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Trump and the Rise of White Nationalism

The tone Trump has set as president has been seen by White Nationalists as encouragement to run for office.

Hannah Demissie

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The tone the president sets for the country and its people matters. President Trump has set a tone that is toxic and dangerous, and we will feel the ramifications of it from now until the 2018 Midterm Elections.

Currently, eight White Nationalist are running for office at the state and federal level according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Since the election of Donald Trump, many White Nationalist believe that Trump haven given them a platform to have their voices be heard.

Many incidents have contributed to the rise of White Nationalism in the United States, a lot of which is because of President Trump. Trump waited days before condemning the violence that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia where one woman was killed by a White Supremacist who drove his car into a crowd of protesters. The NFL protest, where a majority of the players are black, and President Trump called them sons of bitches for kneeling during the National Anthem. President Trump used much stronger rhetoric against the NFL than he did on the White Nationalists who gathered in Charlottesville. Lastly, the baneful rhetoric he has used since his campaign to describe minorities such as Hispanics calling them rapists and thieves.

All this and more have caused White Nationalist to see Donald Trump as the great white savior who will bring them back to what they perceive as the only time America was great.

Although a majority of these candidates won’t win, it’s the fact that they are getting a significant amount of press coverage over other candidates like the Democratic candidate for California’s 49th District Sara Jacobs or Republican candidate Martha McSally who’s running for the Arizona Senate seat currently held by Senator Jeff Flake.

How do we combat this evil that’s on the rise? We stop marginalizing people based on their political beliefs and focus less on political ideology. More than ever before there are smaller political groups that are being formed within both the Republican and the Democratic party that’s destroying both parties.

This was seen in the 2016 elections where Bernie Sanders lost the Democratic Nomination to Hillary Clinton. Sanders who is a socialist created a split in the Democratic party that contributed to Hillary Clinton losing the election because a significant amount of his supporters refused to support Clinton or voted for a third party due to many of the policy ideas that Sanders had which aligned with socialism.

Although that was not the only thing that contributed to Clinton’s lost, it’s the idea that if one does not agree with every agenda or policy on the platform of that particular party, they’re rejected. This is dangerous because it’s the idea that you have to agree with everything that’s being said or else your opinions don’t matter.

For example, when people say that if you are not pro-choice then you can’t be a Democrat. Many people felt isolated and rejected by members of the Democratic party and when people feel rejected or ignored they go somewhere they feel their voices can be heard and for a lot of them, that was Donald Trump.

If Democrats and even Republicans want to ensure that none of these White Supremacists win, they have to reach out to the people who feel they’ve been ignored in order to ensure that both parties are united and can combat this evil currently on the rise in the United States.

I'm a rising junior at American University majoring in political science. Besides writing for CMN, I'm also a tour guide at American University, a senator in Student Government, and a member of my sorority Alpha Epsilon Phi.

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