I’m taking a page from the Trump playbook. I won’t be politically correct and give in to the PC police. I’ll just tell it like it is. Donald Trump is the voice for the Racist Right in America.
He’s a smart guy. The average person isn’t worth $10 billion. It takes some brainpower to make that happen. So what gives? He really wants to be President of the United States. Who knows what was behind his initial motive for running for the highest office in the land. Now, he thinks he can win.
Trump has sustained his standing in the Republican polls despite comments that are seemingly at odds with conservative icons. At a family conference, he said that he didn’t need God’s forgiveness for his sins. He called war hero Senator John McCain a loser for getting captured in Vietnam and belittled conservative news celebrity Megyn Kelly at the Fox News debate. Not one of these incidents resulted in a slide in his support.
Shrug off God, Mr. Trump. That’s okay according to the religious evangelists on the right. Proclaim that John McCain isn’t a war hero. No problem, say some veterans. Insult the star of a conservative news show. Wagging their fingers, the PC police scold women for being too sensitive.
That’s where the racist thing comes in. Trump revived the racially divisive term “Silent Majority” in a speech at a rally last month in Arizona. That term is not without historical significance. To exploit the civil unrest of 1960s urban America, Richard M. Nixon coined “Silent Majority” to rally the racist Deep South to support his election. Angry and frustrated by civil rights gains, southern voters swept Nixon into the White House in the 1968.
Trump is trying to bring that racist anger and frustration back as a political strategy. He hopes to replicate the Nixon landslide. The thrust of his message is “make America great again.” For the Silent Majority types, this means going back to the days when Blacks knew their place and Mexicans stayed in Mexico. That explains why conservatives give Trump a pass on trivializing Republican stalwarts like God, Senator McCain, and Megyn Kelly.
When he outlined his immigration proposal, Trump solidified his support in Racist America. The lynchpin to his plan is to abolish the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution. The Supreme Court has cited the amendment to rid our nation of the evils of racial segregation, ensure voting rights to all Americans, and guarantee equal treatment under the law for everyone. Repealing those values has always been the goal of the Racist Right.
Trump wants to take away the birthright of American-born citizens guaranteed by the 14th Amendment. He believes that their parents don’t belong here, so those born in the U.S. don’t have the right to be American citizens. There’s plenty of legal and constitutional precedent that demonstrates that Trump might be drinking too much Southern Comfort. That doesn’t matter though. He just wants to rally the Racist Right to go to the polls and vote for him. It worked for Nixon.
Fortunately, the group of Americans who want to return to a nation that provided equal treatment for just a few white folks is shrinking. These people scream at the tops of their lungs that they want to “take America back.” During a Trump rally in Alabama last weekend, his supporters heard shouts of “white power” coming from the crowd. The Silent Majority is really the vocal minority. They now have a self-proclaimed champion in Donald Trump.
While his poll numbers continue to hold steady with those who yearn for an America of yesteryear, we’ve come a long way since 1968. The rest of the country has moved on. Poll after poll shows that a vast majority of Americans support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented workers. We are part of a reasonable majority that sees the true greatness of America, not in the past, but just on horizon.
Despite the belief shared by most Americans that our nation is better off with cultural diversity, Trump will continue his assault on immigrants, especially those from south of the Rio Grande. With each promise to build the Trump Wall to keep Mexicans out and every proclamation that all undocumented immigrants and their American-born children “have to go,” the vocal minority will cheer with enthusiasm and hope for the return to the racist America they loved.
The Trumpnado, as his followers call his campaign, will soon pass. Sadly, it will leave a trail of destruction and bitterness in its wake. When the winds of primary season calm down, Americans will go the voting booth and elect a president who will govern from the center. For 225 years, Americans have always found a way to elect thoughtful leaders that have kept us on the road to equality and justice.
After Election Day 2016, I’m confident that we’ll continue on our journey to make the United States the “more perfect union” that our Founding Fathers envisioned. I believe in America and I have faith in God that He will lead us down the right path.