Thursday, March 30, 2017

All that's left is white nationalism

As Trump's proposals turn out to be grift for the 1%,  Nancy LeTourneau points out how Trump's economic policy is bound to hurt his rural, poorly educated white supporters.  The ACA repeal will throw tens of millions out of health coverage.  The EPA retreat will leave them drinking dirty water and exposed to chemicals.  The coal jobs aren't coming back, regardless.  And don't even get us started on the effect of climate change.
The truth is that Trump’s economic populism consists of promises based on lies. But there is one arena of his populism that is actually moving forward – albeit in fits and starts. That is his appeal to xenophobia. .... 
In this country, the Trump administration’s deportation force is sending undocumented immigrants farther underground. As was predicted, victims of crime now fear reporting it to law enforcement and children are being pulled out of free lunch programs at school for fear of being deported. AG Sessions is planning to pull federal funding from so-called “sanctuary cities,” and has broadcast that he will no longer pursue police brutality investigations. 
To the extent that these kinds of activities address the concerns of Trump’s base of support among white working class Americans, his populism is solely based on what many of us assumed it would be all along…white nationalism. The only question is when and if any of his supporters who thought his presidency would be about anything else will catch on.
Will they catch on?  Will they care?  I firmly believe that as long as it is THOSE PEOPLE being targeted--the poor, the brown, the Muslims, the gays, the ones NOT LIKE US, that Trump's supporters will still make excuses. As long as THOSE PEOPLE have it worse, they will suck it up.

 The New York Times went to Iowa to see what the reaction there was to the blatantly racist comments of their representative Steve King.
His latest anti-immigrant tirade — “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies,” he said — once again drew wide condemnation and critical attention to Iowa’s Fourth Congressional District, whose voters overwhelmingly re-elected him to an eighth term in November.
And yes, the Times easily found people who were uncomfortable with King's comments....but he has't changed his spots, and they keep voting for him.  So frankly they seem more uncomfortable that the unspoken is out in the open:
Mr. King has survived past denunciations: Last year, he drew a rare primary challenger, who accused him of being so toxic that his name on a bill rendered it “dead on arrival.” But Mr. King won easily and went on to crush his Democratic opponent, Kim Weaver, an advocate for the elderly.
So, sure, they can look embarrassed about him. But they keep voting for him.  And then there's this :
[T]here are plenty who don’t seem to quibble much with Mr. King’s way of thinking.

Sitting at the Hardees in Orange City last week, Don Engeltjes, 76, said he agreed with Mr. King on the need to clamp down on immigration. He said he believed new arrivals were a drain on taxpayers’ money, lumping immigrants from Mexico in with those from the Muslim world. 
“It’s just handout, handout, handout,” he said. 
“But Don, your dad is an immigrant too,” another man piped up, noting that Mr. Engeltjes’s father, like many forebears of the district’s voters, had come over from Holland at age 9. 
“You bet he was,” Mr. Engeltjes replied. “But the way it’s going nowadays, man, they’re outproducing us. We’re going to be the minority in a few years.” 
Asked by a reporter who he meant by “we,” Mr. Engeltjes said: “The white people. The American people.”
I'm sure he thinks he's a God-fearing Christian. But let's remember that the Christian Right that so fervently embraces Trump has its roots deep in racism.  And they  have ripped off any pretense that they are driven otherwise.  Sarah Posner describes how Trumpism united with the Christian Right--and how the CR roots are deeply racist.
The movement was actually galvanized in the 1970s and early ’80s, when the IRS revoked the tax-exempt status of Bob Jones University and other conservative Christian schools that refused to admit nonwhites. It was the government’s actions against segregated schools, not the legalization of abortion, that “enraged the Christian community,” Moral Majority co-founder Paul Weyrich has acknowledged.
... evangelicals were much more likely to support banning Muslims from the United States, creating a database of Muslim citizens, and flying the Confederate flag at the state capitol. Thirty-eight percent of evangelicals told pollsters that they wished the South had won the Civil War—more than twice the number of nonevangelicals who held that view.
Racism is alive and well in this country. The bubble we've been living in, is to think that we had made progress.  All that they offer is nihilism and destruction, and by God they are going to destroy all that they can, while waving a cross above them.

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