When Donald J. Trump obtained his electoral college win to become the President of the United States in November 2016, it must be stated that, in addition to losing the popular vote to the Democratic Party candidate former US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton by 3 million votes, nearly an additional 5 million voters voted for the Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson. That’s a grand total almost 8 million voters that did not vote for Donald Trump for president. That being said, in our system, the Electoral College can, pardon the expression, trump the popular vote.
The US has been building toward what has culminated in the train wreck of a presidency of Donald Trump for decades and it has been an overly stressed and aggravated fear of the browning of America that has provided a significant push in that direction. This reality, that people of Caucasian descent would be eclipsed as a majority population by non-white individuals in the United States, has been trumpeted by self identified conservatives, elements of the Right Wing and white nationalists and supremacists for approximately five decades.
The outcome of this concern in these quarters has included zeroing in, with laser focused precision, on stemming and ending the perceived tidal wave of non white immigrants, period, not only illegal immigrants. This has been the concern and focus of many within the Republican Party. In addition, this concern has been linked to US voting rights and the hair on fire, never corroborated urgency, raised by these elements that unidentified illegal immigrants have been voting in US elections.
Former President William Jefferson Clinton, on the stump for his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton, addressing the Trump campaign slogan Make America Great Again correctly identified the meaning of the slogan in the circles were the slogan was best received, stating “"If you’re a white southerner, you know exactly what it means, don't you? It means I’ll give you the economy you had 50 years ago and I’ll move you back up the social totem pole and other people down."
Kris Kobach, Kansas Republican Secretary of State, was named as the vice chairman of the now disbanded Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity that was convened after Donald Trump mused that he would have won the popular vote if 3 million illegal voters hadn’t voted for Hillary Clinton. Kris Kobach is a hard line right winger that has for years promoted extremist ideologies and has ties to white nationalists.
Since the release of the book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House on January 5, 2018, authored by Michael Wolff, Donald Trump has been, to most observers, attempting to persuade all who might listen that he is not the flawed and incompetent person chronicled within the book’s pages.
During his attempt to dispel the claims contained within Mr. Wolff’s book, the White House allowed a photo op of the President with members of both the Democratic and Republican Parties set to address immigration reform on January 10, 2018. That did not go well. Donald Trump listened, agreed with, vacillated and changed opinion, with minutes, as soon as the newest speaker addressed him with a statement regarding the over arching topic of immigration.
The day after the photo op, Thursday, January 11, 2018, there was a meeting with the President, anticipated to have been attended only by Senator Dick Durbin (Democrat) and Senator Lindsey Graham (Republican), two members of a bipartisan committee attempting to provide a way forward for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, most commonly known as the Dreamers. These are individuals that were brought to the US illegally by adults while they themselves, the Dreamers, were children.
Also in attendance, all Republicans, were House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, California, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Virginia and GOP Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia. They had been added to the meeting by Stephen Miller, former aide to US Attorney General Jefferson Sessions and top adviser and speech writer for the President. It has been stated Miller was concerned the President needed to include the other more hard line Republicans in the meeting.
Steven Miller has been identified as having been mentored by Richard Spencer, one of the white nationalists/supremacists that organized the white nationalist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017, which resulted in the death of a woman protesting the white nationalist rally, the same rally where the President stated there were good people among the white nationalists.
During this meeting, Republican Senator Graham of the bipartisan committee presented aspects of immigration reform the committee wanted addressed, including re-instituting temporary protected status, for individuals that are here in the US legally, for people from Haiti, El Salvador and also African countries. That’s when President Trump lobed a toxic grenade into the center of the room.
It has been widely reported Donald Trump became agitated, appearing angry and annoyed and stated, confirmed on the record by Democratic Senator Durbin, “ 'Why do we want these people from all these shithole countries here? We should have more people from places like Norway." Senator Durbin condemned these statements. He stated that the president repeated the statement several times. The President is also reported to have said, "Why do we need more Haitians? Take them out."
Throughout his life, his campaign and now his presidency, it can be said, all of his despicable character traits have been on view, including his racism. For many people, this culminates with much deserved critique and rebuff of his words or actions and a call for an apology but, it’s deeper than that.
Castigation, name calling and repugnant behavior aside, the real danger of Donald Trump and his presidency is his ability to transform all of his prejudices and his grudges at imagined and perceived wrongs and slights into policy and action through the power of his office by ensconcing like minded people around him to carry out his every edict. That is the true embodiment of systemic racism.