While the media has excessively covered any time Donald Trump opens his mouth—to the point where networks have chosen, on multiple occasions, to broadcast his empty podium rather than speeches of other candidates—there has been negligence in conveying the true atmosphere of Trump's rallies.
Trump is the embodiment of an individual fueled by hate, and his supporters are almost frightening in their mimicry of his rhetoric.
On Tuesday night, writer and assistant professor Jared Yates Sexton attended a Trump rally in Greensboro, North Carolina, deciding to livetweet what he experienced—it was so shocking, Sexton’s tweets have gone viral.
Sexton covered less of what Trump spewed (as we have heard his absurdities numerous times), but how the crowd reacted and the unfathomable, horrifying comments regurgitated nonchalantly by his fans.
From the unrestrained, disgustingly misogynistic mentions of Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren, to the casual racism bandied about regarding Mexicans, African-Americans, and Muslims, it was what Sexton called a “horror show.”
Rally ends. Crowd on way mumbling about immigrants. Vendors yelling HILLARY SUCKS BUT NOT LIKE MONICA. America. 2016.— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) June 14, 2016
Calls Elizabeth Warren Pocahontas, says he was asked to apologized, will only apologize to Pocahontas. Guy next to me does a war dance— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) June 14, 2016
Man posing for pictures wearing t shirt with picture of Clinton in a cage— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) June 15, 2016
Trump comparing immigrants to snakes— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) June 14, 2016
Sexton compiled his account of the rally into an article titled “American Horror Story” for the New Republic, in which he summarized his realization:
“This campaign, whose success has long been attributed to the forgotten working and middle classes, the so-called Silent Majority, has been, and always will be, an unholy alliance between the Hateful and the Privileged, the former always on a never-ending search for new venues for their poison and the latter enjoying, for the first time since Reagan’s ’80s, an opportunity to get out and step on some necks in public.”
It wasn’t just the sexism and the racism; it was a general aura of seething hatred.
Sexton witnessed hideous behavior: parents spanking children for asking for an ice cream; young boys smashing beer bottles at passing cars; a parent telling their 10-year-old child that Clinton “let her husband have all kinds of oral sex in the White House”; supporters essentially foaming at the mouth for violence against protesters.
“On everybody’s lips were strange non-sequiturs of hate.
‘You can’t trust Latinos. Some maybe, but not most.’
‘Immigrants aren’t people, honey.’
‘You know them crazy black girls, how they are.’”
Sexton was stunned and rattled. He couldn’t believe what he was witnessing. “Just sitting in parking lot. Everyone passing with these evil little grins. There's so much ugliness. I keep saying it but it's true,” he wrote.
Just sitting in parking lot. Everyone passing with these evil little grins. There's so much ugliness. I keep saying it but it's true.— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) June 15, 2016
This is just soul crushingly awful— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) June 15, 2016
Cops finally cleared this horror show. Trump has to be defeated but I don't know how you stamp out all this hate and cruelty.— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) June 15, 2016
Greensboro is no aberration. This is the reality of the individuals who support Trump—the undercurrent of hatred in his millions of supporters is petrifying.
Sexton noted the larger implications of this, pointing out that, “Trump can be defeated…but elections cannot cure this disease. It’s always been here and perhaps it always will be. Trump’s narcissistic quest to ‘Make America Great Again’ has only drawn the insects to the surface, and there’s plenty of room to wonder whether he’s driving the movement or if it’s driving him.”
The media refuses to reveal this layer behind the ugly rhetoric Trump ejects on a daily basis, but Sexton is absolutely right. The ideology Trump has now normalized is larger and more terrifying than Trump himself.
Banner Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Marc Nozell