different CNN host about the former Klan leader’s endorsement of his Republican presidential bid.
“Well, just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke. Okay?,” Trump said. “I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. So I don’t know.”
Serwer concludes that Trump revealed “his own understanding of the effectiveness of white-nationalist appeals to the GOP base.” My read on the above is that Trump learned that, if the political class betrays its trust, there is an opening for a new candidate — any new candidate, not just a white nationalist.
To Sewer, er, Serwer, it’s neo-Nazis all the way down. Thus, having duly established (to his own satisfaction) that Republicans are Nazis because Trump supported Duke’s white supremacism, Serwer offers a paragraph manifestly intended to tie modern-day Trump supporters to Duke and, by association, to all Nazis:
During the final few weeks of the campaign, I asked dozens of Trump supporters about their candidate’s remarks regarding Muslims and people of color. I wanted to understand how these average Republicans—those who would never read the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer or go to a Klan rally at a Confederate statue—had nevertheless embraced someone who demonized religious and ethnic minorities. What I found was that Trump embodied his supporters’ most profound beliefs—combining an insistence that discriminatory policies were necessary with vehement denials that his policies would discriminate and absolute outrage that the question would even be asked.
The rest of the article hangs together only if one accepts a fundamental Progressive premise — namely, that laws and regulations giving preference to one race, religion, sex, etc., over another are not discriminatory, while laws and regulations that apply equally to all people, regardless of race, religion, sex., etc., are discriminatory. One also needs to accept that facts mean nothing.
It’s in this cloud cuckoo land, where treating all people equally under the law proves racism, that Serwer travels blithely from one perverse armchair analysis of Trump’s supporters to another. There we are, splayed before him as credulous fools, unable to understand that a candidate who trained at David Duke’s feet (for that’s what must have happened when Trump accurately observed that a betrayed citizenry will look elsewhere for political succor) was taking advantage of our pathetic fears to turn us into a new class of brown shirts. And of course, unlike those peaceful Antifa protesters, we are rage filled:
It was not just Trump’s supporters who were in denial about what they were voting for, but Americans across the political spectrum, who, as had been the case with those who had backed Duke, searched desperately for any alternative explanation—outsourcing, anti-Washington anger, economic anxiety—to the one staring them in the face. The frequent postelection media expeditions to Trump country to see whether the fever has broken, or whether Trump’s most ardent supporters have changed their minds, are a direct outgrowth of this mistake. These supporters will not change their minds, because this is what they always wanted: a president who embodies the rage they feel toward those they hate and fear, while reassuring them that that rage is nothing to be ashamed of.
By the way, when Serwer wrote the above paragraph, which comes about a quarter of the way into the article, he had yet to name a single racist word or act from Trump. As far as Serwer is concerned, Trump’s “support” for Duke said it all.
Only after a faulty syllogism to make an impossibly tenuous connection between Trump and a regional hater does Serwer see fit to offer his “proof” that Trump and his supporters are, in fact, racists themselves. Exhibit A is Pam, a customer-care worker who says, “I believe that everybody has a right to be in the United States no matter what your color, no matter what your race, your religion, what sex you prefer to be with, so I’m not against that at all, but I think that some of us just say racial statements without even thinking about it.”
Notice that Serwer doesn’t tell us what “racial statements” Pam is talking about. We’re left to imagine that this open-minded lady who fully understands the Constitution’s American promise is likely to throw randomly into her conversation distasteful terms such as kikes, spics, niggers, and all sorts of other ugly racial stuff.
Or maybe Pam is just guilty of using all those dog whistle terms we’re so often warned against if we’re not card-carrying Progressives (who do have permission to use those dog-whistle terms). You know the Progressives I mean, don’t you? People such as Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, John Conyers, Bill Clinton, Harry Reid (who loved that Obama was “light-skinned” and didn’t speak like a “negro”), and Joe Biden (who was equally impressed by the fact that Obama, although black, was “articulate and bright and clean”).
My guess is that Pam probably has come to understand that, in Serwer’s PC-language police state, you’re a racist when you point out that the world’s Muslims have a substantial sub-group that acts upon Mohamed’s words to kill infidels. Or you’re a racist when you point out that uncontrolled immigration into America denies our country the right every country has to try to weed out incipient criminals rather than allow them entry. Or you’re a racist when you use a word such as “thug,” because in the minds of those hollering “dog whistle,” that word, if found in a thesaurus, would have “black man” as a proposed alternative. (And who’s the real racist who, when hearing the Indian subcontinent word “thug” automatically thinks of African-Americans? It’s not me.)
Pam knows that when the Progressive word-crimes people dictate what can be said in America, if you’re foolish enough to disagree with them politically, any word, phrase, or argument you use to support your position on points of political dispute is proof that you are a racist. (If only all word crimes were as simple as this.) Indeed, Serwer perfectly demonstrates the Orwellian nature of the PC-police, making statements that sound superficially correct but that bear no relationship to either the facts on the ground or the meaning of the words themselves (emphasis mine):
Far more numerous and powerful than the extremists in Berkeley and Charlottesville who have drawn headlines since Trump’s election, these Americans, who would never think of themselves as possessing racial animus, voted for a candidate whose ideal vision of America excludes millions of fellow citizens because of their race or religion.
So what proof do we have for the claim that Trump’s vision of American excludes millions of “fellow citizens” based upon race and religion? Glad you asked, because Serwer’s answer is something to behold:
But other campaign promises have been more faithfully enacted: his ban on travelers from Muslim-majority countries; the unleashing of immigration-enforcement agencies against anyone in the country illegally regardless of whether he poses a danger; an attempt to cut legal immigration in half; and an abdication of the Justice Department’s constitutional responsibility to protect black Americans from corrupt or abusive police, discriminatory financial practices, and voter suppression. In his own stumbling manner, Trump has pursued the race-based agenda promoted during his campaign. As the president continues to pursue a program that places the social and political hegemony of white Christians at its core, his supporters have shown few signs of abandoning him.
Let’s break that remarkable paragraph down.
1. “his ban on travelers from Muslim-majority countries” — (1) If they’re people coming from Muslim-majority countries, they’re not “fellow citizens.” (2) The ban is not on “travelers from Muslim-majority countries. It’s a ban on citizens from terror exporting countries as identified by the Obama administration. (3) The ban was explicitly temporary so that the new administration could analyze America’s security situation. So Serwer is saying that it’s racist to put a temporary halt to importing non-citizens from terrorist regions. Whatever else that policy is, it’s not racist.
2. “the unleashing of immigration-enforcement agencies against anyone in the country illegally regardless of whether he poses a danger” — (1) If these people are in the country illegally, they’re not “fellow citizens.” (2) By being here illegally, they’re law breakers, so Serwer is arguing against enforcing properly enacted American law. (3) According to the Progressive’s own flagship paper (that would be the New York Times, discussing a rounded-up rapist), the Trump administration is in fact only going after people with criminal records, which sort of raises the presumption that they’re dangerous.
3. “an abdication of the Justice Department’s constitutional responsibility to protect black Americans from corrupt or abusive police, discriminatory financial practices, and voter suppression” — I don’t even know what Serwer is talking about here. I presume he means that the Justice Department is no longer extending carte blanche to the New Black Panthers or applying a presumption of racist guilt to police.
Perhaps the Justice Department has learned from experience, since facts have proven that the larger number of BLM martyrs were engaging in behavior vis-a-vis the police that tends to turn out badly. I don’t need to hunt for bizarre, fringe examples to prove my point. Instead, I need only go to the Progressives’ much-touted examples of alleged attacks on blacks: We learned that Trayvon Martin was a drug-using thug who tried to kill George Zimmerman by bashing the latter’s head into the pavement; that Michael Brown, a strong-arm robber, rather than putting his hands up, was trying to steal a police officer’s gun; and that all six police officers accused in the Freddie Gray case have walked because, even by Baltimore standards, they did not commit a crime.
4. “Trump has pursued the race-based agenda promoted during his campaign” — if the above examples are intended to prove that Trump has a race-based agenda, Serwer has signally failed to make his case.
5. “As the president continues to pursue a program that places the social and political hegemony of white Christians at its core, his supporters have shown few signs of abandoning him” — The only nasty “-ism” I’m seeing here is Serwer’s manifest hostility to whites and Christians.
So far, Serwer hasn’t proved any racism, in fact or intent. There are just baseless calumnies against a president who is respecting America’s laws.
Perhaps realizing that he needs to shore up his case, Serwer reaches back to 1973, when the Department of Justice went after Trump Management for violating the Fair Housing Act of 1968 because it allegedly prevented blacks from becoming tenants in Brooklyn buildings. Trump vociferously denied the charges. Indeed, Trump Management, represented by the uber-aggressive Roy Cohn, sued the government for raising baseless charges.
To support its own case, Trump Management made a claim that will be familiar to many business that found themselves on the receiving end of claims by Eric Holder’s rapacious Justice Department or the greedy, unaccountable CFPB. Thus, the Times states:
“Mr. Trump accused the Justice Department of singling out his corporation because it was a large one, and because the government was trying to force it to rent to welfare recipients,” The Times reported.
Eventually, because no one has the funds to fight the government indefinitely, Trump Management reached a settlement with the Justice Department, although it claimed its innocence to the end.
Unlike our friends (ahem) on the Left, I do not consider accusation to be the same as conviction — especially a 44-year-old accusation that the accused has always denied.
The next evidence against Trump, according to Serwer, is his claim that, in 1989, Trump “suggested” (Serwer’s word, not mine) that the Central Park Five, who were found guilty of brutally raping a jogger should be executed. “Suggested” is too generous. Trump said nothing about the Central Park Five (or their race), either implicitly or explicitly.
Instead, Trump wrote ““Muggers and murderers should be forced to suffer and, when they kill, they should be executed for their crimes.” In other words, Trump was reciting the law in most jurisdictions, which is that aggravated assault that ends in death is a basis for capital punishment. In this case, the Central Park jogger survived, so Trump’s assertion of the law was irrelevant to the case.
Those with dog whistle ears, though, such as Serwer, assure us that “it was clear to anyone in the city that he was referring” to the black and Hispanic Central Park Five.
Lastly, we’re told that Trump was a Birther. That is, he found disturbing the fact that a presidential candidate (who then became president) refused to show proof that he met one of the few Constitutional requirements for a president: being born in the United States. Obama’s absolute refusal to make the certificate public was perplexing to say the least. Eventually, he allowed one reporter to see it and produced a layered PDF that could not have been scanned from an original birth certificate. Hmmm.
I’ve long had my own theory about Obama’s birth certificate. I believe that he was born in Hawaii. However, I think that, in the late 1970s, when the Supreme Court temporarily did away with the affirmative action he’d been counting on to get to college, he decided to pretend to Kenyan birth in order to be admitted as an exotic exchange student. That’s why in the early years of his writing career, his agent was still touting him as Kenyan. Obama could not let either the birth certificate or his transcripts leak out lest the one contradict the other. It was safer to deny and hide everything.
Those of us who felt Obama was playing a shell game with his birth certificate, for whatever reason, are willing to forgive someone who reached a logical, even if incorrect, conclusion about something that had the look and smell of a con.
There is a significant hole when it comes to Serwer’s cursory delving into Trump’s past. The fact is that, as long as he was a Democrat (i.e, a big Democrat donor), the past was meaningless (and that’s assuming, solely for the sake of argument, that the above allegations are prima facie evidence that Trump has always been a racist). Significantly Serwer completely omits this from his narrative:
Having proven nothing at all about Trump’s alleged anti-black animus, Serwer pivots right back to illegal immigrants and Muslim terrorists and blacks in slums:
Trump began his candidacy with a speech announcing that undocumented immigrants from Mexico were “bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” And “some,” he said, were “good people.” To keep them out, he proposed building a wall and humiliating Mexico for its citizens’ transgressions by forcing their government to pay for it. He vowed to ban Muslims from entering the United States. Amid heightened attention to fatal police shootings of unarmed black people and a subsequent cry for accountability, Trump decried a “war on police” while telling black Americans they lived in “war zones,” in communities that were in “the worst shape they’ve ever been in”—a remarkable claim to make in a country that once subjected black people to chattel slavery and Jim Crow.
Again, the above fails utterly to prove Serwer’s point. Regarding illegal aliens (whom Serwer ingenuously calls “undocumented immigrants,” as if they merely left their travel papers on the piano when they strolled across the border), Trump had nary a word to say about Hispanics as a race or a culture. And Trump most certainly does not make the mistake of identifying them as “fellow citizens.” Instead, in simple language, Trump pointed out accurately enough that, often with the Mexican government’s connivance, there are bad actors amongst the hordes of illegal aliens Obama encouraged to cross into America.
Regarding those Muslims, again, they are not “fellow citizens.” Trump was not pointing to Dearborn when he talked about Muslim immigration. As his subsequent executive order proved, Trump was speaking at all times of Muslims from terror exporting countries. After all, any half sentient being — which, I guess, excludes Sewer, er, Serwer — must have noticed that, whether in America, Europe, Africa, the Indian Subcontinent, the vast Russian nation, the Middle East, or Australia, Muslim immigrants (and, often, their children) have been doing very naughty things with bombs, guns, knives, planes, cars, and trucks.
Finally, I laughed out loud over the last sentence in the above-quoted paragraph. I’ll repeat it here: “Trump decried a ‘war on police’ while telling black Americans they lived in ‘war zones,’ in communities that were in ‘the worst shape they’ve ever been in’—a remarkable claim to make in a country that once subjected black people to chattel slavery and Jim Crow.”
The irony isn’t that blacks themselves have called the inner city ghettos in which they’re trapped “war zones.” The real irony is Serwer’s un-ironic reference to the Jim Crow era. After all, both the deadly inner cities and the Jim Crow south drew (and draw) their political strength and legislative power from Democrats. It’s no coincidence that when the American South abandoned Jim Crow to become one of the most racially harmonious regions in America, it also abandoned the Democrat party for the party of Lincoln, the party of abolition, and the party of equal rights — that is, the South went Republican.
Serwer’s article goes on and on, with the same mixture of disingenously stated mis-leading facts and unsupported conclusions. It’s boring, as this post is becoming. The takeaway after plowing through only half of the article is that Serwer is intellectually dishonest in the extreme. He’s also a cultist who is incapable of understanding facts on their face, but must always interpret them doctrinally.
Progressive indoctrination holds that the one true faith requires that we divide our nation by race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, with a into a constantly shifting hierarchy of victimization amongst these groups. To demand, instead, that we treat all Americans as equal individuals is, to the Progressive, the very definition of racism. No wonder then, that Sewer’s Orwellian piece insists that Trump is a racist for respecting America’s Constitution and laws and for trying to raise up all American citizens or legal immigrants by freeing America’s economy and securing her borders — and that, for embracing these policies, Trump’s supporters are racists too.