The Racists in Trump's Base Want Him to Harm Minorities and Immigrants: This Is What We Have to Fight
Study after study has shown that support for Donald Trump correlates more strongly with racial resentment than with economic anxiety. Despite the wrongheaded efforts of the (mostly white) journalists, pundits and talking heads who have tried to explain away racism as a reason for Trump’s victory, the statistics continually show us that Trump supporters are more racist and sexist than the general population.
Note that for all of the explanations of economic anxiety and economic populism as the reason Trump won, Trump voters aren’t exactly in an uproar over Trump’s plan to install the richest cabinet in U.S. history. We can actually hear the crickets. There’s been no outrage from Trump voters over Trump (already!) breaking his economic promises to “drain the swamp.” Newt Gingrich even let the mask slip when he admitted that “Trump doesn’t want to drain the swamp anymore.” Gingrich quickly apologized, but the truth was out: Trump has no intention of following through on his campaign attacks on special interests or elites. It didn’t matter if Gingrich apologized or notâ€Š—â€ŠTrump voters simply don’t care if he follows through on his economic promises.
So what can the left actually do if they want to take back political control of Washington? How do we weaken Trump’s presidency, splinter his base and make him a one-term president? The answer is simpleâ€Š—we stop him from harming minorities.
Trump Voters Will Turn on Him
There is this idea out there on the left that facts don’t matter anymore and nothing can stop Trump’s white nationalism (or what some journalists are still mislabeling “populism”). I think this is a misguided view. Trump voters have openly and honestly admitted what they want: the subjugation of minorities by the state and the upholding of the social caste system that keeps white people and their racial interests at the top.
Ann Coulter is someone I personally detest, but she wrote an article on Breitbart that acknowledges the precariousness of Trump's political position. She noted that, “if Trump doesn’t appoint the sort of people capable of fulfilling his campaign promises on immigration, he will fail. He’ll be just another lying politician, and his supporters will watch in horror as rapists, terrorists and drug dealers continue living in our country.”
What Coulter is saying is that Trump’s base will turn on him if he cannot deliver on his immigration promises. If Trump doesn’t deport a record number of Latinos or "build the wall," he’ll be seen as "just another lying politician.” If Trump does not deliver on his promises of harming minorities, his base will flip on him like IHOP, and he’ll go from an anti-establishment outsider to a Washington insider protecting elites and special interests.
Naturally, we can extrapolate from what Coulter is saying to infer other instances where Trump voters will turn on him if he cannot deliver. If Trump fails to ban Muslims from the country or start a Muslim registry, his base will turn on him. If Trump cannot crush black protesters and enhance police powers like stop-and-frisk, his base will turn on him. If Trump is unable to curtail the cultural change white voters feel threatened by, Trump will turn into a Washington elite overnight. If Trump can’t harm minorities, his base will view him as a sellout.
Protecting Minorities Will Take a United Democratic Front in Congress
If Trump fails to harm minorities, his political position will weaken immensely. He is already one of the most unpopular presidents-elect in modern history, and any sort of significant drop in support could see him become one of the most unpopular presidents in American history. An unpopular President Trump will be associated with the Republican Party at large, which could push Democrats to win a host of governorships in 2018 and take back the White House in 2020.
But in order to squash Trump’s approval ratings, Democrats will have to maintain a united front. That means no “Bernie pushing to work with Trump on economic issues for heartland white workers.” Bernie Sanders pushing to work with Trump on certain issues makes Trump seem like he has bipartisan support. If Trump gets bills passed with Sanders' support, that gives Trump political capital to spend however he wishes. And Trump would spend that political capital on indulging his base with xenophobic, racist policies like banning Muslims from entering the country or building a wall.
Democrats must stand together against Trump. A great example of the kind of leadership that can make Trump unpopular came from House Rep. Maxine Waters, who refuses to meet with or work with the president-elect. Waters has taken the exact opposite approach of Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard, who have indicated willingness to work with Trump and provide him with political capital. If Democrats are to weaken Trump and ultimately defeat him, they can’t provide him with any wins or with a bipartisan cloak he can use to hide from his extremist, xenophobic politics. Democrats must remain united in opposition to keep him from delivering on his campaign promises to harm minorities.