CNN political commentator and co-founder of Cut50, Van Jones, spoke with Juan Gonzalez and Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! about what’s really fueling the success behind Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
“Notice, no amount of racial violence that he whipped up at his rallies slowed him down. None,” Jones said of Trump. “No amount of racist, xenophobic hatred that he’s spewed slowed him down. In fact, it lifted him up.”
“The reason that he’s having trouble now is because the field finally whittled down a little bit, some of his foreign policy positions with NATO are a little bit erratic, and he made the social conservatives mad with his abortion gaffe. That’s what’s slowing him down. That lets you know that we have—we are sitting on a volcano of white rage,” he boldly added.
When first asked about Trump’s rise to the forefront and the Republican establishment’s recent efforts to stop the bigoted real estate mogul, Jones made it very clear that it wasn’t until Trump announced some of his dangerous foreign policy plans and made despicable comments about women being “punished” for receiving abortions that the GOP actually demonstrated serious effort to put an end to the circus.
Considering Trump has consistently been gaining popularity among white supremacists and notorious hate groups — such as the Ku Klux Klan — there is merit to Jones' analysis.
Prior to his abortion remarks and the release of his ill-advised strategy to force Mexico to pay for the wall he wants to build, Trump said and did countless other terrible things that the establishment overlooked.
“…look at the so-called victory of the anti-Trump forces,” Jones said. “They were able to dig in for weeks in one state. They threw everything at him. They had the governor. They had the talk radio people. And guess what. He still was able to get a third of the vote. And the people who voted against him, you look at that vote: 70 percent of all the voters, the Republicans, still say ban all the Muslims; a third say deport every undocumented person. So you still have, in this so-called anti-Trump moment, some of — the endorsement of some of his worst policies by the people who voted against him.”
Jones’ assessment of the Republican anti-Trump movement suggests that although many of them claim to be against Trump, they actually support most of his horrific policies — indicating that despite being incredibly crass, Trump does represent Republican values.
After introducing the concept of the "volcano of white rage" Jones also pointed out that while every group in America has something they could dwell upon, neither the country nor the government can thrive off anger:
“Listen, why — how come all these white guys could be mad? I got 40 million black people; we could be mad. There’s 50 million Latinos; they could be mad. Six million Muslims. We could all be mad. Then what you got? You have no country."
Toward the end, he made a plea for civility and expressed the need to set boundaries around what we are willing to tolerate and accept as a society — which shouldn’t include racial hostility.
He concluded by calling on progressives to be the agents of change to combat the common stigma that politicians, regardless of party affiliation, “are horrible.”
“…there’s a moment now where the character of the country is on the table, on the world stage, and too many progressives have been silent. We need to speak out against the hatred.”
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