In the wake of Donald Trump’s racist Twitter rant from last week, Republicans seem to be split into two camps on how to react. Do they renounce it loudly – which seems rather futile and begs the question of why they didn’t renounce it when the House passed a resolution condemning Trump’s words – or do they weakly try and defend Trump’s comments while attacking the four House freshmen who make up “the Squad”? This isn’t exactly well thought out either, because it’s only a matter of time before Donald Trump says something else profoundly stupid and racist and they’ll need to come to his rescue again – perhaps very soon, as Robert Mueller’s testimony is likely to dominate headlines this week.
Rep. Mark Walker of North Carolina recently said that the GOP doesn’t wish to be defined by the naked bigotry their leader is embracing. During a CNN interview he went on to say that “some of the chants” heard at Trump rallies – like calls on Rep. Ilhan Omar to go back to Somalia – have “been offensive to many in our minority communities for decades.” So much for trying to spin Trump’s tweets and the equally bigoted messages he inspired at his North Carolina rally.
Republicans like Walker simply see the racism of Donald Trump’s base as little more than a public relations problem, thinking if they disavow it publicly, it won’t matter if his supporters say it and think it almost daily. The fact that he waited several days after the incident also indicates how truly hollow his words are – he was simply waiting to gauge the public’s reaction and how badly he needed to do damage control. The truth is that Walker can try to separate the actions of Trumpers from the party all he likes, but the GOP has had a race problem since well before Donald Trump announced his candidacy, and will for the foreseeable future if we don’t vote them all out in 2020.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making