If nothing else, Donald Trump has attracted virtually every racist person in America to his campaign. The Times found that nearly 20% of Trump supporters did not approve of freeing the slaves. David Duke, from none other than the KKK has endorsed the Donald, as have all sorts of white supremacy groups. We could safely say that not everyone who is voting for Trump is a racist, but every racist is probably voting for Trump.
This is quite apparent online.
Perhaps it’s the anonymity of the web that has emboldened so many people to act so blatantly racist when in the “real world”, they probably would express themselves quite differently.
What better way to illustrate this than with some Twitter hate? Here’s some of the “feedback” I’ve gotten from Trump supporters:
The truth is, the US has had a shitload of racist presidents. 12 of them to be exact — almost 30 percent of all American presidents — were recorded slave-owners: Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Jackson, Van-Buren, Harrison, John Tyler, James Polk, Zachary Taylor, Andrew Johnson, and Ulysses S. Grant.
And if we look at more recent presidents, the trend continues. In the not-so-distant-past, Richard Nixon would casually toss around the terms “n*gger” and “jigaboo”; Nixon was also reported to have voiced that blacks were genetically inferior to whites.
That trend, in its most crass form, ceased to exist past the 1970s. Progress was made when the nation elected its first black president in 2008.
You may then, understand, the frustration of those who refuse to ride the Trump wave; and I don’t just mean Democrats, mind you. I mean Republicans or anyone who is selecting a candidate this election cycle, using our history and values as context for guidance.
Now that was a long wind-up, but it was necessary to point out just how ironic it is that if we had kept the Constitution just as written by those old racist founders, Mr. Trump would not even be a topic of conversation today. The Founding Fathers were afraid of letting the common folk pick the president directly. They feared a tyrant could manipulate public opinion and come to power. They also believed that only a qualified person should become president. The indirect democracy they proposed would act as check on an electorate that might be duped by a demagogue, or sensationalist.
Simply put, the founders (or what we might refer to today as “the establishment”) did not trust the population to make the right choice.
Alexander Hamilton wrote
It was equally desirable, that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations. It was also peculiarly desirable to afford as little opportunity as possible to tumult and disorder. This evil was not least to be dreaded in the election of a magistrate, who was to have so important an agency in the administration of the government as the President of the United States. But the precautions which have been so happily concerted in the system under consideration, promise an effectual security against this mischief.
This 2016 election, we’re finally about to find out if the wise Founding Fathers got this concept right after all. For the meantime, just take a minute to appreciate the irony of it all.