Donald Trump Is Following His Usual White Nationalist Playbook

Donald Trump’s appeal to white nationalists is following his usual playbook:

President Donald Trump bowed to overwhelming pressure that he personally condemn white supremacists who incited bloody demonstrations in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend — labeling their racist views “evil” after two days of equivocal statements.

“Racism is evil,” Mr. Trump said. “And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the K.K.K., neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”

Trump refused to explicitly condemn neo-Nazis and white nationalists for two days, and there’s no question that his fans got the message: “He didn’t attack us. He just said the nation should come together,” wrote the Daily Stormer’s Andrew Anglin. “No condemnation at all. When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room. Really, really good. God bless him.”

Today Trump grimly recited a prepared text from a teleprompter, but did so under such obvious pressure that his white nationalist fans understand he’s just playing a role. This is exactly the way he handled the David Duke controversy last year: weasel words for a couple of days, followed by an obviously insincere condemnation under heavy pressure. Now, of course, it’s time to move forward, let the healing begin, and stop arguing about who killed whom. While we’re at it, though, you may be sure that Trump is making absolutely sure that his white supporters understand that nothing has really changed:


Wink wink, nudge nudge.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate