Notwithstanding the fact that Donald Trump once called neo-Nazi marchers “very fine people,” 19 percent of Americans still say Trump personally opposes white nationalism, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov survey. Another 20 percent don’t think Trump cares one way or the other, while a plurality of 39 percent say Trump full-on supports white nationalism.
As we noted last week, Trump has worked incredibly hard to avoid criticizing his white nationalist supporters after a New Zealand shooter with vile racist views took the lives of 50 Muslim worshippers last week. Asked last Friday if he was worried about the rise of white nationalism as a growing threat, Trump dismissed it as just a small group of people. “Not really,” he responded.
Ever since, the White House has been vigorously defending Trump’s weak response to the tragedy and the shooter’s sick anti-immigrant manifesto, which praised Trump as “a symbol of renewed white identity.”
“The president is not a white supremacist. I’m not sure how many times we have to say that,” Trump’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, said Sunday in response to criticism of Trump’s reaction. Hey, if you have to defend Trump that “many times,” Mick, perhaps there’s a problem.
So who are these 19 percent of Americans? Do they breathe the same air as we do? Do they have eyes, ears, and brains that are up to the task of some pretty simple observations? Should we be worried about their basic health, well-being, and overall ability to navigate the world? It’s hard to know, really. But it does speak to the idea that you can almost always get about 20 percent of the population to believe anything.
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