It is sad but this is an absolute statement. The president has amplified the winning message Republicans have been using or tolerating for decades. Because of their dwindling numbers, they've resorted to all the isms to scare and activate their base with the expectation they would vote in higher numbers which they have. At what cost? A soft civil war.
Juan Cole said it best in a recent article titled "Trump Coddled White Nat’lists as “Very Fine People,” Now they’re Shooting up Synagogues."
At Charlottesville last year, Neo-Nazis celebrating Trump’s advent in the White House chanted “You will not replace us/ Jews will not replace us!” They were referring to a conspiracy theory on the far right. The Southern Poverty Law Center explains:
“This slogan was coined from a statement by Nathan Damigo, founder of the white-nationalist campus group Identity Evropa, who retorted to an anti-Donald Trump “He will not divide us” campaign by actor Shia LeBeouf on social media: “Shia LeBeouf, you will not replace us with your globalism.” The chant is closely related to the white-nationalist “White Genocide” meme, reflective of their fears that white people and white culture are under attack from multiculturalism and nonwhite races. “
Trump called these wretched Nazis who hate Jews “very fine people.”
White nationalists and their sympathizers comprise perhaps eleven million of the US population. But if you count their sympathizers, the number rises to 20 mn. The Republican Party has long made its way in the world by attempting to attract their vote with dog whistles, alluding in an indirect way to the themes that excite this part of the electorate.
Trump was the first major candidate to dump the dog whistle and simply hold forth with white nationalist themes in his speeches.
So what has the President, his allies, and enablers made normal? -- made vogue? In one week three acts of violence more in line with third world countries under economic and social stress.
- A white man killed two black Americans in a Louisville Kentucky Kroger. He told "a good white guy with a gun" that "Whites don't kill whites."
- A Trump worshipping white man used after a Trump hit list. He sent bombs to several politicians Trump disparaged in his speeches.
- A white supremacist went into a Pittsburgh Synagogue and murdered 11 people with an AR-15 gun.
We need to lay blame where it belongs, the climate of violence that the president fomented is clear. He did not create it. But he sure amplified it.