CBS' Bouie: Trump Is “Conjuring ... The Worst Kind Of Nativism” And “Bigotry For The Sake Of Trying To Win An Election”

Jamelle Bouie: “Trump Is Bringing To The Fore ... Some Of The Ugliest Impulses In American Life”

From the May 15 edition of CBS' Face the Nation:

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JOHN DICKERSON: I was interested in Congressman King saying, well if Donald Trump changes some positions on North Korea, on some other specific areas he would feel more confident. Is that really all this is about, just getting the right positions on these issues?

MICHAEL GERSON: I think politicians are used to dealing with splitting differences on issues. They’re used to the best of two bad alternatives. The question is here, whether the Republican candidate for president is fit to be president. Whether he has pursued a division, a nativism at the center of American politics that could really change our public life in destructive ways, fundamental and destructive ways. And under those circumstances, you're not talking about this issue or that issue. You're talking about fitness. You're talking about, can this man represent America in the world? Can he represent all our citizens in this process? And those are open questions right now given the way that he has gotten to this point.

JOHN DICKERSON (HOST): Jamelle, what Reince Priebus and others would say is that, well, whatever questions people may have about Donald Trump and his fitness for the office, Hillary Clinton has, and we heard him say it today, has the same kinds of challenges. Is that a pretty good pushback to the point Michael makes?

JAMELLE BOUIE: I don't think it's a good pushback at all. You know, Hillary Clinton has a whole host of problems. She has aforementioned problems on transparency, she has her tight connections to Wall Street, she has all these things that people on the left or right are justly upset about, but she is fundamentally a mainstream politician. She exists well within the categories of American politics. On policy substance, she's not that far from Barack Obama. Trump is -- I use this word intentionally, he's conjuring sort of the worst kind of nativism. He's conjuring bigotry for the sake of trying to win an election. Once you take those -- once you open that box in any kind of society, but especially American society where we have these deep-seated racial divisions that have long had implications for politics, once you kind of open that box, it doesn't close again, and I think because of that, because Trump is bringing to the fore, for the first time in decades, in an explicit way at least, some of the ugliest impulses in American life. I don't think it's just a matter of, oh, well you know, Hillary Clinton's worse. Sure, she's a liberal and you don't like her. But she's not -- she's not encouraging violence at political events.  


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