Democrats are boldly asserting that Trump is not only a racist but a white supremacist. They are latching on to this new narrative with gusto, convinced that this is their golden ticket to the presidency. It is their new, shiny silver bullet — the one they have been searching for since 2016.
At least eight of the leading candidates for the 2020 Democratic Party nomination for president have publicly called Trump racist, including senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) , as well as former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Former vice president Joe Biden, one of the most moderate, has hinted at it. He told reporters at the Iowa State Fair last Thursday: “Everything the president says encourages white supremacy, and I’m not sure there is much of a distinction.”
Sanders told CNN’s Jake Tapper last Sunday, after the second mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio: “Look, and it gives me no pleasure to say this, but I think all of the evidence out there suggests that we have a president who is a racist, who is a xenophobe, who appeals and is trying to appeal to white nationalism. And, you know, it breaks my heart to have to say that this is the person we have who is president of the United States.”
“The actual politics of being thought of as a racist are devastating in swing counties” said Nicole Wallace, host of Deadline White House on MSNBC. She was discussing the strategy last Saturday with Ben Rhodes, former deputy national security adviser to former president Barack Obama, noting that with suburban women in places like Lake County, Ohio, racism was not a way to victory.
Washington Post Reporter Philip Rucker also weighed in telling Wallace: “This is a label that could stick for him. It could be defining in the 15 months between now and the election as voters sort of form their opinions about whether to give him another four years, this label of racist and racism, and so that’s the danger.”
Rhodes pointed to data unveiled by FBI Director Christopher Wray showing that white supremacy is the leading cause of terrorism in the US. Last month Wray told Congress the bureau has made about 100 domestic terrorism arrests this year and a “majority” of those cases have been related to white supremacy.
“The number one threat to the American people right now in terms of their personal security is the threat from white supremacist terrorism. That’s not just my view, that’s apparently the view of the director of the FBI,” said Rhodes. He urged Democrats to connect Trump to guns, Russia and white supremacy.
Democrats seized the August 3 mass shooting in Texas to brand Trump and his supporters as white supremacists. A gunman, Patrick Crusius, who wrote a manifesto filled with hatred toward immigrants, killed 22 people at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas. They say Crusius mimicked the president’s language, warning about a “Hispanic invasion” of the United States.
Last Monday Obama pounced on Trump in a posting to his Twitter account regarding the massacre:
“We should soundly reject language coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders that feeds a climate of fear and hatred and normalizes racist sentiments; leaders who demonize those who don’t look like us, or suggest that other people, including immigrants, threaten our way of life, or refer to other people as sub-human, or imply that America belongs to just one certain type of people.”
The media is partnering with Democrats to push this branding strategy. Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker wrote on July 19, “Those who don’t condemn Trump’s racism are complicit in his bigotry.” It reflected the view of the media establishment which now liberally uses the word ‘racist’ in their newscasts in reference to the president.
Last month late-night hosts jumped on board to amplify the Democrats’ new rallying cry. Comedy Central’s Daily Show host Trevor Noah said, “Yes, he’s racist.” Not “racially charged” or another euphemism.
NBC’s Seth Meyers said Trump’s tweet calling Elijah Cumming’s district “a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” was “another racist outburst from a racist president.”
The danger for Democrats is they may alienate more moderate voters with their exuberant campaign to label the president with what Wallace declared the ”worst” name one could be called. Given the party’s flirtation with anti-Semitism, are they throwing stones from a glass house?