New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is no fan of Donald Trump. That certainly should come as no surprise. So when de Blasio joined CNN’s New Day to talk about Trump, he leveled some stinging, yet from all appearances completely accurate criticism of Trump and his presidential campaign.
de Blasio starts by telling New Day host Alisyn Camerota that Trump “divides us.” That much is obvious from the things Trump has been saying about Muslims, immigrants and anybody else he thinks the people who are listening to him are ready to turn against.
After saying that Trump is using race as “a wedge,” he goes on to describe what he believes Trump’s motive for doing so is:
This is the worst kind of racism. It’s cynical racism for his own political gain.
There have been three theories that have been put forward about why this Donald Trump is taking up positions on some subjects that are so radically different than what he seemed to believe not too many years ago.
- He has become a “true believer” and means the things he says.
- He is trolling the entire Republican base, if not the whole country.
- He is using his controversial stances on issues as a means to an end — getting elected president, or at least, using the publicity from the run to his advantage.
de Blasio seems to be among those who think the explanation is #3.
In other words, Trump is playing his supporters by telling them what they want to hear. He knows there is a core of disgruntled white voters out there who are upset over the changes that they are witnessing in the country, upset that a black man with a Muslim-sounding name is president and upset because they think that all of those things are producing a negative impact on their lives. Trump may not believe a word of what he is saying, but he knows that the people who are listening to his message do.
Camerota knows that when it comes to politics, a candidate’s words and his or her actions can be two different things. So she asks de Blasio whether he has any examples of Donald Trump acting as a racist, rather than just talking like one. de Blasio’s response is right on the money.
His words are his actions in this case. He is literally encouraging people to feel negative things about people other than them.
He’s trying to encourage people who have negative feelings towards other kinds of people to see him as their standard bearer. And then he’s encouraging violence towards people who are different.
de Blasio finishes his comment with this sad but true statement:
This is when democracies start to break down a little bit — when someone like this emerges and they’re not stopped.
Fortunately, in a democracy, there is an easy way to stop someone like Donald Trump: vote.
Here are de Blasio’s comments, via CNN:
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