August 05, 2015

Trump promises "normalcy" aka whiteness

The hideous truth about Donald Trump: Why the “Trump Surge” is here to stay—even if his campaign isn’t

The forces animating the Donald's soaring popularity are omnipresent: The deep-seated anxieties of white America

By Brittney Cooper
Donald Trump makes clear that he primarily cares about capitalism, about wealth, and about power. While I view his particular performance of right-wing politics and white masculinity as buffoonish, he seems to offer comfort to those on the right who are deeply invested in returning the country’s leadership to someone who looks and thinks like them. What’s interesting, then, is that Trump’s billionaire status likely indicates that he has little in common with the everyday citizen. But his brash and unapologetic political incorrectness bespeaks comfort, a seeming return to normalcy for those Americans who believe that progress and change are happening too fast.

While Democratic candidates like Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders have become more explicit about saying “Black lives matter,” Trump recently argued that we actually need to “give power back to the police.” Nothing about the rampant culture of overpolicing in this country or the surveillance state in which most urban people of color live would suggest that this is a reasonable position to take. The police have more power than they have ever had, and they continue to use that power to intimidate and abuse ordinary citizens of all backgrounds, including African-Americans, Native Americans and white people.
And:The explanations that suggest that Trump’s “refreshing honesty” and “lack of political corruption” make him popular are surface-level truths that point to a deeper set of lies. Trump legitimizes the most irrational and base impulses of those on the right. He makes it seem OK to have views that are politically retrograde and fundamentally at odds with a democratic project. He makes white discomfort with progressive discourse and policy feel like a legitimate anxiety.

The presidency of Barack Obama has so deeply unsettled such a significant segment of the American populace, that nothing but right-wing political zealotry will make them feel settled again. This is what Trump represents–the kind of zealotry meant to balance the extreme feelings that many conservative (read: white) Americans have about what they’ve been “forced to endure” for the last eight years.
Comment:  For more on conservatives, see "Restoring America's Greatness" = Disneyesque Dream and Obama's N-Word Controversy.

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