If you’re just now realizing that Donald Trump has a hive mind of racists and Neo-Nazis following him, then you haven’t been paying attention. Among the first group of people to give Trump their support were the Neo-Nazis and the KKK. Trump has repeatedly shared Neo-Nazi memes and messages in the past.
Trump has courted these people. So his supporters, unless they’ve been living under a rock, have no reason to act shocked or in disbelief when they learn this — least of all Paul Ryan, who reassured everyone on CNN today that anti-Semitic images “have no place in a presidential campaign” just days after Trump shared yet another Neo-Nazi image.
Social media, for all the good it’s brought, has unleashed the collective id of humanity, and Trump has managed to build his campaign brand on appealing to that id using social media. Holocaust deniers, Neo-Nazis, wannabe anarcho-fascists and anarcho-nationalists, regular old fascists, and angry young (white) men of all stripes count themselves among his ranks.
Trump often shares image macros that these groups produce, and wound up in hot water recently after sharing an image macro heavily critical of Hilly Clinton that featured a six-pointed star. For those who don’t know, the six-pointed star is the Star of David, which is the symbol of the Jewish faith. No other symbol defines the Jewish people so thoroughly; it’s like the cross to Christianity or the crest and star to Islam.
Now, that might seem like “political correctness” or “social justice warriors looking to be offended,” and indeed, Trump has tried this, saying that the media reporting on it was “dishonest.”
But given his history and the Neo-Nazi support for his campaign? There’s a fine line between trusting and stupid and I’m neither. So yes, I am willing to blame maliciousness, and I feel on especially sound grounds, epistemically, in assuming that the image was deliberately designed to be anti-Semitic. As should you.
It helps that the image had been found on an anti-Semitic, white supremacist message board 10 days earlier.
And I’m not the only one. Late to the parade is Wisconsin Republican and House Speaker Paul Ryan, who said on the Charlie Sykes radio program:
Look, I really believe he has to clean up the way his (social) media works. They’ve got to clean this thing up.
Ryan noted that these sorts of things “have no place in a presidential campaign.”
Well isn’t that nice. It’s always nice to see tepid, weakwilled criticism.
What they need to do is dump Trump. The RNC needs to do everything possible to torpedo his campaign, even if it means destroying their chances at the White House and the Senate. If they had any shred of integrity and faith in the United States left, they’d devote everything possible to destroying Trump and Ryan would be leading the charge, not offering tepid criticisms. A person who openly panders to Neo-Nazis does not deserve to win anything other than relentless, ruthless ridicule for being a sentient genital wart.
But the RNC won’t. Given all the weird fetishes Republicans in Washington are into, I’m surprised anal fisting isn’t one of them. You’d think if it were, by now someone would’ve accidentally punched them in the face and knocked sense into them.
So instead, we have Ryan proclaiming, “he’s got to clean it up,” by which he almost certainly means, “he’s gotta go back to using dog whistles.” Because the party John Birch built was never very clean to begin with.
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images