It has been amply demonstrated that Trumpism is, at its core, racist. That was demonstrated time and again from the moment Trump rode down the Trump Tower escalator. Just in case we forgot, Washington Post columnist, former Bush speechwriter, and leading never-Trumper Michael Gerson reminded us of this in his latest column.
One of the poisonous legacies of Donald Trump’s presidency has been to expand the boundaries of expressible prejudice. Through the explicit practice of White-identity politics, Trump has obviated the need for code words and dog whistles. Thus his strongest supporters during the Jan. 6 riot felt free to carry Confederate battle flags and wear “Camp Auschwitz” sweatshirts without fear of reproof from their political allies. Many in the crowd surely didn’t consider themselves racists, but they were perfectly willing to make common cause with racists. In social effect, it is a distinction without a difference.
As Exhibit A, Gerson offers an article that appeared last week on American Greatness, a conservative website that Gerson describes as “the closest Trumpism gets to an intellectual house organ.” In it, author Alexander Zubatov describes a late-night walk through New York City in a way that can only be described as a racist yacht horn.
As described by Gerson:
Addicts he encountered lay in “piles of rags and filth and the stench of their own excrement.” Some “brown bums” were “like ungainly insects going through the motion of a mating ritual.”
Lest you think Zubatov was using poetic license, he puts that to rest with these words:
I know the unyielding ukase of my educated pedigree and those who share it is that empathy and compassion are the only sanctioned responses to this sorry spectacle. But that would require me to rationalize my way out of a feeling and override all my sound, sane animal instincts. Those instincts are of pre-cognitive repulsion and disgust, and I refuse to let them go. I refuse to humanize those who cannot be bothered to lift a finger to humanize themselves. The mentally ill need our care. The rest need the whip. In the long run, all of us—they most of all—will be thankful for it.
Wow. This sounds like something you’d expect to see in the John Birch Society’s New American, or on VDare, or in a white supremacist newsletter. There are some people who can’t “humanize themselves,” and thus “need the whip?” I’ve seen some unhinged stuff from right-wing sites in my time, but this is up there with the worst.
And just in case it couldn’t get more vile, it did when Zubatov described what happened when he got on the subway after walking past a “curled-up form” at the bottom of a staircase and seeing someone hop the turnstile without paying his fare.
This is what this entire city, this nation, has become: a shrinking reserve of law-abiding citizens shouldering every burden for a growing mass of fat, lazy leeches, slugs, thugs, gangbangers, rule-breakers, whiners, and perpetual ne’er-do-wells comically beatified by walled-off, gated-away elites who never set foot in the subway and spin out contemporary fantasias on Rousseau’s theme of the “noble savage,” virtuous “oppressed,” “marginalized” and “vulnerable” victims heroically bearing their daily yoke while living in fear of the mythical, perpetual great white crackdown.
If this were to appear in a mainstream magazine, or even a right-leaning one like the National Review, or in Daily Caller, the Washington Examiner, or even Breitbart, we would wonder whether it had any kind of editorial process at all. After all, if this kind of racist bilge were to make it to publication, it would be a sign that every safeguard intended to keep it from seeing the light of day had utterly failed.
Gerson believes that articles like this are evidence that the GOP has become “an instrument of white grievance,” and wouldn’t be surprised if Zubatov were to lead a panel at next year’s edition of CPAC. I’d go further than that. If it is even remotely possible for this sort of garbage to be published, then this publication must be driven out of existence posthaste.