Friday night, Hillary Clinton asserted that about half of Trump’s supporters were not persuadable because Trump appeals to and amplifies their racist, xenophobic, sexist, Islamaphobic, and anti-Semitic viewpoints.
The Trump campaign quickly condemned the comment, saying that Clinton should apologize. And Clinton did respond that she regretted saying “half”. But is it true that Trump is trying to appeal to the base instincts of racism, bigotry, and xenophobia in this country?
Well, on the very same day, Donald Trump claimed:
I think this will be the last election that the Republicans have a chance of winning because you’re going to have people flowing across the border, you’re going to have illegal immigrants coming in and they’re going to be legalized and they’re going to be able to vote, and once that all happens, you can forget it.
Again, on the same day, Trump advisor Michele Bachmann at the Values Voter Summit was saying the same things only with added racism and xenophobia:
If you look at the numbers of people who vote and who live in the country and who Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton want to bring in to the country, this is the last election when we even have a chance to vote for somebody who will stand up for godly moral principles. This is it.
If Trump isn’t purposely appealing to racists and xenophobes, why do he and his surrogates keep saying things like that?
There is plenty more evidence. On Saturday, there was a press event hosted by a white nationalist group that spoke appreciatively of the Trump campaign because it has given them a higher profile. And last week, former KKK leader David Duke did robo-calling encouraging people to vote for Trump.
Just look at the people Trump has on his campaign. He hired Stephen Bannon of Breitbart News as his campaign CEO, a major advocate for the alt-right movement who has made anti-gay slurs, insulted the Catholic church, and was charged in a domestic violence case. And his campaign manager, who called for Clinton to apologize for insulting Trump’s supporters, when she was working for Ted Cruz, called Trump’s supporters “downright nasty” and “skeeze”.
To borrow a quote, maybe not all Trump supporters are racists and bigots, but the vast majority of racists and bigots are Trump supporters. Maybe not half, but more or less. Probably bloody close.
Let’s look at what we do know. 76% of Trump supporters want to ban Muslims from entering the US. 40% say that blacks are more violent, more criminal, lazier, and ruder than whites. 59% believe that Barack Obama was not born in the US and 87% think he is not a Christian. And we don’t have room to discuss Trump’s sexism.
Also published on Medium.