However, this veneer of rationality is paper-thin, especially considering his vicious remarks toward Latin American immigrants, particularly during the speech he made on June 16 announcing his candidacy for President.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists and some, I assume, are good people, but I speak to border guards and they’re telling us what we’re getting.”
Despite Trump’s stance in favor of infrastructural benefits, it seems as though he would have no problem with cutting a wide swath of the U.S. population out of that particular loop. Especially, since he believes that even children born on U.S. soil to undocumented immigrants should be deported, along with their parents.
Even more sinister, cries of “WHITE POWER!” were heard among Trump’s supporters at a campaign rally in Mobile, Alabama on August 21, 2015. Two days earlier, Steve and Scott Leade, a pair of racist Masshole brothers in Boston, viciously ambushed a homeless Hispanic immigrant, urinating on his face and beating him about the head and face with fists and a metal pole, breaking his nose. Shortly after being arrested, Scott Leader reportedly said to the police:
“Donald Trump was right; all these illegals need to be deported.”
It should be noted that the victim, whose name has been withheld, not only speaks English, but carries a Social Security card, indicating a right to legal residency in the United States.
And as if all that wasn’t enough, in late June 2015, the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi publication, endorsed Donald Trump for President.
Though Trump stated via Twitter that he “would never condone violence,” his initial remarks immediately following the assault seemed to take a tone of indifferent resignation:
“I will say that people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.”
Furthermore, it is hard to take Trump’s limp-wristed and disingenous decision not to condone violence seriously. Especially, since his manifesto on DonaldJTrump.com characterizes Latin American immigrants as a threat to U.S. society:
“The impact in terms of crime has been tragic. In recent weeks, the headlines have been covered with cases of criminals who crossed our border illegally only to go on to commit horrific crimes against Americans. Most recently, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, with a long arrest record, is charged with breaking into a 64 year-old women’s home, crushing her skull and eye sockets with a hammer, raping her, and murdering her.”
With that in mind, it is not hard to draw parallels between Trump’s admiration of his more racist supporters’ passion to “Make America Great Again,” to quote his divisive, nationalistic campaign slogan, and manic conspiracist wingnut Alex Jones urging his listeners, “Time to get aggressive! It is on! There is no choice, you gotta fight them!” Not unlike the situation centered around the Leader brothers and their assault on a homeless immigrant, driven by Donald Trump’s exhortation to “Make America Great Again,” Jones’ commands to “get aggressive” resonated with Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the man who was caught on video placing the bombs at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon.
Critics of Alex Jones assert that his incendiary rhetoric is a form of stochastic terrorism, meaning that the violence is statistically predictable but individually unpredictable.
Here’s how it works. An influential demagogue uses any number of communication outlets to suggest that violence be used to make a radical political statement. Inevitably, some random maladjusted lone wolf gets the message, and carries out the violent act. Though a stochastic terrorist pushes no detonation buttons and pulls no trigger, the perpetrator, encouraged by his oration becomes the missile who strikes the target.
Granted, Donald Trump did publicly say he doesn’t condone violence. However, racism, which has become the very stock in trade of his Presidential campaign, is allied to violence because it most often leads to violence. Suffice it to say, the Donald’s Tweet about not condoning violence comes across as rather ineffective and hypocritical.
As for the bigots to whom Trump appeals, it is far more likely that they will pay a great deal more attention to his strident call to “Make America Great Again” and the accompanying message that undocumented immigrants will introduce a criminal element to the United States than to any urging on his part against violence. Since a great many of these white supremacists are not above taking the law into their own hands, the vicious assault committed in Boston by the Leader brothers might not be the last violent act in the interest of answering the Donald’s call to “Make America Great Again.”
Featured image: Donald Trump (Wikimedia Commons).