President Donald Trump over the weekend approvingly cited an article written by right-wing columnist Pat Buchanan that stoked fears about the Democratic Party intentionally trying to reduce the number of white men in the United States as a way to ensure electoral dominance.
Reacting to Trump’s promotion of Buchanan’s racial fear mongering, conservative Washington Examiner editor Philip Klein lamented that the president appears to either no know or not care that he’s losing the messaging battle over his proposed border wall and the current government shutdown.
“It’s just worth observing that citing Buchanan clearly isn’t something that makes sense if Trump is interested in trying to convince persuadable Americans about the merits of a border wall,” writes Klein. “It’s something that only makes sense if he’s interested in signaling to a certain part of the electorate that he’s one of them, and is fighting for them.”
In particular, Klein observes that Buchanan’s rhetoric isn’t aimed at Americans who may support stronger border security, but more at white men who feel their status is threatened by the presence of minority voters.
“Buchanan has long warned about the threat to white America posed by immigration,” Klein explains. “As has been noted, in 1999, Trump himself used his trademark bombast to call Buchanan a ‘Hitler lover’ when he was considering challenging him for the Reform Party presidential nomination.”
All of this signals to Klein that the shutdown fight “isn’t a war [Trump] seems to be interested in winning.”