Hillary Clinton's case against the "alt-right" racists now fully in charge of the Trump campaign and the Republican Party was delivered in Reno yesterday in a 30-minute speech that may have been the most important so far in the 2016 White House race.
Everywhere I go, people tell me how concerned they are by the divisive rhetoric coming from my opponent in this election. It’s like nothing we’ve heard before from a nominee for President of the United States.
From the start, Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia. He’s taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over one of America’s two major political parties. His disregard for the values that make our country great is profoundly dangerous.
In just the past week, under the guise of “outreach” to African Americans, Trump has stood up in front of largely white audiences and described black communities in insulting and ignorant terms:
“Poverty. Rejection. Horrible education. No housing. No homes. No ownership. Crime at levels nobody has seen… Right now, you walk down the street, you get shot.”
Those are his words.
Donald Trump misses so much.
He doesn’t see the success of black leaders in every field…The vibrancy of black-owned businesses…Or the strength of the black church… He doesn’t see the excellence of historically black colleges and universities or the pride of black parents watching their children thrive…And he certainly doesn’t have any solutions to take on the reality of systemic racism and create more equity and opportunity in communities of color.
It takes a lot of nerve to ask people he’s ignored and mistreated for decades, “What do you have to lose?” The answer is everything!
For Clinton to deliver this explosive a broadside with 75 days still left in the campaign is a sign that she is confident in her win in November, and is making the move now to finish Trump off. More importantly, as I have said time and time again, the real problem in the GOP is not Donald Trump, but the people who enabled him and his fellow travelers to control the party.
This is who Clinton's speech was directly aimed at, the "moderate Republicans" who stood by and let the racists take over, the proverbial "good men who did nothing" to allow evil to win.
This is someone who retweets white supremacists online, like the user who goes by the name “white-genocide-TM.” Trump took this fringe bigot with a few dozen followers and spread his message to 11 million people. His campaign famously posted an anti-Semitic image – a Star of David imposed over a sea of dollar bills – that first appeared on a white supremacist website.
The Trump campaign also selected a prominent white nationalist leader as a delegate in California. They only dropped him under pressure. When asked in a nationally televised interview whether he would disavow the support of David Duke, a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, Trump wouldn’t do it. Only later, again under mounting pressure, did he backtrack. And when Trump was asked about anti-Semitic slurs and death threats coming from his supporters, he refused to condemn them.
Through it all, he has continued pushing discredited conspiracy theories with racist undertones. Trump said thousands of American Muslims in New Jersey cheered the 9/11 attacks. They didn’t. He suggested that Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the Kennedy assassination. Perhaps in Trump’s mind, because he was a Cuban immigrant, he must have had something to do with it. Of course there’s absolutely no evidence of that. Just recently, Trump claimed President Obama founded ISIS. And then he repeated that nonsense over and over.
His latest paranoid fever dream is about my health. All I can say is, Donald, dream on. This is what happens when you treat the National Enquirer like Gospel. It’s what happens when you listen to the radio host Alex Jones, who claims that 9/11 and the Oklahoma City bombings were inside jobs. He said the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre were child actors and no one was actually killed there. Trump didn’t challenge those lies. He went on Jones’ show and said: “Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down.”
This man wants to be President of the United States.
This is Clinton's most devastating blow yet, the kind of political haymaker you only unleash under two conditions: that you are on the ropes and have no other choice, or as Clinton is clearly doing here, you are winning the bout and are going for an early-round knockout.
Donald Trump just took a blow that rocked him. We'll see if this finally shakes loose the rest of the Republicans who have been looking for an excuse to bail on Trump and turn his loss into a crushing defeat. It's good politics: those hungry for a reboot of the Republican party now have their big red button to press.
How much you can trust anyone who still needs to be convinced to disavow Trump's racist, misogynist, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic campaign, is another battle, but at this point motivating the mass exodus of the rest of the party away from Trump is a definite gamble that Hillary took in Reno today, and I'm hoping it pays off big. (When I say this is a gamble I mean politically, morally and ethically it was 100% the right thing for her to do.)
It will be extremely easy for Trump to try to consolidate his voters by screaming, as he already did on Thursday, that Hillary was calling his supporters racist and that they had to stand by him to stop her.
The problem is that's true, the GOP is full of racist assholes. But that truth is also the key to kicking Trump out and excising the cancer in the GOP.
Here's the speech in full on YouTube: