From Seattle native and deputy editor of Der Spiegel Charles Hawley:
All it took to reveal the lengths to which Trump is prepared to go was the half-hearted retreat of a few leading Republicans when it became no longer possible to ignore that their nominee was a sexual predator. But now that he has been “unshackled,” as he himself has said, it is becoming apparent that Nov. 8 will very likely not be the end of what he has taken to calling his “Patriotic Movement.”
The rhetoric that Trump has begun using with ever increasing frequency — that he would lock up Hillary Clinton if he won, that the election is rigged, that his followers should monitor the polls and “watch other communities,” that he would rein in the “corrupt” media — is the rhetoric of dictatorship. But it also appeals directly to a significant chunk of the population, one that feels abandoned by the country’s leadership, left behind by globalization and threatened by demographics.
Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” might suggest that he is adhering to the American exceptionalism narrative and, thus, to the American founding myth. But much of what he says — banning Muslims from entering the US, stepped up domestic surveillance, expanded use of torture — is in direct opposition to the Constitution. Indeed, the “greatness” that Trump wants to return to, it has become clear, is one free of immigrants and blacks. One where white American men need not encounter adversity, allowing their supposed natural superiority to shine through.
Trump is suggesting an altogether different narrative of American identity, one based on race and religion.