This election cycle has produced some of the most outlandish and offensive affiliations ever recorded in American politics. Donald Trump’s shameless exploitation of ultra-right ideologies is marking new territory for fringe players. The Republican nominee’s unsavory ties to Russian oligarchs and Mafia Dons is unprecedented. But Hillary Clinton’s address yesterday was a rare condemnation of a candidate’s overt bigotry and a damning summation of Trump’s bond with America’s white supremacist movement.
Clinton spoke about how Trump’s campaign has mainstreamed the “alt-right” hate movement. She began by noting that the divisive rhetoric spewed by Trump “is like nothing we’ve heard before from a nominee for President of the United States.” What follows are highlights from the speech (full video below).
“From the start Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia. He is taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party. His disregard for the values that make our country great are profoundly dangerous.”
“A man with a long history of racial discrimination who traffics in dark conspiracy theories drawn from the pages of the supermarket tabloids and the dark, far reaches of the Internet should never run our government or command our military.”
Clinton then pointed out that: Trump was sued by the Justice Department – twice – for refusing to rent to black and Latino tenants; that he is the nation’s foremost birther; that he said a federal judge could not do his job because he was of Mexican heritage; that he failed to disavow former Klan leader David Duke; and that by retweeting white supremacists “Trump took this fringe bigot with a few dozen followers and spread his message to eleven million people.”
Clinton also recited some of Trump’s blatant lies, such as his claim to have seen thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating the fall of the World Trade Center. A celebration that never actually happened. He also accused Ted Cruz’s father of being involved in the Kennedy assassination. She also mocked his medical prognosis saying that “His latest paranoid fever dream is about my health. And all I can say is ‘Donald, dream on.'” She then outlined some of Trump’s nefarious sources and supporters.
“It’s also what happens when you listen to the radio host Alex Jones [of InfoWars], who claims that 9/11 and the Oklahoma bombings were inside jobs. He even said – and this really is so disgusting – the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre were child actors and no one was actually killed there. I don’t know what happens in somebody’s mind, or how dark their heart must be, to say things like that. But Trump doesn’t challenge these lies. He actually went on Jones’ show and said ‘Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down.'”
“He may have some new people putting words in his mouth, but we know where he stands. He would form a deportation force to round up millions of immigrants and kick them out of the country. He’d abolish the bedrock constitutional principle that says if you’re born in the United States you’re an American citizen. He says that children born to undocumented parents in America are ‘anchor babies’ and should be deported. He’d ban Muslims from around the world from entering our country just because of their religion.”
“Look at who he’s put in charge of his campaign. Trump likes to say that he only hires the best people. But he’s had to fire so many campaign managers it’s like an episode from The Apprentice. And the latest shake was designed to ‘Let Trump be Trump.’ So to do that he hired Stephen Bannon, the head of a right-wing website called breitbart.com as the campaign CEO. Now to give you a flavor of his work, here are a few headlines they published, and I’m not making this up: Birth control makes women unattractive and crazy; Would you rather your child had feminism or cancer?; Gabby Giffords, the gun control movement’s human shield; Hoist it high and proud, the Confederate flag proclaims a glorious heritage. […] Just imagine, Donald Trump reading that and thinking ‘This is what I need more of in my campaign.'”
“According to the Southern Poverty Law Center which tracks hate groups, Breitbart embraces ideas on the extremist fringe of the conservative right. This is not conservatism as we have known it. This is not Republicanism, as we have known it. These are racist ideas, race-baiting ideas, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-woman. All key tenets making up the emerging racist ideology known as the alt-right.”
“The grand godfather of this global brand of extreme nationalism is Russian President Vladimir Putin. […] Trump himself heaps praise on Putin and embraces pro-Russian policies. He talks casually about abandoning our NATO allies, recognizing Russia’s annexation of Crimea, giving the Kremlin a free hand in Eastern Europe.”
“All of this adds up to something we have never seen before. There has always been a paranoid fringe in American politics, a lot of it arising from racial resentment. But it’s never had the nominee of a major party stoking it, encouraging it and giving it a national megaphone. Until now.”
This was a powerful denunciation of Trump’s affinity for the far-right freakshow that makes up America’s deviant demographic. It was a profoundly candid rebuke that is not often seen in political debates that frequently attempt to temper strong opinions. But it was effective and necessary and it has put Republicans on edge. They have yet to counter a single factual point made in the speech. And Donald Trump, usually a bombastic defender of his vile bigotry, could only muster a tweet criticizing Clinton’s speech for being too short. Like he could withstand more of this.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.