Brexit represents a growing trend in worldwide populist movements that threaten to undermine democracy, both in Europe and in the U.S – into a belligerent nationalism that now threatens its very existence
(Originally published as “No Tea Party Brexit Trump and the KKK” on the Huffington Post by Samuel C. Spitale.)
The usual conditions of growing inequality, rising poverty, and poor economic opportunity allow such demagogues to manipulate the masses to further their own financial and political agenda. What’s dangerous is that this race-baited anger has been fueled here at home by Donald Trump, whom my German friends refer to as America’s Hitler. The exploited anti-immigration paranoia in the U.K. parallels directly to the flames Trump has been fanning since he began his presidential bid. Ian Haney Lopez, constitutional law scholar specializing in the evolution of racism, has penned an eye-opening account in his book Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class. He reveals that since the civil rights movement, racism didn’t vanish; it simply went underground, and surfaced through coded language and political policy. These racial appeals carefully manipulate hostility toward nonwhites by repeated blasts about criminals and welfare cheats, illegal aliens and sharia law.
Sound familiar? It should. It’s exactly what the GOP and right-wing media have been doing the entire Obama administration right here in America. Donald Trump has just removed the mask of the Tea Party.
Writes Lopez, “Inextricably combining conservatism and racism, the [modern day] Tea Party was almost wholly a creature of right-wing dog whistle politics…the movement reflected the confluence of four forces: First, the anger and fear of everyday white folks – persons whose political conservatism was directly molded by racially infected fears of a liberal government run by a black president.
-First, the anger and fear of everyday white folks – persons whose political conservatism was directly molded by racially infected fears of a liberal government run by a black president.
– Second, opportunistic Republicans seeking a new label for a damaged brand.
– Third, right-wing billionaires like the Koch brothers, with their well-funded propaganda machines…