Michael Gerson: Trump’s Destructive Validation Of Racists

Michael Gerson@The Washington Post (9/15/16): “Once upon a time, I thought the repudiation of white supremacists was the easiest layup in U.S. politics. Not for the Trump campaign. Asked recently whether he considered former KKK leader David Duke deplorable, Republican vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence said he was ‘not in the name-calling business.’ Earlier this year, Donald Trump was posed a similar question and claimed, incredibly and repeatedly, ‘I don’t know anything about David Duke.’ In a particularly revealing campaign moment, Trump was asked to repudiate the anti-Semitic death threats made by some of his followers against a reporter. ‘I don’t have a message to the fans,’ Trump said. … The Republican nominee came to prominence feeding fears of Mexicans, migrants and Muslims. He refuses to engage in the normal moral and political hygiene of repudiating extremism. I don’t believe that anything close to half of Trump supporters are motivated by racism. But they are willing to tolerate a level of prejudice that should be morally unacceptable in a presidential candidate.”

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