Some people wonder why Trump gets so much devotion and why his party has been forced to follow him. He has done something very simple and very effective: He has listened to what makes his constituents angriest, validated them issue by issue, and tried to mold policy to addressing those issues. No one else has done this, so no one else gets the kind of devotion Trump gets. That’s why he could shoot someone in Times Square at noon and get away with it. That’s why his constituents will ignore his every fault, including his incessant lying and his ignoring of law. The guy with a reputation for not listening listened to the right people, listened way more comprehensively than anyone else, and has been unprecedentedly consistent about keeping his focus on those issues. That’s what makes him look like he’s not a politician.
The problem is in what makes his constituents angriest. So much of it is myths. “Terrorists are coming over the border from Mexico.” No they’re not. Terrorists take the far easier route of flying in on student visas. So far, none have come from Mexico. All that illegal immigration and no terrorism. “Minorities have so many advantages that the majority is under terrible attack.” Bullshit. Anyone who is threatened by “Happy Holidays” is a complete fucking cretin, that’s just a courtesy to include everyone. There isn’t a shred of evidence that anyone will ever keep Christians from worshipping, being employed, being elected to public office (who’s our Vice President again?) or dominating December retail. No, White people are not being threatened. When Whites are finally a plurality rather than the majority, nothing will happen. No one outside of demographers will even notice. No legislation up to this point has resulted in the White population being worse off than any other population and if you think I’m wrong, ask yourself who you’d trade places with. “Democrats are going to take all your guns.” How many Democrats in positions of power have you heard suggest a repeal of the Second Amendment? “We’re at risk of being ruled by Sharia law.” Please. The Muslim population is relatively tiny and I have never seen any data indicating that a majority of Muslims in America want Sharia to become civil law here. “Spanish will replace English in the United States.” No it won’t, any more than Yiddish did in New York. Use of foreign languages is a function of how recent immigration is and because Spanish speaking immigrants keep coming in large numbers, we tend not to notice the amount of assimilation that has happened to Spanish speaking populations that have been here longer. No one who grows up here isn’t fluent in English. “The Chinese are taking advantage of us.” Actually, that one’s true.
Not only is so much of it myths, so much of it demonizes populations of Americans, and when the White House indicates in a bunch of ways that demonization is OK, that has consequences. Like a major rise in hate crimes, the most recent big one being Squirrel Hill.
What yesterday’s election proved (among other things) is that a lot of the American population either approves of demonization or doesn’t care enough to think stopping it is a major enough issue to sway a vote. And that, more than anything, is what will make minorities hate Republicans. Not all minorities, but a lot. If you’re still asking yourself why Black people vote Democratic, you might as well stop asking. If you have Black neighbors or coworkers and you voted Republican, what you’re likely to hear is some version of “We are now less safe. Black boys have to be taught to be extra careful around the police because we are actively afraid of getting killed. Hate crimes are increasing and, at the same time, pressure on the police to clean up their act when it comes to Black suspects is decreasing, both of which are a consequence of Republicans in power. What you just did was show that my life isn’t important enough to affect your vote and you have the nerve to ask why I have a problem with you. Yes, I understand that your vote wasn’t due to race in a conventional sense, race wasn’t on your mind at all, but your vote says that as far as you’re concerned, Black Lives Don’t Matter. And then you wonder why BLM exists. You’re why.”