Clinton’s slam of Trump’s alt-right embrace is true ‘pivot’ of 2016
In a scathing yet 100 percent accurate speech, Hillary Clinton calmly served notice that the people of this country are sick of the racist rhetoric coming from Donald Trump. We’ve had enough. We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore.
It’s been more than a year since the Orange Menace descended that escalator in Trump Tower to a paid, cheering audience of out-of-work actors and talked about how Mexican immigrants are criminals and rapists. We’ve listened as his racist dog-whistles turned into a bullhorn. We’ve heard Trump use foul and insulting language against women, minorities, Muslims, refugees, political opponents, and people with disabilities — basically any group that doesn’t agree with him. We’ve watched Trump supporters at his rallies laugh at those insults, shout racial and misogynistic slurs, and resort to violence against protestors. We’ve been bombarded by tweets from Trump fans with some of the most disgusting language imaginable. We’ve read them because Trump retweets them — messages from Twitter accounts called “White Genocide TM,” and the like. What now passes for political discourse in Trump’s campaign has sunk to the depths of depravity.
Trump made his campaign of hatred official by hiring Steve Bannon of the radical right-wing website Breitbart News as his campaign CEO. This is the same Breitbart News that has openly embraced the alt-right, or alternative-right, movement, but is better called by its true name: white supremacy. It’s a “news” site that thrives on extremist conspiracy theories, white entitlement, and misogyny, and runs headlines meant to raise blood pressure.
Here are some of the Breitbart headlines Clinton gave as examples: “Hoist it high and proud: The confederate flag proclaims a glorious heritage.” “Birth control makes women unattractive and crazy.” “Gabby Giffords: The gun control movement’s human shield.” Not the kind of messages that make America great again. They’re the kind of ideas that turn your stomach, unless you’re one of Breitbart’s white supremacist adherents.
In her speech, the Democratic nominee for president delivered an indictment against Trump that his fellow Republicans should have given 14 months ago. Those running against him for the nomination and those in office who still don’t have the guts to call him out. Clinton delivered a truth bomb, except it was more like a truth bazooka.
An entire transcript of Clinton’s speech is here. If you didn’t see it, it’s worth your time to read the whole thing. And remember: Every word is based on something Trump said, or something that went online on Breitbart, or something that was uttered by a Trump supporter. Clinton said Trump is taking “hate groups mainstream,” and she’s absolutely right. Here’s the whole speech if you want to watch (she starts speaking 10 minutes in):
Clinton gave a roundup of Trump’s history of refusing to rent to minority tenants, for which he was sued by the Justice Department, to his years-long involvement in the “birther” movement, insisting that President Obama wasn’t born in America, “part of a sustained effort to delegitimize America’s first black President.”
“He’s taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over one of America’s two major political parties,” Clinton said. “His disregard for the values that make our country great is profoundly dangerous. … A man with a long history of racial discrimination, who traffics in dark conspiracy theories drawn from the pages of supermarket tabloids and the far reaches of the internet, should never run our government or command our military.”
The speech was both an accurate portrayal of Trump and a shrewd move on Clinton’s part to offer Republicans cover for disassociating themselves from their own nominee. You wonder if they’ll be smart enough to take it.
The media are desperately waiting for a “pivot” from Donald Trump to make him more palatable to the greater voting public. Any slight change in his demeanor gives them hope that he’s acting “presidential,” that the 2016 election will turn into a real horse race again, instead of Clinton having a large lead in national polls and counts of electoral votes. All this comes even as Trump’s position on his signature issue of immigration has devolved into an orange whirligig of confusion.
There’s no pivot. It ain’t happening. “Here’s the hard truth,” Clinton said. “There is no other Donald Trump. This is it.”
The Daily Beast, using the wonderful headline Clinton Microwaves Donald Trump’s Axis of Tinfoil, related the time Trump told InfoWars radio host Alex Jones, a major booster of Trump’s campaign, that “I will not let you down.” This is the same Alex Jones who claims that 9/11 was an inside job and that the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was staged by the government, using child actors.
That’s who Donald Trump cares about. Not the average voter.
Actually, that’s not true. Donald Trump really cares about only one person.