By Robert Mann
Perhaps you have noticed not one Republican member of Louisiana’s congressional delegation condemned Donald Trump for his racist remarks about immigrants.
I know, Trump’s vulgar slur surprised no one. This kind of thing is routine. And it’s not as if Trump hides this personality trait. Among other offenses, he’s the original birther, for which he has never expressed regret.
But, after Trump’s racist Oval Office vulgarity, it’s clear how much hatred his dark heart harbors. So, were you at all surprised that our Republican members of Congress shrank from condemning comments that will prove a windfall for terrorist recruiting efforts in Africa?
No? Well, neither was I.
Could it be Trump has so compromised the consciences of these members they no longer care about hateful, bigoted language that undermines national security? Or has their loyalty to the Racist in Chief blinded them so they cannot recognize racism?
Maybe, but I suspect something far more prosaic. The collective failure of conscience by these Republicans tells us how they regard their constituents.
Trust me: Sen. John Kennedy, Rep. Steve Scalise and the rest of our delegation understand well the voters who elected them. The uniform silence of Kennedy, Scalise, Sen. Bill Cassidy and Reps. Garret Graves, Clay Higgins, Ralph Abraham and Mike Johnson tells us volumes.
What it says is they believe criticizing Trump is a political loser. They know denouncingTrump’s racism will cost them votes.
For all the talk about “economic anxiety” as the motivation for many Trump supporters, his greatest appeal has always been thinly veiled racism. Now that Trump has revealed himself as nothing more than a champion of the rich — and his poll numbers among Republicans remain strong — let’s call economic anxiety what it really is: racism.
Does this mean every Trump voter is a racist? No. But for most, racism is not a deal breaker and is, in fact, Trump’s greatest appeal. And it’s that appeal that intimidates Kennedy, Scalise and the rest.
I know, defending the marginalized has never been a Republican priority. That’s partly because so many Republican voters regard immigrants, minorities and the poor as lazy, shiftless moochers. It’s why you will often hear politicians, like Kennedy and Graves, vilify the poor in service of the rich.
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