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Frank Sharry: Racism, Nativism and Stoking White Grievance Will Be the “Beating Heart” of Trump’s 2020 Campaign

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“Racial incitement is the animating electoral strategy of a sitting President and his party.”


The following is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

The beating heart of Trumpism is and has always been racism and xenophobia. Now, Trump is turbocharging it in his desperate attempt to hold onto power. As longtime political journalist Howard Fineman noted today:

‘The @realDonaldTrump racist tweets are only a foretaste of what is to come: the ugliest, most hate-filled presidential campaign in modern history.’

The Trump 2020 playbook is all about animating white grievance and stoking hatred of the ‘other.’ It’s dangerous, divisive and deeply un-American.

Witness just the past few days: vile racism from Trump’s Twitter account directed at Members of Congress who are women of color; dehumanizing cruelty at the border inflicted against asylum seekers and migrants, including little kids; a Census drive aimed at erasing immigrants from a count of who we are as a nation; and the deliberate igniting of existential fear that immigrant families will be split up and incarcerated by ICE.

That the promised raids have thus far failed to materialize en masse misses the point: the paramount goal of the operation was and is to spread fear and spark headlines.

In the face of all this, the Republican Party offers only silence and support. Their meek acquiescence in the face of Trump’s ugliness now defines the party. Instead of banding together to erect guardrails against Trump to rein in the Bigot-in-Chief — for they are the only leaders he might listen to — GOP leaders duck, dive and deflect. And so he acts with impunity.

No, this isn’t normal and it is getting worse. We are entering an even darker chapter in our nation’s history. Racial incitement is the animating electoral strategy of a sitting President and his party. The American experiment — anchored in the American creed of E Pluribus Unum, Out of Many, One — is under assault. If Republicans won’t stand up to Trump’s assault on the America we aim to be, and if they won’t stand for an America where everyone matters regardless of birthplace and background, it is up to the rest of us to do so.