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Thomas Gallatin / July 15, 2019

How Trump Is Uniting Democrats

He calls out “progressive” congresswomen, triggering Dems to circle the wagons.

President Donald Trump ignited an outrage firestorm on Sunday with a series of social-media messages in which he called out “Progressive Democrat Congresswomen” for their “viciously telling the people of the United States … how our government is to be run.” Trump then asked, “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came[?] Then come back and show us how it is done.” While Trump named no names, it was clear that his message was directed at four radical-leftist congresswomen — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Ilhan Omar (MN), Ayanna Pressley (MA), and Rashida Tlaib (MI) — who have been engaged in a growing feud with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Tellingly, he concluded his message, “I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements.”

Cue the outrage that quickly cropped up from all sides. Predictably, the Left responded in typical hysterics, yelling “racist!” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries called Trump a “racial arsonist.” Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders bloviated, “When I call the president a racist, this is what I’m talking about.” And of course AOC chimed in, “Mr. President, the country I ‘come from,’ & the country we all swear to, is the United States. But given how you’ve destroyed our border with inhumane camps, all at a benefit to you & the corps who profit off them, you are absolutely right about the corruption laid at your feet.”

But by no means were Democrats alone in pulling out the race canard — some on the Right were too quick to see racism in Trump’s words. Matt Walsh wrote, “What absolute idiocy. This is a gift to AOC, Omar, and all Democrats. Anyone who thinks Trump is deploying some brilliant strategy, rather than just mouthing off like a child constantly, needs to have their head examined. … What’s worse is that he compels his sycophants to echo whatever dumb crap he says. So now we’ll be treated to three days of Trump fans explaining in all sincerity why non-white Democrats should indeed go back to where they came from. What a disaster. Again. Thanks, Trump!” David French bemoaned, “I can think of few worse things for the soul of the GOP or the health and unity of our republic than adopting a strategy of ‘be racist to own the libs.’”

To be fair, Trump’s wording was indeed (and intentionally) crass and provocative. However, to accept the Left’s narrative that Trump’s motivation was simply an expression of some deep-seated racist instinct is to miss the actual calculation. This is another classic case of Trump being Trump, by which we mean his uninhibited political bomb-throwing. As we have argued before, Trump plays politics like a Democrat, lobbing accusations against opponents that hit upon some grain of truth but primarily spark outrage.

Stepping back from the immediate emotion of the moment, Trump has now forced Pelosi into defending the very congresswomen who had just last week called her a racist. Has Trump now successfully ended the “civil war” within the Democrat Party? Such is the worry expressed by conservative media pundits. But what if Trump’s move was strategically aimed at hanging the hard-Left albatross of AOC and her “Squad” around the Democrats’ necks? Was he seeking to force Democrats to circle the wagons around these leftist congresswomen so that the party en masse is viewed as the party of the extreme Left? It certainly is a possibility.

Furthermore, the sentiment expressed by Trump is only seen as “racist” when viewed through the leftist lens of intersectionality. How many Americans have become sick and tired of hearing from the Left that the U.S. is a terrible country because it is racist, capitalist, or because it is strong and successful? How many Americans are tired of being declared “deplorable” for believing in Liberty and defending the Constitution?

While much of the mainstream media will declare that Trump’s words were racist, the fact of the matter is they express the resentment many Americans feel for being labeled by the elites in this country as “wrong” or “backwards” for being proud of our country, its founding, its history, and its laws. It is not racist to demand that America’s borders are secured and our laws are respected. It is not racist to declare that someone who enters this country illegally is by definition an illegal alien, or that anyone who enters should first love this country. Now, a majority of Democrats are once again seen actively defending those extreme leftists whose aim is to fundamentally change America into a socialist nation.

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