by Wilmer Leon
Baltimore is a “…disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess…Why is so much money sent to the Elijah Cummings’ district when it is considered the worst run and most dangerous anywhere in the United States? No human being would want to live there. Where is all this money going? How much is stolen? Investigate this corrupt mess immediately!” President Donald Trump 7-28-09
President Trump is many things. He is ignorant; probably the most ignorant president ever elected. He is disinterested (ignorant and disinterested are a very dangerous combination). He is racist, a liar, sexist, misogynist, anti-Muslim, homophobic and many other things. The one thing he is not is stupid. He clearly understands and has made millions from marketing, messaging and branding.
His use of racist troupes, bombast, hyperbole, lies and narcissism may be dysfunctional and dangerous but they are shrewd and crude political calculations. This is a base-galvanizing political strategy not a consensus governing political strategy. One data point, according to Pew, even after Trump admitted that he is a misogynistic sexual predator, 47 percent of white women voted for Donald Trump. Why, because as Tom Porter stated, “they rather eat their racism than sit down and dine on a fine meal”. Or as H. Rap Brown said, “racism is as American as cherry pie”.
Since Trump cannot formulate a political message or campaign strategy that highlights his accomplishments or ability to deliver on his campaign promises, he defaults to the troupes that have historically carried the day in America, racism and xenophobia.
President Trump has failed to deliver on any of the major promises that candidate Trump ran on. He has failed to bring manufacturing jobs back to America. According to The Atlantic, “From trade deals to gun control and immigration to military deployments, the president has a consistent pattern: Talk a big game, then back down.”
I have watched for the past two years and specifically the past two weeks as Trump has employed the tactics of hyper or uber-racist rhetoric to distract the media and public away from the issues that really matter. Two weeks ago, Trump referred to “Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen” (aka “The Squad”) in his tweets, saying they should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” “Go back to where you come from” has been one of the most often used racist rants from bigots in America for centuries. Trump must have been talking about his own administration since all four women are members of Congress and US citizens.
Last Sunday Trump Tweeted the racists insults about the city of Baltimore, MD, its residents and one of its congressional representatives. “No human being would want to live there.” Really? Then what do you call the residents of the 26th largest city in the US who choose to and enjoy living in Baltimore…less than human? The racial composition of Baltimore is African American: 62.80%, White: 30.29% and Asian: 2.56%. The average household income has increased over the past 10 years from $45,900 to $64,100.
Again, Trump is ignorant but he’s not stupid. His Tweets are not the mindless and aimless rants of a stupid man. They are political calculations designed to distract the media and electorate from the real issues that are plaguing America.
There’s a finite number of minutes, hours and days before the 2020 election. Every minute and day that our news cycle is consumed by and dedicated to Trump’s Tweets is time that America is not focused on how to address or solve wealth disparity, mass incarceration, the correlation between extrajudicial killings and mass deportation and America’s bankrupt and racist foreign policy.
It’s easy for so-called analysts and pundits on mainstream corporate media to tell us that Trump is a racist. How do we know this? He tells us this every day. They may as well be discussing is water wet. Calling Trump racist is not journalism, nor is it news. It is simple and obvious. The challenge is to avoid the contrived distractions and deal with the real issues and solutions. Solutions that solve problems such as why this current generation of young people are slated to be the first generation in this country that will not have a higher standard of living than their parents. We need to ensure that the American dream is obtainable for everyone.
The media, Democrats, pundits and analysts can follow Trump down the racist rat hole if they want, but do it at your own peril. Telling us that he’s incompetent does not take much analysis or insight. It’s a trap that he has set for you. It’s a fool’s errand and a losing venture; just ask Hilary Clinton.