“Donald Trump Is Killing Republicans With Minorities”, published at The Federalist on September 4, 2016
There is a reluctance to make any judgment about what the continuing bigoted remarks coming from Trump, his campaign, and surrogates might say about Trump the man, even as many supporters say we should not be afraid of speaking the unvarnished truth just to avoid offending someone. Trump’s “Star of David” tweet came just a few days after Cruz held a hearing on the Obama administration’s refusal to use the words “radical Islam.” “You cannot fight an enemy that you do not acknowledge, that you pretend does not exist,” Cruz said.
So, the question for Republicans and conservatives is, how can we fight bigotry within the Republican Party, a problem that is both objectively bad for its impact on the country and practically bad for its impact on damaging the party’s brand, if we fail to acknowledge it? Glenn Beck called Barack Obama a racist for much less.
The strategies Republican Party brass have used to try to excuse some of these controversies show they are more interested in defending Trump than in fighting discrimination. Reince Priebus sought to deflect from a story about Trump’s alleged sexist behavior towards women by claiming it was “planted” by Hillary Clinton’s people, a fact that, if true, wouldn’t address the claims. Preibus downplayed the anti-Semitic tweet by arguing it was really a “sheriff’s star,” not the Star of David, an excuse that seems especially vapid to this author, who has seen his name featured in triple parentheses by the alt-right.
For Republicans to tell various minority groups time after time to get over it, that nothing’s happening, that it’s all just a big misunderstanding and Trump is being mistreated, must alienate members of those groups from the people who are making the excuses. For example, I know a Star of David when I see one, and I know what anti-Semitic language and imagery is, because I’ve had it sent to me en masse by people who think that I, my parents, and brothers, by virtue of our religion, are part of a globalist conspiracy to have politicians do Israel’s bidding and that America needs to #MakeAmericaGreat in order to stop it.
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