The big guy isn’t gonna back down…
He’s on the road STILL trying to repeat 2016 campaign lean on race in America….
Trump thinks he has another winner….
Some Republicans are getting scared….
Although amplifying racism and stoking culture wars have been mainstays of Trump’s public identity for decades, they have been particularly pronounced this summer as the president has reacted to the national reckoning over systemic discrimination by seeking to weaponize the anger and resentment of some white Americans for his own political gain.
Trump has left little doubt through his utterances the past few weeks that he sees himself not only as the Republican standard-bearer but as leader of a modern grievance movement animated by civic strife and marked by calls for “white power,” the phrase chanted by one of his supporters in a video the president shared last weekend on Twitter. He later deleted the video but did not disavow its message.
Trump put his strategy to resuscitate his troubled reelection campaign by galvanizing white supporters on display Friday night under the chiseled granite gaze of four past presidents memorialized in the Black Hills of South Dakota. He celebrated Independence Day with a dystopian speech in which he excoriated racial justice protesters as “evil” representatives of a “new far-left fascism” whose ultimate goal is “the end of America.”
“Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children,” Trump said to boos from a packed crowd of supporters. “Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our Founders, deface our most sacred memorials, and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities.”
Over the years, some Republicans have struggled to navigate Trump’s race baiting and, at times, outright racism, while others have rallied behind him. Bursts of indignation and frustration come and go but have never resulted in a complete GOP break with the president. Trump’s recent moves are again putting Republican officeholders onto risky political terrain.
On Friday night at Mount Rushmore, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), a member of the party’s leadership, and other top Republicans were seen applauding as Trump spoke.
In Richmond, the former capital of the Confederacy, a massive statue of Stonewall Jackson was dismantled to the cheers of onlookers and the ringing of church bells this week, and even in Mississippi, the state legislature voted to remove the Confederate battle emblem from its state flag.
On Capitol Hill, some Republicans fret — mostly privately, to avoid his wrath — that Trump’s fixation on racial and other cultural issues leaves their party running against the currents of change. Coupled with the coronavirus pandemic and related economic crisis, these Republicans fear he is not only seriously impairing his reelection chances but also jeopardizing the GOP Senate majority and its strength in the House.
“The Senate incumbent candidates are not taking the bait and are staying as far away from this as they can,” said Scott Reed, a veteran Republican operative and chief strategist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has invested heavily in keeping GOP control of the Senate. “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….
“Without white resentment, there is no rationale for Donald Trump,” Belcher said. “Without that, what reason do his supporters you have to be with Donald Trump if he’s not going to be your tribal strong man? He started there and will end there.”