How The GOP Became The Party Of White Supremacists Under Donald Trump

The Republican Party has always had a problem with racism. That’s no accident; after all it was their racist “Southern Strategy” that got them the votes of racist white southerners once the Civil Rights Act was signed. Modern day Republicans like to point out that it was the Democrats who were the party of the Ku Klux Klan and other racists, but the parties switched sides once the Civil Rights Act was signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, because Southern Democrats couldn’t abide the idea of de-segregating the south and starting down the path of trying to kill racism as a matter of policy and practice as they knew it. That’s how the racists wound up in the GOP, and the Democrats lost the South for a generation. It’s also why, to this day, the GOP has such a hard time with minority voters. However, something amazing has happened to the Republican Party in this area with Donald Trump as its titular head. They have literally become the party of white supremacists – and they aren’t even trying to hide it anymore.

Just a few years ago, no one would have thought this possible – not even elected Republicans themselves. For instance, when notoriously racist Rep. Steve King ( R- Iowa) made his infamous comment about Mexican immigrants having “calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert,” then- House Speaker John Boehner said, from a podium to the press that the comments were “hateful,” and “offensive.” There were also reports that Boehner said privately that King is an “asshole” for saying what he said.

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That was just three years ago in 2014. To compare, here in 2017, when King made a much worse remark – the infamous and openly white nationalist “we can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies” tweet – current House Speaker Paul Ryan was tepid in his response, only saying that he is sure that Rep. King “misspoke.” To top it all off, King tweeted that in support of far-right Dutch candidate for high office Geert Wilders, who literally wants to outlaw the religion of Islam. Something tells me that if given the chance, Steve King would outlaw Islam in America.

When King doubled down on the remarks, Speaker Ryan said nothing. Further, only a few GOP elected officials had the nerve to rebuke King – almost all of them minorities. This is because these people know who their base is, who Donald Trump’s base is, and they know they need the racists and white supremacists that helped propel Trump to the White House to get reelected.

This is all perfectly in line with Trump’s infamous call to ban Muslims from entering the nation, and of course, there was former New York Mayor and close Trump confidante Rudy Giuliani’s admission that Trump asked him to put together a way for him to ban Muslims that would pass Constitutional muster:

Then, we get to the Donald Trump campaign itself. Let’s not forget – Trump entered the political arena by trying to delegitimize the first Black president by spreading the racist lie that President Barack Obama was not born here, and forcing him to show his birth certificate in a “show me your papers, boy,” type of way. Even when Trump let his birtherism go, he still lied and said Hillary Clinton started it.

Also, we all remember how long it took Trump to disavow David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan when Jake Tapper asked him about it. Only then did House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rebuke him. However, that was before Trump had secured the nomination, too. There was radio silence from GOP leadership on the open racism and anti-Semitism and misogyny of the Trump campaign unless they were cornered, as when #NeverTrump conservative radio host Charlie Sykes forced House Speaker Paul Ryan to answer for Trump’s repeated retweets of anti-Semitic images.

As for the Trump Administration itself – there are no words for the level of bigotry allowed therein. First, we have Trump campaign CEO turned White House Chief Strategist Stephen K. Bannon, who ran the openly racist and anti-Semitic website Breitbart.com prior to joining Trump’s campaign. Bannon is a literal white supremacist. He has said that one book that shapes his world view is a French novel called “Camp of Saints,” which fantasizes that immigrants – conveniently of the black and brown variety – are coming to destroy the white race. Every educated analysis of the novel reveals that it is virulently racist  (this is a book that also happens to be a favorite of Steve King). Then, we have head speechwriter and immigration policy maker Stephen Miller, who shares this ideology and has for a long time; after all, this is a guy who spent his high school years harassing Latino students. Then, there is adviser Sebastian Gorka, who wore a medal from a Hungarian Nazi group to Trump’s inauguration. The group said they were proud to see Gorka wearing the medal.

Through all of these clearly white supremacist appointments, prominent GOP leaders have been silent. Nothing from House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, or any of the others. In fact, when asked about Bannon, Speaker Ryan only said he hadn’t met him. Well, I haven’t met David Duke either, but I let his past work inform my opinion of him. When McConnell was asked about Bannon, he was silent, then told the reporters in his office, “It’s great to be with you guys today.” Then, aides rushed the reporters out before anyone could press further.

And let’s not forget Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the guy who they all say isn’t a racist but was deemed too racist to be confirmed to a federal judgeship by a GOP-controlled Senate in Ronald Reagan’s administration in 1986. There’s also White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s saying that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler never used chemical weapons – all while referring to Nazi death camps as “Holocaust Centers.” And there is the White House’s engaging in Holocaust denial by omitting any mention of Jewish people from their Holocaust Remembrance Day statement. It turns out that this was deliberate, which is definite Holocaust denial because while other minorities died in the Holocaust as well, Hitler’s “Final Solution” was to eradicate the Jewish people from the planet. In short, the Holocaust was specifically about Jews, and the White House is deliberately denying this. Here is video of their statements regarding their omission of the original purpose of the Holocaust, and why they deliberately omitted the mention of Jews:

I could go on, but you get the picture. The GOP, in the past, had no issue rebuking open white nationalism. They do now because that is literally who they are. There are white supremacists working in the White House, and all throughout Trump’s government. And the mainstream leadership of the Republican Party has absolutely no problem with that at all – because the people with those same repugnant ideas are their base. This is who the GOP is.

So, I implore you to look at all the evidence provided here and think – if you are a Republican, but you abhor racism, anti-Semitism, and white supremacy, why are you still a member of the GOP?


Featured image via BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images