Conservative columnist regrets ever supporting the GOP and blasts its 'toxic discharge of bigotry'

Conservative columnist regrets ever supporting the GOP and blasts its 'toxic discharge of bigotry'
Image via Gage Skidmore.

Conservative Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson penned a piece Thursday in which he said he was wrong to think that Republicans weren't really racists when it came right down to it.

He recalled working in the White House when then-Minority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) endorsed Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-SC) as a Republican ideal. At the time, working for George W. Bush, Gerson said that he thought statements like that were just blunders that came from ignorance.

"The general goodwill of the GOP on racial issues could still be broadly assumed," he wrote. "This is among the worst errors of moral judgment I have made as a columnist. I tended to view bigotry as one of America’s defects or failures. The historical works I read often tried to defend the best elements of the American ideal as dramatically outweighing the worst moments of its application."

He argued that even after all these years, the kidnapping, murder, abuse, raping and racism still aren't fully resolved with many launching renewed white supremacy and "Klannish violence."

"This is the environment into which the MAGA movement is pumping a toxic discharge of bigotry," he continued. "Former president Donald Trump recently employed his own (supposedly) lighthearted treatment of racism’s cruelest epithet. 'The n-word!' he told a campaign rally. 'Do you know what the n-word is?' The crowd certainly did, when given permission to use it by Trump. 'It’s — no, no, no. It’s the ‘nuclear’ word.' This was not a dog whistle; it was a Confederate trumpet."

Gerson recalled Trump telling White women that “low-income housing would invade” their neighborhoods. Now that he's thinking about running in 2024, Trump is telling his followers he wants “to take back that beautiful, beautiful house that happens to be white.”

Trump and the GOP are now handing MAGA exactly what they want.

“They want crime,” Gerson quoted Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) talking about Democrats at a Trump rally. “They want crime because they want to take over what you got. They want to control what you have. They want reparations because they think the people that do the crime are owed that.”

The implication is that Black Democrats are trying to steal from the White Republicans.

"In MAGA world, the incitement of white grievance is the strategy," explained Gerson. "Such appeals are inseparable from racism. And they reopen a wound that nearly killed the patient before. It is politics at its most pernicious."

Read the full column at the Washington Post.

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