Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Participants of the white supremacist march held bamboo torches, some of which were later used as weapons, and marched across the UVA campus on Friday night. (Photo: Andrew Shurleff/The Daily Progress)

Trump Keeps His Promise - And Delivers Hate

Those who voted for Trump got exactly what they voted for. There was no false advertising. There was no deception.

Christian Christensen

CD editor's note: The Swedish-language version of this post first appeared in today's Aftonbladet.

There are many, many people in the United States right now wondering how we got to this point. How we could have a President of the United States unwilling and unable to clearly and firmly condemn white supremacy in his country? How we could have a President of the United States so devoid of humanity, insight and fundamental decency? And, I say “we” as a citizen of the United States.

Many of those wondering might be US citizens who voted for Donald Trump. They might be Republican politicians who endorsed Trump in his campaign against Hillary Clinton. They might even be citizens of Sweden (and the world) who assumed that Trump would change once he took office.

To these people asking these questions and making these assumptions, there is only one answer: those who voted for Trump got exactly what they voted for. There was no false advertising. There was no deception. The hateful rhetoric that Trump expressed during the election campaign – against women, against Muslims, against minorities, against his political opponents, against journalists – has carried over into his Presidency. He has delivered what he promised.

Those in the Republican party who supported Trump after his nomination as the candidate, and continue to support Trump through what is clearly the most disastrous presidency in modern history, cannot claim outrage or surprise. They knew what they were getting, and didn’t care who was hurt in the process. The Republicans made a pact with the devil in order to keep their power, and they are now seeing what that pact has done to the country they so often and so loudly claim to love. If there was ever a good example of how power corrupts, it would be how the Republicans are unwilling to condemn Trump.

While many people used the election of Barack Obama as evidence that the United States had moved past its racist history, the violent opposition to Obama (led for years by Donald Trump) and the questioning of his citizenship and religion was evidence that the end of US racism was a myth. Now, just eight months after Obama left office, the notion of a United States that has moved beyond questions of racism is not even mythical…it is simply sad. And very, very dangerous.

Racism in the United States did not begin with Trump. It did not begin with Fox News. It has been woven into the fabric of US society since the foundation of the country. Everything from popular culture to the legal system to policing to education. In other words, Trump and Fox have simply exploited, for political and economic gain, feelings and sentiments that were already there. It always amazes me when I hear people express shock when they see events such as those that took place in Charlottesville. I understand the desire to see the world as a good place, but it is naïve, and the denial of the existence of prejudice is a luxury afforded only to those who do not suffer from that prejudice.

So, what we are witnessing in the United States is the violent emergence of hatred that has been present and bubbling under the surface of US society for many, many decades. What Trump (and the media organizations that support Trump’s worldview) have done is to give those hateful views an air of legitimacy, and to inject extremist views into the political and social mainstream.

When running for President, Trump marketed himself as a product…and it is fair to say that the product has turned to be exactly as advertised.

Let’s not pretend otherwise.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
Christian Christensen

Christian Christensen

Christian Christensen, American in Sweden, is Professor of Journalism at Stockholm University. Follow him on Twitter: @ChrChristensen

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Vaccine Equity Coalition Warns 'Pathetic Trickles of Charity' Won't End Pandemic

"Rich countries are selfishly looking out for themselves but short-changing all of us. We need bold solutions now, not more empty gestures."

Jake Johnson ·

'Do Better,' Say Advocates as Biden Seeks to Double Refugee Admissions

"When thousands of Afghans have been forced to flee their home to find safety, and Haitians are seeking safety on the southern border, the very least the United States can do is set a resettlement goal that meets the moment."

Brett Wilkins ·

Border Patrol Accused of 'Unfathomable Cruelty' for Cracking Whips on Haitians

"It doesn't matter if a Democrat or Republican is president, our immigration system is designed for cruelty towards and dehumanization of immigrants," said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Brett Wilkins ·

As Gov. Tim Walz Proclaims 'Minnesota Climate Week,' Ilhan Omar Says 'Stop Line 3'

"The state of Minnesota simply cannot meet our carbon reduction targets if this pipeline goes through," said the Democratic congresswoman. "Our future is on the line."

Kenny Stancil ·

Supreme Court Announces Date for Case Directly Challenging Roe v. Wade

"The fate of Roe v. Wade and legal abortion is on the line."

Julia Conley ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo