The stunning cynicism of Donald Trump and the so-called culture wars

In this July 17, 2019, photo, President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a campaign rally at Williams Arena in Greenville, N.C. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

I came across a video on YouTube last week called “Donald Trump just admitted what the GOP’s anti-trans agenda is all about”.

The video shows how Trump, and other politicians, discovered that there are certain hot button topics which will incite and energise voters more than more noble, worthy causes.

And if you are cynical and devoid of any principles like Trump and others you will tap into these hot button issues like transgender rights to cynically arouse your following.

Trump has admitted openly that supporters are more concerned about transgender issues, and other culture wars, than taxes. He even mimes how supporters clap differently when he discusses the two different topics.

George Wallace, a failed presidential candidate and anti-civil rights governor, was asked once by a supporter about why he was saying the things he was saying in his attempts to get elected. He replied that he tried talking about good roads, good schools and all those types of things and nobody cared.

He played the race card, started talking about “nxxxxxxs” and “they stomped the floor”.

And the remarkable thing about Trump is that unlike previous Republican politicians like George Wallace and Lee Atwater Trump is openly admitting that he is tapping into their prejudices for his own gain.

The predecessors tended to send more coded messages in what they had to say, for example promoting tax cuts when Atwater knew this would hit blacks harder than whites and benefit whites more.

Trump does not care about this stuff as he is devoid of principles.

In April 2016, for example, he said transgender people can use whatever bathroom they want. He said “there have been very few complaints the way it is, there has been so little trouble”.

What has changed since then? Trump knows  “you say Transgender now, everybody goes crazy”.

That is what has changed. The cynical manipulation of prejudice and his own base.

The only redeeming feature of what Trump is doing is he does it openly.

The video is worth a watch.