And here’s a wild coincidence: that’s exactly the same as his current overall approval rating (“the lowest rating in Gallup’s history for any newly elected president in the summer of his first term in office” and “lower than any reading for his immediate predecessor, Barack Obama,” notes Gallup, but we all know Trump doesn’t really care about ratings). In other words, he chose on Tuesday to say to hell with it and seize that rock-bottom base, spouting the kind of rhetoric that keeps them on Team Trump no matter what, hell or high water, shoot somebody in the middle of Fifth Avenue and all that.
These are the voters for whom it doesn’t matter that he can’t repeal Obamacare, that he won’t build his border wall, that he can’t fix immigration, that he won’t bring back manufacturing, that he’s made us a laughing stock on the world stage, and that he’s casually brought us to the brink of nuclear war. None of that matters; they can put all of that aside, because at the end of the day, he’s still the guy who launched his campaign by calling Mexicans rapists, he’s still the guy who called for the execution of five black teenagers for a crime they didn’t commit, he’s still the guy who spent years insisting that our first African-American president was a foreign-born citizen, he’s still the guy who’ll tell anyone who listens that he has superior genes and German blood, he’s still the guy whose family business discriminated against people of color, and he’s still the guy whose father was once arrested in a brawl following a Klan rally.
They know exactly who he is. He’s one of them. And that’s why he stood in Trump Tower Tuesday peddling both-sides-are-violent bullshit that dates back to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, and that’s why he pivoted, that day, into the controversy over the removal of Confederate monuments, a right-wing culture-war greatest hit that he was still playing this morning on Twitter. These aren’t dog whistles; this is a parking lot full of car alarms, blaring at three in the morning.
But no, we’re told, everyone who voted for Trump, who voted for all of that and more, isn’t a racist. Uh huh. Well, sorry, everyone who still supports him is. They just might not know it – or be willing to be admit it.
(*Side note to the 10% of Democrats who support his response: Um, you motherfuckers can see yourselves out.)