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Defeat Trump's 's---hole' politics of racism in 2018, 2020

The Hill logo The Hill 1/12/2018 Brent Budowsky, opinion contributor
Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie © Provided by The Hill

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

After multiple reports that Donald Trump made ignorant and racist comments about immigrants from what he called "s---hole countries," there was probably a righteous rage in heaven from every person who has ever served as the president of the United States.

Trump belatedly denies that he made the revolting comment about "s---hole countries" but his denial, simply put, is not credible. Trump has a documented and unsavory history of playing the contemptible politics of racial division.

Trump dishonors the presidency by his presence in the office. He dishonors the true foundation of American patriotism, which is the great truth that America is a nation of diverse people who come together with common purpose for the good of the country.

He demeans the most cherished values that America stands for while he enjoys support from individuals who call themselves Nazis and members of the Ku Klux Klan, for reasons made clear, yet again, with his comment about "s---hole countries."

Donald Trump is America's highest level practitioner of the politics of racism. It is time to say it clearly. It is time to call it out. It is time to defeat it politically, once and for all, in the midterm and presidential elections.

Trump attacked a federal judge not because of the legal views that judge holds, but because that judge is Hispanic. Trump attacked black players in the National Football League, for the same shameful reason he attacks immigrants from nations where most citizens are not caucasian.

Trump has referred to immigrants from Latin America as rapists and criminals, while he pardoned former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who for many Americans represents the dark side of the politics of racial bigotry that Trump repeatedly embraces.

When Nazis and Klan members marched in Charlottesville and believers in justice marched against them, Trump said there were good people on both sides of that debate, which is a sad commentary on his view of those he considers his base.

In one of the biggest lies ever told in the history of presidential politics, Trump spent years promoting the birther myth that President Obama is not a true American.

There are two elements to the politics of racism. The first element is an attack on individuals, groups or nations for reasons rooted in their race. The second element is an appeal to white voters in order to win their support by attacking those the practitioner of racist politics, in this case Trump, believes they hate or fear.

With his "s---hole" comment, Trump is insulting, demeaning and debasing more than a billion human beings living in a long list of nations. He is insulting, demeaning and debasing millions of human beings who know America as their home and are celebrated by our Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. He is insulting, demeaning and debasing the American presidency itself.

A White House official told CNN that Trump's comment about "s---hole countries" will resonate with his base, in the same way that this White House official believes his attacks on NFL players resonated with his base.

White House chief of staff John Kelly should publicly state whether he agrees with this or not. If he does, the nation needs to know it. If he does not, he should publicly state this clearly and unequivocally.

The big winners after Trump's "s---hole" comment are terrorists around the world, who will exploit it to recruit new terrorists to attack America, and Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, whose attack against American democracy includes aggressive efforts to pit Americans against each other and fomenting anti-Americanism around the world.

Trump's treatment of the "Dreamer" immigrants is sickening. To score cheap political points with his base, Trump is putting the Dreamers through misery and fear about whether they will be allowed to remain in the only country they have ever lived in or be forcibly deported.

Trump's behavior toward the Dreamers, who have done nothing wrong and nothing to deserve this, is unworthy of the party that once called itself "The Party of Lincoln." It's unworthy of the country that stands for the ideals of the Statue of Liberty and unworthy of the presidency, which has never been soiled the way it is being soiled by the president today.

Americans of all persuasions should condemn the politics of bigotry and racism that are being practiced before our eyes today. By all accounts in public opinion polls, in the midterm elections of 2018 and the presidential election of 2020, they will.

Brent Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the U.S. House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.

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