Wash. Post's Gerson Calls Out Conservative Media's “Deeply Destructive” “White Identity Message”

Michael Gerson: “The Whole Political Strategy Of Getting Out The White Vote Is Morally Problematic And Very Dangerous In Our Country. And That's Where Our Politics Is Headed”

From the July 10 edition of NBC's Meet The Press:

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MICHAEL GERSON: There are elements in our politics, not these two people [Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton] necessarily, although maybe one, elements in our politics that want to feed just enough anger, just enough resentment but not over into violence. And that is the most dangerous game that you could possibly play in politics. We have a Republican nominee who rose to prominence by criticizing the other, creating fear of the other. We have a conservative media in parts right now that has a white identity message. OK? And that, all of this is deeply destructive. It's not the kind of leadership we need. 


EUGENE ROBINSON: What he said about Trump but also, it, the situation, as you said, is that half the country just tunes out when Hillary Clinton speaks. You know the other half of country tunes out when Donald Trump speaks, maybe more than half. And so that's not conducive to a national conversation about race, although frankly, I have always maintained that this is how we have our national conversation about race. Not the way we're sitting at this table but something happens, we yell and scream, we argue, we get scratchy. But that's the way we do it. 

MARY MATALIN: Wait. Stop, stop, stop. Everything isn't about race, or everything is about the economy, which affects every race, every gender, every orientation the same. Donald Trump is, did not come out of the head of Zeus. OK? The party created him by being unresponsive to the party's demands and the success of tsunami midterms which wanted to have some sort of reform, repeal of Obamacare, wanted to reduce the overreach of government, wanted a more robust economic recovery, wanted the cessation of the intrusion into their life by all these regulations. That's what's going on in every community out there, and Donald Trump is just riding that wave. And you're not wrong about there being -- but their rhetoric of both of them is detached. That's not how people live. 


GERSON: The whole political strategy of getting out the white vote is morally problematic and very dangerous in our country. And that's where our politics is headed. 

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON: But hold on, so it is about race. So when you say, “Hold on, hold on, it's not about race,” of course it is. It's just not about blackness, it's also about whiteness. And we don't have a conversation in this country with race and whiteness. Whiteness is at stake. Donald Trump has, I think, in a beguiling way seduced many working class white people into believing that he will be their defender, when indeed he is not. And on top of that, Hillary Clinton, when we get past the optics and cosmetics, has put forth consistently public policy recommendations that will speak to the vicious undercurrent of racism in this country but also bring together various constituencies along the continuum of race in this country. I think that's what's important.


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