The most surprising thing about Donald Trump’s racist tweets is that possibly the most fundamentally un-American outburst of modern presidential rhetoric didn’t come remotely as a shock.
The second most shocking aspect of an episode that might have rocked any other administration is that the President knows he can trade in such base tactics because he pays no price in a Republican Party cowed by his fervent political base.
Many GOP voters and lawmakers are uncomfortable with Trump’s conduct and sentiments. However, most are sufficiently satisfied with the ideological path of his presidency that they’re willing to turn a blind eye to such behavior, making it an effective political weapon as he seeks to drive a rampant base turnout in 2020.
In an attack clearly aimed toward four minority Democratic lawmakers — the President didn’t name the “progressives” in his tirade — Trump underlined how his presidency has used bigotry as a lever of energy and made it a fact of 21st century political life higher than half a century after the peak of the Civil Rights era. His use of the nation’s most revered office to make such unequivocally racist remarks emphasizes how a presidency stewing in rage, fear, and identity politics lacks boundaries.
Trump’s tweets came on a day when border agents began raids targeting undocumented migrants — bolstering Trump’s scorched earth immigration rhetoric on the center of his 2020 campaign.
They took the President’s present fear and conspiracy-laden politics to a fresh peak after he warned last week of “illegal aliens in our midst” and accused the patriotism of his critics at inflammatory White House events.