I was going to try to do a bigger think-piece about the racist conspiracy theories in Texas over Jade Helm and Donald Trump’s baldly racist xenophobia. But I’m just going to focus on the Republican presidential candidate and a tweet he retweeted and then deleted.
The evening of July 4, a Dutch man named Rob Heilbron (@RobHeilbron) tweeted an article from Breitbart news about Trump responding to GOP rival Jeb Bush and added his own commentary.
What added to the shock of this tweet from a crank with 295 followers (as of this writing) was that it was retweeted by Trump (3.1 million followers). The offensive missive stayed on Trump’s Twitter feed for more than a day before the bombastic New Yorker deleted it around 8:30 p.m. I noted the time because I’d started formulating this piece after seeing a tweet from Republican strategist Rick Wilson at 7:25 p.m.
“Stay classy, Donald,” was Wilson’s response. Would that Trump knew how.
Add this incident to the bucket of red flags for the Republican Party about Trump’s presence. That he retweeted such an offensive comment speaks ill of his judgment. That he would get so personal with a rival speaks ill of his temperament. That he felt comfortable endorsing such a hateful remark speaks ill of the GOP, which has turned a blind eye to this low-boil hate for so long that it has lost all ability to squelch it.
It is only a ray of hope that much of the GOP field has condemned Trump for braying about Mexican rapists during his presidential announcement ramble. Also of comfort are Trump’s business partners who kicked him to the curb rather than be associated with his rank remarks. What’s sad is that despite such overt racism and intemperate remarks, Trump is polling well among Republican Party primary voters.
I know I keep repeating the sage words of Dick Armey from the report on the Republican Party presidential loss of 2012, but they are especially relevant now. “You can’t call someone ugly and expect them to go to the prom with you,” he told the writers of the GOP autopsy. “We’ve chased the Hispanic voter out of his natural home.” And at the rate things are going, those voters will never come back. Nor should they.
Follow Jonathan on Twitter: @Capehartj