Essentially the most surprising factor about Donald Trump’s racist tweets is that possibly the most fundamentally un-American outburst of modern presidential rhetoric didn’t come remotely as a shock.
The second most surprising aspect of an episode that will have rocked another administration is that the President is aware of the commerce in such base tactics as a result of he pays no price in a Republican Party cowed by his fervent political base.
Many GOP voters and lawmakers are uncomfortable with Trump’s conduct and sentiments. However, most are sufficiently happy with the ideological path of his presidency that they’re keen to show a blind eye to such behavior, making it a useful political weapon as he seeks to drive a rampant base turnout in 2020.
In an assault clearly aimed toward four minority Democratic lawmakers — the President didn’t identify the “progressives” in his tirade — Trump underlined how his presidency has used bigotry as a lever of energy and made it a fact of 21st century political life longer than half an era after the height of the Civil Rights era. His use of the nation’s most revered workplace to make such unequivocally racist remarks emphasizes how a presidency stewing in rage, concern, and identity politics lacks boundaries.
And Trump’s xenophobia made it more apparent than ever that he plans to win reelection by carving a nativist schism between white, rural America and the increasingly numerous population being courted by Democrats. He risks opening divides that may take years to heal.