The continued support for a man who says the things that Donald Trump says is getting depressing. Way back in June, he announced that he would be running for POTUS and – on that very day – claimed that Mexico sends rapists to plague the US. It was our first go-around with this whole Donald Trump is going to say a lot racist stuff thing so I guess we considered it a blip on the radar.
There was a little bit of backlash and big businesses severed their ties with Trump. But something strange happened. He started rising in the polls and he hasn’t looked back. The frightening thing is that – no matter how many ethnic minorities he insults on an almost daily basis – his blindfolded fans rejoice. It makes no sense. He says something totally insane and the next day his poll numbers go up.
Trump showed up on Fox News yesterday morning – and apparently just wants to see if he can top himself – because he basically promised to commit war crimes when he becomes President. Trumps said that “we’re fighting a very politically correct war” against ISIS and that it’s a mistake. “You have to take out their families.” He said that three times. “You have to take out their families.” What in the world is going on here?
But don’t worry. Murdering presumably innocent women and children isn’t his only plan to deal with ISIS.
“I would bomb the shit out of them.” Crowd goes wild. “I would just bomb those suckers. And that’s right, I’d blow up the pipes; I’d blow up the refineries; I’d blow up every single inch. There would be nothing left. And you know what, you’ll get Exxon to come in there, and in two months, you ever see these guys? How good they are, the great oil companies? They’ll rebuild that sucker brand new. And I’ll take the oil.”
Not enough for you? At a rally in Ohio last week, he confirmed that he would bring back waterboarding – a form of water torture in which water is poured over a cloth covering the face and breathing passages of an immobilized captive, causing the individual to experience the sensation of drowning. “You bet your ass, in a heartbeat.”
Of course, a Senate Intelligence Committee report released last year found that harsh interrogation techniques used by the Bush Administration had failed. Trump calls BS. “Only a stupid person would say it doesn’t work. If it doesn’t work, they deserve it anyway for what they’re doing to us.”
My assumption is “they” are Muslims…or Latino immigrants…or African-Americans…or Syrian refugees…
The thing is, Trump’s rally crowds can’t get enough of this nonsense. On Monday, a man in a Georgia crowd yelled that Obama was a “dumbass.” Trump ate this up and said, “I didn’t say it, I didn’t say it.” Then he told the guy to “go ahead, say it again – louder.” The guy did.
Threatening rhetoric not your bag? How about blatant attempts to deceive the public?
Last weekend Trump’s campaign announced that 100 black preachers would publicly endorse him at a press conference. Of course, it didn’t take long to clear up the fact these 100 preachers willing to endorse him don’t exist so the press conference was quickly cancelled. Trump’s move? Blame the Black Lives Matter movement for intimidating the preachers ready to endorse him. This backfired when some preachers found their names on an event flier although they had never agreed to come. Corletta J. Vaughn, the senior pastor of the Holy Spirit Cathedral of Faith, in Detroit, told the Times, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” When she saw herself listed as an attendee, Vaughn thought, “That would kill me. My constituency would murder me. There is no way in the world I can do that.”
Finally, Trump settled for a private meeting at Trump Tower with a smaller number of preachers and declared there had been “great love in the room” and “many, many endorsements” of his candidacy.
The preachers said it didn’t quite go down that way. They said what actually happened is that some endorsement cards were thrown their way. Then Trump aides pressured them – unsuccessfully – to sign them. Others weren’t thrilled with Trump’s remarks about Black Lives Matter movement. Trump didn’t apologize for it. Shocking I know.
The whole thing fit perfectly into Trump’s campaign so far – it was really odd. These days you won’t find too many African-Americans voting for a Republican at all, let alone a Republican like Trump, who has built his campaign on the white working-class and is garnering support from white supremacists.
The longer his campaign goes, the tougher it is argue that Trump isn’t racist. The day after his supporters punched and kicked a black protester – who Trump ordered to be ejected from the rally – he retweeted a disturbing image of an armed black man draped over a chart of totally fictional murder stats. The tweet claimed that 81% of white murder victims in the US in 2015 were killed by blacks. It’s actually 15% according to the FBI. Unsurprisingly, there were more incredibly wrong numbers on the chart. Want to know the source of these racist statistics? Ever heard of the Crime Statistics Bureau – San Francisco? No, you haven’t, because it doesn’t exist. The chart was eventually traced to a British neo-Nazi Twitter stream featuring a swastika and words of praise for “the Austrian chap with the little mustache.”
Did Trump take responsibility for retweeting this nonsense? Hahaha. Of course he didn’t. He told Bill O’Reilly that it was from “very credible” sources, and that he is too busy to check every statistic. Maybe that’s true but he hasn’t given any of us a reason to believe him.