Trump and the White Nationalists

So I tuned into Fox News last night to see how they were framing things. I assumed it would be much as Trump was–about extremism on “many” sides, and how Obama started this by refusing to condemn the Black Panthers and so on. The show I tuned into was Steve Hilton’s, the English populist’s, and his message was pretty much that Trump was ruining populism by refusing to condemn White Nationalism. Populism is a response to economic inequality, he said, and black people are the biggest victims of that. What we need is economic nationalism, not white nationalism. Populism must be multi-cultural. Etc. It made me wonder: will this be the face of Fox after Murdoch Sr. and Trump are out of the picture? It also made me realize how much Trump has squandered.

Had he done what he said he would–hit the ground running with a trillion dollar infrastructure program, shored up Social Security and Medicare, made health care cheaper and better, and started a trade war instead of outsourcing everything to Goldman Sachs and the Koch brothers, he would have redoubled his support among Democrats and Independents. As it stands now, the only policies that are uniquely his are the Wall and the Muslim ban–the rest is right wing Republican boilerplate. Islamophobes, racists, and anti-Semites who like David Duke may also like Trump more than they would someone like Pence, but it’s not like they would ever vote for a Democrat. Politically speaking, they don’t really bring him anything except the kind of tsuris that he opened himself up to this weekend.

I think the electoral map is so tough and the Democrats so divided that Trump will retain the Senate in 2018. If he doesn’t finish his term (and I don’t think he will), it’ll be because the Goldman Sachs wing of his own party decides that he is a liability. Had he built on the populism that he ran on, he might have become president-for-life.

2 thoughts on “Trump and the White Nationalists

  1. Arthur — I posted the following reply on Politico to a comment which claimed that our news media is hostile toward Trump because there are only 5 persons who own/control the U.S. media:

    1. First of all, no matter how many or how few people own major media outlets, that does NOT automatically translate (as you claim) into their alleged ability to control, through some sort of Jedi Mind Trick, what hundreds of their employees see and then report.

    2. With respect to the protestors and Trump’s interpretation:

    (a) Every syllable uttered by Trump was a conscious, deliberate lie.

    When Trump began his discussion by referring to “many people…” some reporter should have asked him what evidence he was using to make such a conclusion (aka what “facts” did he supposedly uncover about the beliefs and objectives of those “many people”)?

    This is the August 2017 equivalent of Trump saying in a previous year that he sent “investigators” to Hawaii to look into President Obama and we “would not believe what they are discovering”.

    (b) How could Trump possibly know what number OR what percentage of “good people” or “nice people” attended the Friday night protest event?


    *Did Trump talk to any of them?
    *Did he exchange Twitter messages or emails with any of them?
    *Was he personally at the event?
    *Did anybody from the White House staff attend and report back to Trump?

    (c) When a “peaceful protestor” decides to go to a meeting which is advertised BEFORE the event takes place as a “pro-white” event AND when that individual arrives at the event and notices that HUNDREDS of the participants are carrying bigoted signs or chanting anti-semitic or racist slogans — then, obviously, any person who decides to continue to attend such a meeting and lend their support to the “protesting” group is making a very personal statement regarding their own values and their own political beliefs.

    (d) There is a common pattern to Trump’s “debate” style. He uses lowest-common-denominator (LCD) “reasoning” and he then expects us to accept his fallacious predicates and conclusions.

    Let’s remind ourselves about how LCD reasoning proceeds:

    (1) all cats have four legs
    (2) all elephants have four legs
    (3) consequently, all cats must be elephants and vice-versa

    The self-evident logical defect here is that the number of legs on an animal is NOT the relevant distinguishing characteristic which enables us to make factual judgments.

    Similarly, Trump’s attempt to conflate “alt-right” with the “other side” (aka their opposition) totally misses the relevant point. As Winston Churchill famously said, we do not make the same moral or practical judgments between the fire and the fire brigade.

    The “fire” is the proximate cause which threatens the health or safety or well-being of the community while the “fire brigade” is the countervailing force which all decent people support in order to assure the continued existence and well-being of the larger community.

    The FACT that Trump does not recognize that basic MORAL distinction should not surprise us because, in the final analysis, Trump is an amoral, sick individual who has no capacity for empathy and no factual understanding of American history (see false equivalency he attempted to make between Robert E. Lee and Washington/Jefferson) and no capacity to acknowledge his personal fallibility. He brings shame and dishonor on himself, his family, his putuative political party and our country.

    I have written several times previously that Trump suffers from Narcisstic Personality Disorder. He measures everything in relation to how it enhances or diminishes his personal reputation or his self-image. As I also have pointed out, he will inevitably produce some kind of catastrophe for our nation because of his illness — so we need to be prepared for that inevitability.

  2. Beautifully put, Ernie. For me, the irony is that if Trump’s racism prompted him to say the wrong things Saturday, yesterday’s tantrum was all about his intolerance of criticism. It was all “I said very nice things and still the Fake Media doesn’t give me credit.” Me, me, me.

    Of course he’s a racist, but we have survived other racist presidents. What was on display yesterday was his personality disorder–and, while I’m no Ben Carson, also perhaps some of the damage (Alzheimers?) his frontal lobe has suffered. I wrote about this study years ago; I really wonder if it doesn’t shed some light on Trump.

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