The assumption that Trump won because the nation is outright racist I don’t believe. I do believe that there may be a better word to describe the behavior lately. Maybe ignorant is a more appropriate word to use. Most Americans, I would argue, are not racist but they are ignorant. That is not exclusive to Republicans or Democrats; it’s a human thing and possibly an American banner of pride in some circles.
Everyone is equally guilty of not questioning; always believing, and never asking if it was true or rhetoric.
Personally I think there were many kinds of voters that supported Trump. The struggling rural families who drive 3 hours into the city every morning for work because their home town is nothing but boarded up windows. The middle class white evangelical who strongly disliked what Trump said but feels disconnected from those statements because they themselves aren’t female, or gay, or black or latino, or Muslim, and empathy is hard if you’ve never been under the thumb of someone who thinks you are broken for being born. The upper class that fully recognizes that it’s not an act and that the people in Trump’s circle are in fact deeply racists, but they don’t care. They know that a sweeping victory in the Republican Party would mean huge tax breaks and deeper pockets for them. Lastly there are those, the alt-right, who are absolutely the flamboyantly racists who are screaming about the “browning of America”.
The ugly truth is that Trump threw a party and openly invited everyone, including those who want to turn the clock back to a more traditional time. Unfortunately turning the clock back also means undoing all of the progress made like women’s rights, and minority rights. Again, it’s an ignorance issue. When Trump won with an almost exclusively white Christian vote, it’s not necessarily because they were racist. I think it’s because they were only thinking of themselves and how good life was for them, back when America was “great”. And the racists didn’t crash Trump’s party, but they weren’t uninvited either, and they weren’t asked to leave.
It’s important to separate the man in power from the people who put him there. Not everyone is comfortable with voting against their natural instincts of self preservation. At the end of the day people were voting apathetically for the candidate that would enrich their life, not thinking about what it would lead to for the other 60M people who said, “no thank you..”
I don’t know if I can agree that being ignorant makes someone a racist, but it doesn’t help…