The Republican Party first embraced racism when Richard Nixon and Lee Atwater unleashed the so-called Southern Strategy. However, outside of the Deep South and perhaps Southwest Virginia, the ploys to appeal to racists and white supremacists remained largely under the radar and did not begin to go mainstream, if you will, until the Christofascists - many of whom were Southern Baptists, a denomination founded on racism - began to infiltrate and then hijack many city and county committees. With the rise of Donald Trump, racism and pandering to white supremacists has become a pillar of the GOP agenda. A piece in the Washington Post looks at the cheering going on among unapologetic racists over Trump's selection of his new campaign managers. Here are excerpts:
OAKTON, Va. — Jared Taylor hits play, and the first Donald Trump ad of the general election unfolds across his breakfast table. Syrian refugees streaming across a border. Hordes of immigrants, crowded onto trains.
“Donald Trump’s America is secure,” rumbles a narrator. “Terrorists and dangerous criminals kept out. The border, secure; our families, safe.”
Taylor, one of America’s foremost “racialists,” is impressed and relieved. “That’s a powerful appeal,” he said. “If he can just stick to that, he is in very good shape.”
From his Fairfax County home, Taylor has edited the white nationalist magazine American Renaissance and organized racialist conferences under the “AmRen” banner. He said that Trump should “concentrate on his natural constituency, which is white people,” suggesting that winning 65 percent of the white vote would overwhelm any Democratic gains with minorities.
When Trump made Breitbart News CEO Steve Bannon his campaign’s chief executive last week, Taylor found reasons to celebrate. It was the latest sign for white nationalists, once dismissed as fringe, that their worldview was gaining popularity and that the old Republican Party was coming to an end.
The rise of the alt-right — named for the Alternative Right website that the “identitarian” nationalist Richard Spencer set up in 2010 and adopted by those opposed to multiculturalism and mass immigration — has come to define how many of its adherents see Trump. There’s less talk now about a “pivot,” or a moment when Trump will adopt the ideas of people that he conquered. His strategy now resembles the alt-right dream of maximizing the white vote — even as polling shows his standing with white voters falls short of Mitt Romney’s in 2012.
Trump’s newest speeches, read from a teleprompter, hit all of their favorite notes. “I don’t think Trump had mentioned ‘sanctuary cities’ previously,” Spencer said in an interview. “There’s reason to believe that Bannon is returning him to his powerful, populist message — indeed, honing it.
Breitbart, not founded as part of their movement, became a welcoming place for it. The site found millions of new readers clicking on stories about “black crime” and the threat of Syrian refugees. At Breitbart, undocumented immigrants are “illegals,” Black Lives Matter activists venerate “cop-killer heroes,” and Gold Star father Khizr Khan is a busy promoter of sharia law.
Already supportive of the Trump campaign, people like Taylor see Bannon’s move and the change in Trump’s tone as validation.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign has treated all of this as a gift. Hours after Bannon’s hire was official, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook held a conference call denouncing Breitbart — a taster for a series of email pitches and finger-wagging statements to come.
Last month, Breitbart reporter Katie McHugh referred to the criminal justice overhauls favored by some Republicans as “prison break legislation” that’s “un-compassionate to crime victims.”
Breitbart’s coverage, and the alt-right in general, advance a theory that a left-behind wing of conservatives have screamed about for decades. In the 1980s, figures such as Pat Buchanan and the late Sam Francis warned that the left was transforming the country without much resistance from the Republican establishment. . . . . Trump’s latest “pivot” has streamlined his arguments, not moderated them; it has promoted the people who agree with the alt-right, not a bid for the center.