The mainstream media and Democrats are appalled and disgusted. Donald Trump called countries in Africa, Latin America and Haiti "shithole countries." He said he prefers immigrants from Norway.
Does it get any more overtly racial and disrespectful than that? No.
He is acting like pure Trump. That is why it helps him. I realize this is un-intuitive to people appalled by Trump's behavior. Keep reading.
|Media uncertain whether to spell out "shithole."|
Liberals and the media are blinded by their distaste for Trump, so they repeatedly underestimate him. Trump did not forget to be respectful and politic. This wasn't an accident of Trump being off message or careless. It was the opposite. He expressed the unfiltered gut feeling of a significant block of people, a majority of Republican party voters. That bonded Trump to them and it manipulated his opponents perfectly.
Trump is winning on several fronts.
1. Trolling liberals. Liberals, educated people, diplomats, scholars, the media, and nearly everyone who was brought up to think it is impolite to make gratuitously disrespectful comments have gone apoplectic. Democrats need to learn something: conservatives love driving liberals crazy. There is disagreement within Republican voters about immigration, taxes, health care, and every other issue but there is no disagreement on who the enemies are. But anything that makes Hillary Clinton angry is good. Anything that makes some Harvard diplomat speak out in somber tones is good. Anything that makes the New York Time editorial people disgusted is good.
If your politically correct enemies are unhappy then Trump must have done something right.
|Off message for a day.|
2. Changed the story back to Trump as warrior. Trump sent a brief shock wave through GOP lawmakers and opinion leaders when, briefly two days ago, he sounded like a legislative president rather than a tribal leader. He said he would sign any legislation on immigration that could get through Congress. He appeared to have "gone soft," looking for consensus, not hard line ideology. He seemed open to comprehensive reform, not deportations, and he was showing empathetic concern for immigrants. Talk radio objected. The anti-immigrant people in the GOP objected. Trump put out that fire, suddenly and dramatically. Norway, yes. El Salvador, "shithole." Trump is Trump again.
3. Re-asserts American hierarchy. Trump understood that American voters had read Obama's mild tone and support for multilateral agreements as weakness. All the GOP presidential candidates cited Obama "fecklessness." Trump uses overt disrespect to declare dominance. Politeness and courtesy imply mutual worth--or at least the pretense of it. Trump's casual insults demonstrate America back on top. You can only gratuitously insult your inferiors.
4. A lot of Americans agree with Trump: those countries are miserable shitholes. Well traveled, educated Americans tended not to support Trump. Trump's big margins were with less educated white males. Their support for Trump reflects rejection of "cultural equivalence" and multicultural respect. They felt oppressed by the liberal-diversity, politically-correct agenda that declared that differences were good, and that people must respect alternative cultures and lifestyles. A great many Americans resent the idea that Islam and Christianity are equivalent; Christianity is good and Islam is frightening. They don't like ballots in multiple languages; this is America, darn it, so speak English. They don't think El Salvador and Norway are equivalent; Norwegians are light skinned and look like "regular Americans" and El Salvadorians don't mix in. America is getting browner, women are demanding equality, and the thought-police tell people they have to be nice to everyone.
A great many Americans see unfamiliar foreign ways as uncomfortably weird, and therefore wrong. Third world poverty is unfamiliar and unlovely.
Donald Trump said aloud what a great many people think but were afraid to say. Those places are shitholes. That is why they like him.