What is the matter with our media? I simply do not understand why we are seeing all of these media commentators having the vapors over Hillary Clinton saying the Emperor is a bigot who uses race to consolidate and empower his base.
On CNN today, historian Douglas Brinkley spent some time with anchor Brianna Keilar to discuss why it's just terrible for Clinton to have highlighted race in this campaign. Reaching back to the 1960s, he pointed out that Lyndon Johnson and Barry Goldwater made a pact not to discuss race because it would be bad for the country.
"I think they need to take a big time-out and go back to the Goldwater-Johnson pledge of '64 and stop making their country suffer through all of this," he said.
As if we're not suffering through it either way? As if shouting about walls and how Black Lives Matter is a hate group and such is not making people suffer? As if having Trump shout about how everything in Black communities sucks because Democrats have made them all welfare queens isn't causing people to suffer?
When pressed, Brinkley said Trump is running a bigoted, xenophobic campaign, but still, it's bad for the little lady to point it out.
"He is the kingpin of dog whistle and innuendo," Brinkley said. "Law and order is a clever way of being a bigot."
He continued, using Nixon's 1968 campaign as an example. "Let's not focus in '68 on the Vietnam war. Let's talk about crime on the street and African-American riots and ghettos. It worked for a while for Nixon, but, of course, it caught up with him by 1973 and '74. taking America to the gutter politics."
Yes, it did take America to the gutter politics because Nixon wasn't just a racist. He was a crook and a liar, a megalomaniac who should never have been in the White House at all. And if we cannot learn from history, we're doomed to repeat it, am I right?
After all, I'm sure there are some things Michael Dukakis might do differently today than he did when he ran for President and "didn't talk" about the racism in the Willie Horton ads.
Brinkley went on to conclude, "I would argue that Donald Trump's candidacy, if he loses is going to be known in history for bigotry and xenophobia. These kind of dog whistles. you know, when he talks about the wall and talks about Latino Americans the way that he does, he does it in a law and order way. We're going to get all the drug dealers. But people are smart. They know what he's saying."
Which begs the question for me. What is wrong with Hillary Clinton pointing it out? What is the matter with having that conversation instead of allowing Donald Trump to pander to the African-American community while simultaneously stirring hate against them? What, specifically, is the problem here?
It's not bad for the country. It's good for the country. Media needs to stop having the vapors over this and start dealing with it straight up.