I hesitate at length before calling someone a racist until they prove it fairly clearly on themselves. That's why I wish I were more insightful, but I have no idea what percentage of what he says Donald Trump believes. I'm certain that he sees himself as an entertainer and, as a megalomaniacal egotist, he probably is fine lying and saying whatever is necessary if it gets him big crowds and high poll numbers. Do whatever you need to close the deal. And there's a difference being a racist and "just" pandering to racists, saying what they want to hear even if you don't believe it yourself. On the other hand, I have a hard time accepting that someone who isn't a racist could keep saying what he so dangerously does without being physically and emotionally unable to continue speaking those words, no matter how self-absorbed..
In the end, I suspect that Donald Trump isn't the virulent racist he appears, since not even a hint of it has bubbled to the surface before, only the case-study, unbridled ego. I think a huge part of this is, in fact, that he really is that pathologically egotistic that he needs to feed the hate-filled crowd. But -- if one panders that much to racists and thinks it's acceptable, then that alone is racist, and there likely is more in there, too. I have no idea if this is the truth, but I'm okay accepting parts of both arguments are true.
And so, for all my hesitancy, I think Donald Trump has proved being a racist on himself. He may not be to the degree it appears (though who knows?), but being less of a racist than a venomous racist is not really a great calling card. For anyone. And really not for a presidential candidate.
It's gotten to the level where it's now near impossible to discuss "the latest" when it comes to Donald Trump's racist panderings because it just keeps pouring out of him, almost more so in a fevered-pitch way as he's maneuvered himself into a corner and has to feed the beast as it grows out of control.
But "the latest" to me which leaps out most viscerally is his tweet sent on Monday that quoted the "Crime Statistics Bureau -- San Francisco." I'm not going to re-post the thing because I refuse to give it credence, though you can read an in-depth look into it here and see a couple of images in a very good story from Raw Story. The short version is that he sent out a chart with the image of a scary-looking armed black man that accompanied statistics about how many white people are killed by blacks. And included more shooting statistics by blacks. But inflammatory as that is, it's not what's so harmful and racist. Here's the thing --
As far as anyone can tell, the organization does not even exist. No reporters have yet been able to find any records of it. And further, actual FBI statistics show that the real numbers are overwhelmingly different, to the degree of being almost polar opposite. And worse still -- yes, I know, difficult as that would appear --, the original source of the "chart" was tracked back to a person with a Twitter account that uses a neo-Nazi symbol as its avatar.
And yes, this was sent out from someone asking you to support him as President of the United States. It seems like the only thing truly worth supporting Donald Trump for is extradition back to his home in Hell.
One would think or hope or expect that most anyone, but especially a presidential candidate would have his staff do at least the most basic of due diligence for anything they release, but especially something so incendiary and track down simple, actual sources before making pronouncements. That said, Donald Trump does have a history of this sort of thing, not long ago holding a supposed "fundraiser" for a supposed veterans group that turned out not to really exist, but was just one guy with a shady past.
But then, anyone who tweets out a chart and graphic about how scary and dangerous black people are -- anyone, not just presidential candidates -- is not really interested in due diligence and accuracy, but just interested in scaring the fearful in as racist a way as possible.
And this is only just one of "the latest." We aren't even getting into the "Black Lives Matter" protester who was beaten up at a Trump rally, and not only did Donald Trump not condemn the beating, but later he went on "Fox News" to say that from what he was told the guy probably deserved it.
As I've said previously, when it comes time to casting actual ballots, I don't think Donald Trump will get the Republican nomination, though I don't discount it. The problem here isn't that, though. It's something else and two-fold.
First, the problem is that his GOP competitors are so craven that they haven't seized the opportunity to slam Donald Trump in the most outraged, damning way possible. You'd think it would be really easy to do. Most, however, have not only not been outraged, they've been silent. This only gives credence to the racist attacks. And it speaks horrifically about the leadership of the mainstream Republican Party.
The second problem is that whether or not Donald Trump becomes the Republican nominee, he is building up a racist, hate-filled segment of the Republican Party and giving it a voice and substance. And I can only imagine that he and it will only continue, if not get worse.
Ultimately, I suspect that, even in the Republican Party, the lies and angst-filled hate speech will become too unsupportable in the larger areas of the GOP and implode on itself. But unless the Republican Party does something far more substantive right now to respond the to racism, they are ripping apart their party for the future. And if they can't do something about it right now, that speaks gallingly horribly about the Republican Party.
Unfortunately, as I've noted before, this is a bed they have been building for themselves for far too long. And that make it all the more difficiult. And necessary.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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