Readers know that I hold no brief for Donald Trump, whom I view as a media-created Big Government demagogue, whose politics have half-tones of both Left and Right ideology, but whose dominant top-note is pure self-interest. The fact that I dislike Trump, though, does not mean that I dislike or disrespect the majority Americans who support him. I understand the frustration driving them, although I believe that they’ve put their faith in a false Messiah. Few things, therefore, make me go more ballistic than having Leftists smugly claim that the majority of Trump supporters are racist white men.
It’s true that the majority of Trump supporters are white men, although a lot of other people support him too. But about that racist bit? Let’s dig into that more deeply, because it’s a slander by which Leftists manage to avoid looking at their own appalling racism.
Let’s start with racism on the Right side of America’s political spectrum because the media and academia are so excited about tracking it. It’s true that there are small pockets of old-fashioned white supremacists still wandering around America. These are people who openly express their belief that any racial or religious groups other than white Christians are inferior and should be isolated, banished, or even killed.
Thankfully, in addition to being disgusting in attitude, these white supremacists are small in number. Out of an American population of roughly 318,000,000, the high estimate for “hate groups” is only 892 such groups. This number comes from the Southern Poverty Law Center which memorably, and entirely inaccurately, characterized the entire Tea Party movement as a “hate” group.
While it loves counting “hate” groups, the SPLC is coy about how big these groups are. I’d be very surprised if any of the listed groups boasted a thousand active members. I suspect most have a few hundred at best. Still, even if you assume that high of 1,000 active members, you’re still looking at fewer than 1,000,000 hardcore, old-fashioned KKK-type racists — or less than three-tenths of one percent of the American population.
The Left likes to claim that these groups vote Republican because Republican candidates keep “dog whistling” racism. This is a ludicrous claim to make given that the field, before being winnowed down, had blacks, East Asians, and Hispanics. It’s the Democrats who have no one to offer other than old white people. Still, the Democrats sneeringly ask, if Republicans aren’t selling racism, why do the David Duke’s of this world vote Republican? You have to go back a few decades to figure out the story.
Once upon a time, right up until the early 1960s, the Democrat Party was the openly racist party (more on that later). However, when the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and LBJ’s electoral strategy (more on that later too) meant that the Democrat Party started courting blacks, rather than actively discriminating against them, the white supremacist groups needed to find a new political home.
After 1964, government could no longer be the supremacists’ ally — and do remember that it was Southern government that gave Jim Crow its control in the South. The supremacists therefore concluded that their best bet was small government. They reasoned that small government would mean less welfare, and less welfare would harm the black population (I’ll get to that later, too). That’s why so many such groups came out of the woodwork when Ronald Reagan was elected — and became even more excited when Ron Paul, a solid libertarian, tied himself to the Republican party. With white supremacists having discovered the virtues of limited government, the Republican Party unwillingly had its minute population of fringe racists and the Democrats had their narrative: “Republicans are racist.”
What’s really funny, of course, is that the really racist political party in America is the Democrat Party. Worse, among Democrats, the racism isn’t confined to a minute fringe (less than 3/10 of 1% out of the American population) as the case with the Republicans. Instead, institutional racism is front and center in every Democrat Party policy.