Concern about white nationalism has plummeted to being 52 points less that Democrats under Donald Trump.
According to FiveThirtyEight:
Democrats have long been more likely than Republicans to say that white nationalism is a “somewhat” or “very” serious threat. But the gap has expanded from 33 points right after Charlottesville to 52 points now. (Though the gap was slightly larger this spring, so the El Paso shooting seems have narrowed the gap a bit.)
Not surprisingly, that partisan gap also shows up in how Americans view President Trump’s relationship with white nationalism. According to the most recent HuffPost/YouGov poll, 77 percent of Democrats think Trump supports the ideology, but only 10 percent of Republicans agree. Democratic politicians, including many of the 2020 contenders, have called the president a “white nationalist” and a “white supremacist,” and have been outspoken in saying that Trump’s rhetoric incites violence.
Trump’s downplaying of white nationalism has in a Republican Party that now believes white nationalism is not a big concern. It isn’t just Trump. Fox News has also been spreading misinformation about the number of violent crimes committed by white nationalists.
Donald Trump has taken the extremists who were the fringe of the Republican Party 15 years ago and turned them into the mainstream. Trump is turning the Republican Party into a white nationalist party. Pete Buttigieg talked about Republicans turning a blind eye toward racism when they vote for Trump, but the problem could be even worse. Republicans are going beyond ignoring the problem to denying that it exists.
Presidents remake parties in their own images, which is why political parties often struggle when a two-term incumbent president leaves office. Trump is remaking the Republican Party into a home for white nationalism, and there may not be any pieces to pick up after he is gone.
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