Donald Trump: As president I will give more power to cops to ‘get rid of gangs’. Because what we need right now is police with more powers, NOT!!!!
And for today’s dog whistle…More empty but no doubt effective rhetoric from the nation’s narcissist-in-chief. “We’re gonna get rid of those gang members in Baltimore and Chicago so fast it’ll make your head spin.” (???) Aside from the obvious way in which he wishes his supporters to hear this — i.e., we’re gonna get tough with black people — he naturally offers no insights into how he would do this.
The president can’t just unleash local law enforcement to crack heads and round people up, at least not under existing constitutional norms. Unless he intends to federalize the state level national guards and force them to go all Kent State on some folks (which I wouldn’t put past him) this is just empty bloviating. So it’s either mere pandering or a real call for police state tactics and overt fascism. Just more of the way in which his entire campaign is geared towards the white nationalist/authoritarian mindset of much of the American electorate.
Now, imagine that president Obama had said, either as a candidate OR president, “we’re gonna get rid of those militia nuts and anti-government extremists so fast it’ll make your head spin.” The same folks who applaud Trump’s bellicosity would have lost their minds. Because when people of color speak boldly they’re seen as uppity and pushy and arrogant, and when white men do it they’re seen as cowboys and natural leaders and strong.
Frankly, the people who would vote for Trump probably deserve him and the damage he would do to this nation. Lucky for them and us there are probably still enough people of color and progressive white folks not to let that happen. But not if we downplay the threat, or think people will “come to their senses.” If he gets the nomination, he will very likely win a general election. If black voter turnout drops several points from ’08 and ’12, which most every expert believes it will, and even if Latino and Asian turnout surge, all the GOP candidate needs to do is increase their percentage of the white vote by about 1 point, and increase white turnout by about 4-5 points and they win. Anyone who thinks that isn’t eminently do-able is fooling themselves.
Originally Posted by Tim Wise