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“The Morning After Donald Trump”: The Slogan “Make America Great Again” Didn’t Spring From Untilled Soil

Donald Trump will almost certainly be the Republican presidential nominee, and I am afraid.

Not of him. Not really. Trump is neither the first nor the last lying sociopath to walk the Earth — if America’s multitudinous anti-Trump forces do what we need to do between now and November, he won’t see the Oval Office. I will admit that I’m not unconcerned (I suddenly find that I intend to canvass just as hard for candidate Clinton, about whom I’m not particularly thrilled, as I once did for candidate Obama, about whom I was), but I’m not afraid of him. Not really.

Neither am I afraid (not really) of the campaign’s ugliness, though I know it will only get worse. The 2016 campaign is and remains appalling — but the campaign will end.

I’m afraid of the morning after. I’m afraid of what happens when Trump loses.

Trump is not (by any means or measure) the only misogynistic, bigoted xenophobe in the 21st century Republican Party, and in the process of winnowing its primary field, the GOP has given increasingly clamorous voice to a profoundly embittered, violently enraged, and often well-armed minority, in the process normalizing it.

Bitterness, rage, and violence have always been part of the American story, but since roughly the moon landing they’ve been at least nominally verboten in American politics. The dog whistles and code words with which we’re familiar came into common usage because Americans realized that it wasn’t always socially expedient to state their hate outright.

The head of the American Freedom Party (“arguably the most important white nationalist group in the country,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center) and erstwhile Trump delegate William Johnson (who has said “the skinheads thought I was too extreme to run the organization”) recently clarified our new political reality for Mother Jones: “[Trump] is allowing us to talk about things we’ve not been able to talk about. So even if he is not elected, he has achieved great things.”

Indeed. For the first time in the decades since the assassinations of JFK, RFK, and MLK, we find that it is once again hip — or, at the very least, socially acceptable — to be awful. Supporters of the AFP told Mother Jones that Trump’s “honest discourse” has allowed them to feel “emancipated.”

We’ve seen in recent years how violent words once emancipated can lead to violent consequences — we’ve seen mosques attacked, women’s health care providers murdered, African Americans slaughtered with their Bibles open before them.

Many angry voters have legitimate grievances, and I certainly don’t believe the vast majority of Republicans seek violence — but they don’t have to. Chaos doesn’t require tens of millions of angry Americans. It only requires a few Americans who believe tens of millions support them. Those who commit politically motivated violence invariably believe they’re acting on behalf of people who are too afraid to do so.

Humans become more bold, not less, when they believe they’re not alone, and they’re particularly prone to bold violence when they find themselves backed into a corner. Trump’s supporters and fellow travelers have felt themselves to be backed into a corner for eight long years — as Trump’s former butler has made abundantly clear in a series of Facebook posts, one of which declares that Barack Obama “should have been taken out by our military and shot as an enemy agent.” The slogan “Make America Great Again” didn’t spring from untilled soil.

So what happens when the Great White Hope of angry, embittered, racist, misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic America flames out?

I don’t know, and that’s why I’m afraid. I think about the rage and resentment that are everywhere fanned, named, and given a place of pride in today’s GOP, and though I fervently hope Hillary Clinton is elected, I wonder where that rage and resentment will go if and when she is. I know my fear is a win for those who benefit from it, but I can’t do anything about that now. Here it is, rooted in my belly, climbing through my veins.

In truth I’ve felt something like it since the day President Obama announced his candidacy — though that fear has never been quite so amorphous, being laser-focused on a single life. I expect it will live in my belly until Barack Hussein Obama achieves a natural end to his days, or I achieve my own.

Many years ago, when I lived in a different country, I watched a minority of my fellow citizens demonize the leader for whom I’d voted. I watched as they and the opposition party wrapped him in Nazi imagery, I watched as they prayed publicly for his death. I wanted to believe it would come to nothing, that the peace he sought would be greater than their loathing of it, but then I watched as he was buried. It didn’t take all of Israel’s extremists to assassinate Yitzhak Rabin — it only took one.

The 2016 presidential campaign is ugly and appalling, but it will end. Then — if we’re lucky — America will find out what happens when the angry and the aggrieved are told to go home.

 

By: Emily L. Hauser, The Week, May 13, 2016

May 15, 2016 Posted by | Domestic Violence, Donald Trump, GOP, White Nationalists | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“An Extremely Troubling Development”: Trump Picks White Nationalist Leader As Delegate

Mother Jones reported today that William Johnson, chairman of the white nationalist American Freedom Party, is now an official delegate for Donald Trump in California’s upcoming Republican Primary. In order to become a delegate, Johnson had to apply to the Trump campaign with a signed pledge to support Trump at the Republican National Convention. Johnson will vote for Trump in Cleveland, should he be elected by California voters.

The American Freedom Party represents the interests, its website says, of “European Americans” and “White Americans.”

Johnson was behind the widely-reported white supremacist robocalls supporting Donald Trump that flooded Wisconsin phone lines before the Republican primary there. Johnson orchestrated the calls as a publicity stunt, saying in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel at the time, “I want people to hear, to feel comfortable with, the term ‘white nationalist,’”

In an interview with Mother Jones today, Johnson echoed that sentiment: “I just hope to show how I can be mainstream and have these views,” he said.

The Trump campaign surely knows who Johnson is: In February, Trump said he would return a donation Johnson had given the campaign in October, in response to a question from a town hall attendee in New Hampshire. Johnson has been widely written about as a public face of white nationalist Trump support.

Mother Jones also reports that Johnson included all of his pro-Trump, pro-nationalist political activity in his application to become a Trump delegate.

In 1985, Johnson authored the Pace Amendment, which would have abolished the 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution and restricted citizenship to “non-Hispanic white[s] of the European race.” Non-whites of child-bearing age would be financially incentivized to leave the country, Johnson wrote at the time.

In 2010, Johnson said in an interview with the nationalist The Political Cesspool radio show that “The initial basis of our own upstart organization is the racial nationalist movement. It has been in disarray for the last 20 years so there’s not as large a base for us to draw on.”

The Trump campaign’s selection of Johnson as a delegate in the California primary is an extremely troubling development. Trump has widely received the support of the white nationalist community, but this is by far the most explicit endorsement — and this is an endorsement, until the Trump campaign says otherwise — of the racist and nativist ideology.

 

By: Matt Shuham, The National Memo, May 10, 2016

May 11, 2016 Posted by | Donald Trump, Republican National Convention, White Nationalists | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“The Ugliest Campaign Ever”: We’re Headed For Most Divisive, Scorched Earth General Election In Modern History

“Don’t vote for a Cuban” seems like a pretty straightforward campaign motto for Donald Trump at this point. True, it’s not his campaign that is making these robocalls. Instead, it is a Super PAC associated with the American Freedom Party, a white nationalist organization that loves them some Donald.

Their message is admirably concise.

“The white race is dying out in America and Europe because we are afraid to be called ‘racist,’” the call said. “I am afraid to be called racist. Donald Trump is not a racist, but Donald Trump is not afraid. Don’t vote for a Cuban. Vote for Donald Trump.”

It’s curious that they don’t want to be called racist. Sounds like they’re afraid to be called racist.

Anyway, these robocalls have been detected in Minnesota and Vermont, and then there is this:

David Duke, a white nationalist and former Klu Klux Klan grand wizard, told his audience Wednesday that voting for anyone besides Donald Trump “is really treason to your heritage.”

“Voting for these people, voting against Donald Trump at this point is really treason to your heritage,” Duke said on the David Duke Radio Program

…“And I am telling you that it is your job now to get active. Get off your duff. Get off your rear end that’s getting fatter and fatter for many of you everyday on your chairs. When this show’s over, go out, call the Republican Party, but call Donald Trump’s headquarters, volunteer,” he said. “They’re screaming for volunteers. Go in there, you’re gonna meet people who are going to have the same kind of mindset that you have.”

That’s kind of vague, but you can see a closer tie between the robocalls and David Duke here:

In December, Duke told POLITICO that Trump’s candidacy allowed Americans to be more open about their racial animus.

“He’s made it ok to talk about these incredible concerns of European Americans today, because I think European Americans know they are the only group that can’t defend their own essential interests and their point of view,” Duke said. “He’s meant a lot for the human rights of European Americans.”

It’s a good thing that RNC Chairman Reince Priebus has a plan to keep Trump on a leash. Maybe that will work (I doubt it), but a better question might be to ask what the RNC plans to do if the lawsuit over Trump University doesn’t go well.

…the upcoming civil trial could be a much bigger burden on Trump’s time. If it takes place in May, that would put it in the middle of the final phase of the GOP primary schedule: Nebraska and West Virginia vote on May 10, Oregon on May 17, and Washington state on May 24. Then on June 7, the biggest prize of all: the California primary (with 172 delegates at stake). New Jersey, Montana, New Mexico and South Dakota vote the same day.

Trump could easily have the nomination wrapped up before these late primaries and caucuses. (We’ve written about the Trump University scam here, here, and here).

Yeah, it’s going to be a scorched earth campaign for sure.

The unintended consequences of both parties nominating their most unpopular or polarizing figures means we are headed for the most divisive and scorched earth style general election in modern history. When you start with negatives at 50% or above, it means the only way to win is to become the lesser of two evils.

I don’t see Trump becoming more popular. But Reince Priebus has a plan, so I guess things will go swimmingly.

In reality, Priebus won’t be able to control any of this, but he will be able to assist in making Hillary the greater evil. And, considering how difficult that task will be to achieve, we’re all gonna need hazmat suits.

 

By: Martin Longman, Political Animal Blog, The Washington Monthly, February 25, 2016

February 26, 2016 Posted by | Donald Trump, Reince Priebus, White Nationalists | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Reawakening To Save The White Race”: White Supremacists Or Donald Trump: ‘The Positions Made Me A Convert’

William Daniel Johnson is a practicing lawyer in Los Angeles.

He’s 54 years old with neatly styled silver hair and a kind of authoritatively quiet voice. He also serves as chairman of the American Freedom Party, a white nationalist group he co-founded. And he absolutely loves Donald Trump.

“Donald Trump isn’t governed by handlers,” Johnson told me over the phone from his law office. “He shoots from the hip and he speaks forthrightly. He does not care what public opinion is.”

Johnson, who requested that he not be referred to as a neo-Nazi in this article, is listed under the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Extremist Files,” notably for proposing a 1985 constitutional amendment that would have revoked the American citizenship of every non-white inhabitant of the United States

“No person shall be a citizen of the United States unless he is a non-Hispanic white of the European race,” the language of the amendment read. “Only citizens shall have the right and privilege to reside permanently in the United States.”

In Johnson’s words, the United States is facing a threat to “the continued existence of Western civilization,” with immigrants displacing whites throughout the world. The only person who seems equipped to ensure that the white race can thrive at the top once again is a golden-haired real estate magnate by the name of Trump.

“I was not a supporter of the man until the positions made me a convert,” Johnson said, describing how he was swayed by Trump’s promises of a wall separating the United States and Mexico and a new plan to ban all Muslims from entering the country. For the quarter of a century during which Johnson was aware of Trump before these proposals, he wasn’t a huge fan. Now, he said, “I admire what he’s doing very much.”

Still, Johnson doesn’t want to hear Trump—despite his strong leadership skills and penchant for xenophobia—compared to Adolf Hitler. “We eschew any reference to Adolf Hitler,” he said.

The slight problem for Johnson, in his political capacity, is that the American Freedom Party has its own presidential candidate. The portly, blue-eyed Bob Whitaker is the party’s man. He campaigns with the catchy slogan “Diversity Is a Codeword for Genocide.” Yet as Johnson laughingly told The Daily Beast, Whitaker himself supports what Trump is doing, as do many members of the party.

Indeed, interest in the American Freedom Party has surged along with Trump’s rise, Johnson said.

“We have seen a dramatic uptick in support,” he crowed. “In fact, sometimes I can hardly manage because of this Trump phenomenon.”

He thinks this is a major turning point in American history, that white men are experiencing a reawakening upon finding a candidate who is not as effeminate and fearful as the country’s previous leaders.

“The white men in America have been beaten down over the last 50 years by anti-white propaganda,” Johnson explained. Referring to Trump’s recent proposition to ban Muslim entry to the United States, Johnson said, “That will go down in history as a major turning point. When I was a teenager and saw the antiwar movement, I think we are seeing an equal turning point right now.”

Trump’s political message has rung true with a number of white nationalists, who feel that immigration and the influence of Islam are curtailing their freedom and economic opportunity. The recent terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, they say, are leaving the country unsafe with a leader who is not fit to protect Americans.

Former KKK leader David Duke spoke highly of Trump’s immigration plans in August. Forums on Stormfront, a white supremacist organization, lit up like the phone lines of a radio station giving out free concert tickets after Trump proposed his recent idea.

“Seeing all the top politicians in Britain come out in full fury in defense of the enemy is sickening,” one user wrote of foreign politicians’ disdain for Trump’s rhetoric. “Islam and Europe are mortal enemies and have been for 1400 years during which they have tried and almost succeeded in conquering us many times but were beaten back at the last minute!”

“Yuuup, The Don is on a roll,” another chimed in, referring to their red hat-wearing hero. “More whites will wake up.”

Johnson seems to think, and hope for, the same thing. For his group, which requires all members to be heterosexuals of “complete European Christian ancestry,” Trump is a mainstream mouthpiece for what are often deemed publicly unsavory ideas.

The GOP frontrunner, after all, retweeted a racially biased false crime statistic generated by an individual who identifies as a neo-Nazi. People of color have been kicked out of his rallies—called the n-word and “monkeys” when they have spoken up against Trump’s racially hostile language.

And he’s awoken a sleeping giant, according to Johnson.

“A few years ago, the people that would come out and be forthright about supporting the white race and the Western civilization, they would just be beaten down,” he said. Now, he claims, he gets calls from the white student union at an Ivy League university, asking him for a way to get their message out there effectively.

“The fact is that this has started only since Trump has taken his position that he’s not backing off from,” Johnson said.

Still, the American Freedom Party chairman describes his relationship with Trump as “unrequited love.” He said he has contributed financially to the campaign, created a super PAC to support him, and tries to get the message out about Trump’s near sainthood on the party’s daily radio shows.

Trump’s campaign did not respond to The Daily Beast when asked if he would consider giving Johnson a position in a future Trump administration. At this point, Johnson said the idea of playing any official role for his future president would just be “wishful thinking.”

“I would do it, but it would be unlikely that I would be approved by the Senate,” he said. But he’s not actively courting any kind of role. “We’re doing this because we want to save Western civilization and the white race.”

Johnson made it seem like a great majority of the American Freedom Party—which he founded alongside Kevin McDonald, an anti-Semitic professor who thinks Jews are genetically programmed to try to out-compete others for resources—is on board with supporting Trump. But the party itself will not allow me to attend its meetings.

“Sorry, but most meetings are not open to the public, and members don’t want to be demeaned by curious media,” an unnamed representative of the party said.

Somewhat in jest, he told me to wait six months before I try to get into one of the group’s get-togethers. Its New York office is nothing but a P.O. box, according to Johnson, as many members of the party work out of their homes. But given Trump’s steady climb over the past six months, it doesn’t seem far-fetched to suggest he’ll still be around in the next six.

Some 65 percent of likely Republican primary voters said in a recent Bloomberg poll that they supported Trump’s Muslim ban. Just 24 percent of his supporters in North Carolina think Islam should be legal in the United States. And from the rallies to Stormfront forums to the mouth of Johnson, the sentiment is not that Trump is doing too much. It’s that he’s not doing enough.

“I’d want him to focus on all immigration, whether it’s illegal or legal,” Johnson said.

Upon hearing that under President Trump, no Muslims, legal or otherwise, would be allowed entry, he replied, “OK, good.”

 

By: Gideon Resnick, The Dailly Beast, Decembet 10, 2015

December 11, 2015 Posted by | Citizenship, Donald Trump, White Nationalists, White Supremacists | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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