I am not going to mince words on this the way so many in the media and our political worlds do. Donald Trump is a racist xenophobe who is a walking manifestation of everything that is wrong about our country. And all these people who line up behind him in support, many of whom who act out on their own ugly instincts, are just as racist as he is. They know fully well who they are supporting and what he stands for and no words with hidden meanings can hide that. This goes as much for the politicians in his Party who either stand with him in support or do or say nothing to stop him.
I think of Trump supporters as all those unseen formerly anonymous Internet trolls who fill the comments section with nasty racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia every chance they get. Trump has given them a reason to finally show their faces. They like to say they are just angry over jobs and America's place in the world, and they often show that anger at Trump rallies. They like to say Trump says the things they wish they could say and that he is finally speaking for them. Well we know what those words are. Trump has been direct at pointing at enemies and the supposed cause for America not being great in their minds. All dangerous fascist and racist leaders in history have tapped into the seething, below the surface anger of the majority population, often couching their spittle with economic gripes, but mainly riling up their supporters by pointing them towards some ethnic bogeyman as the root cause of all their troubles.
We all know the list of hateful statements Trump has made about all the people who are standing in the way of "making America great." He has gone after and riled up his base at various targets over the months of his rise. Mexicans, women, Muslims, Syrian refugees, black protestors, Bernie supporters, any protestors, and even the media, which is the greatest irony, though typical of these men like Trump who from time to time rise on a swell of misplaced and ignorant anger.
The worst part about this Trump phenomenon, well maybe not the worst part, is that it has been the media that has been equally complicit in building up Trump and spreading his hateful and dangerous message. All of the major network and cable news channels have pretty much gone all Trump all the time. It is amazing to witness. If Trump has anything at all to say they send cameras and reporters and cover his every utterance as if something reasonable and life-changing were about to be said. Trump has been able to get totally free coverage at a rate that would bankrupt most candidates if they were to try to buy as much air time. Interestingly the media has made it clear that Trump is good for ratings and to them, ratings means dollars, so why care about the dangerous message they are helping spread. CBS President Les Moonves came right out and said Trump is good for their news division. He actually said he recognizes Trump may be bad for the country, but that he is great for CBS's bottom line. Amazing.
The sad part about that level of callousness and winking at Trump, not only by CBS and all the other channels, is how cozy most of the hosts and reporters seem with Trump. They have him on and laugh with him, let him spew his venom, often without real challenge, and pretend they care about the hatred they are hearing and the expected violence that surrounds the campaign. It is clear that for them, Trump is not a real danger. Few of these anchors and reporters are Muslim, black, Mexican or one of the other bad seeds Trump has pointed his proverbial gun at. To many of these media people, Trump is a laugh, someone to curry favor and access with. To some of us on the other end of Trump's hatred this is not a ratings game or entertainment. It is real life and we have to live with his not so hidden code words and know we will bear the brunt of Trump and his supporters. There is nothing funny or cute or beneficial to us about a Trump Presidency. Only the possibility of real danger and real hatred given a pass and approval from the top, and from the media that sees it as good for business. This is the ultimate example of privilege. Some of us don't have the privilege of watching Trump and not feeling a real threat.
All of this makes you wonder what it would have been like during Governor Wallace's time if we had 24-hour media like this. Or in Germany during the rise of Hitler. Or any other fascist leader. Which is why I also put in the same boat, any supporter of Trump, whether they be one of the idiots we see pushing or yelling in the face of protestors at his rallies, or they be in a suit and tie, or nice dress, standing on stage with him lending their support. Every one of these people knows what Trump stands for and what is he doing. They know they are backing a man that is the voice and face of hate and all the frustration so many of them have felt for these last eight years. It has been eight years of having to watch that "Muslim" black man in the White House, who dared work to put women on equal footing, who fought for LGBT rights, who had the nerve to put in place a health care system for all. Overall they grew angrier and angrier simply because they saw a country that wasn't solely their's anymore. Trump and his angry crowds and supporters aren't about the economy and jobs. They don't care that Trump has no real policies. They care only that he speaks to their anger at all the things they see as taken from them by all these others. And Trump is giving voice to that frustration. Actually he is giving more than voice to it he is giving a license to violence and open hatred to it. And history has shown how dangerous that is time and time again. All of the people who support Trump know that making America great again is code for taking it back from these people who don't look like Trump and his crowds.
We need to stop beating around the bush about what Trump really is and what his supporters, from top to bottom, are really angry about. This isn't a gameshow or a media stunt, at least it isn't anymore. Trump is not only altering the Republican Party in ways even they are shocked at, but he is changing how we see each other and how the world sees us. We are better than this. But we also better wake up and realize before it's too late, if it isn't already, that the racism, sexism, Islamophobia, xenophobia,and the general hatred can get much worse if Trump and those that support him, including the media, are not called out directly for what they are and what they are doing.
Trump and his supporters are fueled by racism and hatred. Plain and simple. Let's call him and his supporters what they really are. This isn't the time to be coy. History has shown what happens when people like this are not stopped. We can pretend this is simply democracy at work or we can recognize it is way deeper than that.