During the presidential campaign, Republicans were warned repeatedly — and often with hysterics — that if Donald Trump were elected, the GOP would become the “racist party,” thus losing all legitimacy and power.
Now that Trump has won the election, these fear-mongers are doubling down, redefining the GOP with their own racist imaging and with their own stigmatized labeling. They have created an outrageously false version of reality for purposes of knocking it down, now accusing Trump of remaking the Republican Party in the image of the (historically Democratic) KKK.
A prime example comes from Jonathan Chait, who has written a disgraceful, disingenuous article for New York magazine. Chait brings false allegations of racism against Trump and his proposed team, and then concludes:
See, it’s turning out just as we said: Trump has redefined the GOP as the racist party.
Chait is hoping, of course, that if he repeats this lie often enough it will become true. He writes:
Donald Trump’s presidential campaign bludgeoned modern norms about the acceptability of racism.
Absurd. What Trump bludgeoned was the Left’s “norm” of labeling anyone who doesn’t agree with its agenda as “racist.” That norm won’t be acceptable anymore, Jonathan.
Trump and his followers punched through the Left’s manipulation and control of racial politics that have been holding American principles — such as free speech — captive. This wasn’t a “whitelash,” as Van Jones called it, but a backlash against the false bigoted stereotyping employed by Jones and Chait.
Of course, “whites” weren’t the only ones on board with the breaking of the Left’s norms. African Americans have seen how the Left has used the label of racism as a means to incite white guilt in order to manipulate, and they have spoken out against it. For two excellent examples, read Shelby Steele’s White Guilt and Burgess Owens’ Liberalism, or How to Turn Good Men into Whiners, Weenies and Wimps.
For decades, any pushback against the authoritarian, anti-American agenda of the Left has been labeled “racist” in one way or another. The tactic was meant to silence opposition (something I explained in “The Sordid History of Liberals Calling Republicans Racists”), and it worked — until good people got tired of it and fought back.
The overwhelming majority of Republicans were sick and tired of being labeled racist due to a rejected fringe of actual racist hangers-on. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party accepted a much larger segment of actual racists and terror supporters within its tent — see the New Black Panthers, CAIR, La Raza, and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Yet, Chait insists on advancing the false narrative that Trump has made the GOP racist. Perhaps he feels he must lie, of course.
Because the only way the Left can enact its agenda and regain power with its anti-individual, anti-liberty policies is by lying about the opposition.
Chait jumped on the smear train, labeling three members of Trump’s team racist: Michael Flynn, Jeff Sessions, and Stephen Bannon. It’s a joke, of course, because none of these men are racists. Tucker Carlson of Fox News eviscerated Roll Call’s Jonathan Allen when he tried to paint Sessions as a racist, proving that Allen’s charges of racism, like those of Chait, were pathetically unfounded and even slanderous.
Mark Levin also took the media to the woodshed for smearing Sessions:
Now I want you to listen to me. [Sessions] is a thoroughly decent human being. He does not have a racist bone in his body. He is a soft-spoken man. He is an extremely intelligent man. He would make an outstanding attorney general of the United States — unlike Loretta Lynch, unlike Eric Holder.
He’s an extremely ethical man. Now what’s being done to him is what they tried to do to him before when the president I worked for, Ronald Reagan, nominated him in 1986 to be on the appellate court. It’s what they tried to do to Clarence Thomas. It’s what they’ve tried to do to a score of solid conservative men and women. And we must stand up to this!”
We cannot allow every single person we put forward for a prominent position to have their character assassinated. We cannot tolerate this any longer.
Levin wasn’t done:
How dare you trash a man like this! How dare you participate in this! And we have to sit here and listen to this crap? The party of slavery, the party of segregation, the party of Jim Crow lecturing us? Now the party of the Muslim Brotherhood, the party of CAIR, the party of Louis Farrakhan?
Levin is exactly right. Just as the media have done with Sessions, they’ve done with Mike Flynn, who has been a severe critic of Islamic extremism. Even if Flynn had been wrong about their interpretation of the religion, this doesn’t make him a racist.
Bannon, formerly of Breitbart, has become the bugaboo of racism for Trump critics. If you believed the liberal media, you’d think this man was already making plans to construct gas chambers on American soil. It’s ridiculous, of course. Many people have come out in his defense, including Jim Hoft who wrote at Gateway Pundit:
I know Steve Bannon, he’s not a racist crackpot like Rev. Wright or terrorist bomber like Bill Ayers.
David Goldman also defended Bannon, writing at PJ Media:
The charges against Steve Bannon are a tissue of lies without a modicum of merit.Anyone can search the Breitbart Media archive for posts on Israel, Jews, and related topics, as I have, and determine that Steve Bannon’s hugely successful media platform is 100% pro-Israel.
Not only that: Breitbart consistently reports on the dangers of anti-Semitism around the world.
Not a single article appeared in Breitbart.com during the past two years that could not have appeared in Israel Hayom, the leading Israeli daily.
Breitbart Senior Editor-at-Large Joel Pollak also made this point. During an interview with NPR, he asked them to cite evidence of actual racism at Breitbart.
Pollak turned the tables on NPR, accusing their “Code Switch” blog of being racist itself:
NPR is taxpayer-funded and has an entire section of its programming, a regular feature called “Code Switch,” which, from my perspective, is a racist program. I’m looking here at the latest article, which aired on NPR, calling the election results “nostalgia for a whiter America.”
So NPR has racial and racist programming that I am required to, I’m required to pay for as a taxpayer.
The Left doesn’t want to admit its own racism. In their minds, only Republicans can be racists because that’s the narrative they have constructed, that’s the label they have created.
But this label – being false and easily debunked — could stick only as long as those on the Right allowed it to stick.
For the first time in decades, Republicans and conservatives are saying “screw you,” not allowing the threat of “white guilt” to manipulate their actions and silence them. They’re pushing back.
But not all non-Democrats are on board with this new era of honesty. This is especially true for NeverTrumpers in the media, political elites, “intellectual” libertarians who imagine they’re above it all, and “cool” millennials who don’t want even a hint of racism to stain their spotless reputations.
These are the gullible ones who still fall for the propaganda from people like Chait. They believe him when he says Trump’s “early staffing choices are redefining the boundaries of acceptable racial discourse in Republican politics,” when it’s just a bunch of horse manure.
They’ll be tempted to fall for these continued Leftist tactics, but they must resist. When Chait and others say Trump is “reshaping the GOP before our eyes” (and by that they mean “racism”), they need to be on guard, to refuse to drink the Kool-Aid. Yes, Trump is bringing changes — but they’re not racist. We can debate the populist-versus-conservative issues that might reshape the GOP, but it’s not racism. Even the “nationalism” that is so prevalent among Trump supporters is not racist, a point Bannon himself made recently in The Hollywood Reporter:
I’m not a white nationalist, I’m a nationalist. I’m an economic nationalist. The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get f***ed over. If we deliver” — by “we” he means the Trump White House — “we’ll get 60 percent of the white vote, and 40 percent of the black and Hispanic vote and we’ll govern for 50 years.
That’s what the Democrats missed. They were talking to these people with companies with a $9 billion market cap employing nine people. It’s not reality. They lost sight of what the world is about.
Whether you’re on board with Bannon’s economic nationalism/populism or not (and most conservatives aren’t, for good reason), the slur of racism must be defied. That’s because if it sticks, it won’t simply stick to Bannon and the nationalists. It will stick to everyone on the Right. And that’s by design.
The very people pushing the racist narrative want to delegitimize conservative ideas — ideas that are rooted in principles of individual liberty.
This, of course, is why many conservatives didn’t want Trump in the first place. They warned that, even if Trump’s administration isn’t actually racist, the Left would engage in a prodigious effort to redefine the GOP in this way.
Well, there is an obvious and necessary response to this: Don’t let the Left do that anymore.
Even the most stigmatized labels can be shed if the group being stigmatized pushes back with a united and determined effort. But that effort is impossible if many within the group itself actually believe and accept the label.
If an individual or a group is labeled racist, always question it. Research it. Find proof of actual racism.
Examine what people actually do and say — not what other people say about them, or about who they seem to “associate with,” or about what they might have implied in a 140-character tweet.
Racism is a serious charge. But people like Jonathan Chait made using it to destroy a person’s good name a “norm.”
His is a serious form of reductionist propaganda, and one that must be boldly answered with truth. The Right can no longer allow others to shape its identity with lies, can no longer cower in front of the liars.