Donald Trump’s racist and divisive rhetoric is severely testing just how loyal Republicans are willing to be to him heading into an election that now threatens to be a Democratic wipeout.
Trump’s reckless and deadly coronavirus response and resulting economic dive were already hurting Republicans, but Trump’s racism in recent weeks is now scaring Republicans enough that they are starting to distance themselves from him.
According to the Washington Post:
President Trump’s unyielding push to preserve Confederate symbols and the legacy of white domination, crystallized by his harsh denunciation of the racial justice movement Friday night at Mt. Rushmore, has unnerved Republicans who have long enabled him but now fear losing power and forever associating their party with his racial animus.”
Stay up-to-date with the latest news!
Subscribe and start recieving our daily emails.
A separate Washington Post report noted that while such racist tactics may have worked in the past, Trump’s racism is even worse as demographics in the United States shift.
To the extent Trump’s racist provocation is a strategy rather than simply an instinct, it is a miscalculation. The electorate was more than 90% white when Richard Nixon deployed his southern strategy; the proportion is now 70% white and shrinking. But more than that, Trump’s racism has alienated a large number of white people.”
In fact, black voters are poised to vote in numbers rivaling former President Obama’s two victories in 2008 and 2012 — numbers that would put Joe Biden over the top in crucial battleground states like Michigan and Pennsylvania.
This potential disaster for the GOP has Republicans alarmed.
“The Senate incumbent candidates are not taking the bait and are staying as far away from this as they can,” GOP strategist Scott Reed said. “The problem is, this is no longer just Trump’s Twitter feed. It’s expanded to the podium, and that makes it more and more difficult for these campaigns.”
Indeed, there is no hiding from Trump’s rhetoric. Republican candidates will inevitably be asked about it and whether or not they agree with him. This puts Republicans in a very bad spot.
“They coddled this guy the whole time, and now, it’s like some rats are jumping off of the sinking ship,” former Ohio Governor John Kasich said. “It’s just a little late. It’s left this nation with a crescendo of hate not only between politicians, but between citizens. It started with Charlottesville, and people remained silent then — and we find ourselves in this position now.”
Republicans have had many chances over the years to condemn Trump and stand up to him. They even had a shot at ousting him from office earlier this year but rigged the impeachment trial in his favor instead. So, while Trump’s base is solidly behind him, the rest of the country is not.
“The president’s base is locked in,” GOP pollster Whit Ayers said. “They love him, they’re going to turn out, and they’re going to vote for him. The problem is that the base is not enough to win. You can make a case that protecting Confederate monuments is very popular among at least a portion of his base, but it does nothing to expand the coalition — and that’s the imperative at the moment and will be going forward if the party hopes to govern.”
Despite these efforts to distance themselves, it really is too late as the record clearly shows American voters that Republicans have been behind Trump every step of the way since he took office in 2017. Any attempt to make it appear that they really don’t support him is purely out of fear that they will lose their seats in Congress. Well, they should be afraid and they should start applying for new jobs because most Americans are not buying their bullsh*t.
Featured image via screen capture
Like what you see here? Join the discussion on Facebook over at Americans For Sanity!