White Nationalism and the Republican Party: Toward Minority Rule in America
White supremacy has been a guiding principle of the United States since its birth. From the genocide of the Indians to the pernicious institution of slavery, racism has permeated every aspect of this nation. After the short-lived period of Reconstruction, Jim Crow followed and it continues to animate race relations in the U.S. While the Civil Rights Movement led to the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, the Republican Party and now the right-wing Supreme Court have adopted policies to undermine the protections of the promise of racial equality. False claims that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump and the ensuing attempted insurrection have shaken the institutions of democracy to their core.
Trump rode racism and nativism to the presidency, making it the nucleus of his reign. After descending the escalator to announce his presidential campaign, Trump singled out Mexico, declaring, They’re bringing drugs; they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. One of his first acts as president was the creation of the Muslim Ban, which married white supremacy with nativism.
White nationalism didn’t begin with Trump. Barry Goldwater, George Wallace, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan planted the seeds for Trump to adopt white supremacy as the explicit centerpiece of his campaign and his presidency. Whether or not Trump runs for president in 2024, Trumpism is unfortunately alive and well in our political system.
Political science scholar John Ehrenberg has just published a book titled White Nationalism and the Republican Party: Toward Minority Rule in America. In it, he explains how Trump weaponized the use of race, drawing on his Republican predecessors.
Guest ” John Ehrenberg, Senior Professor Emeritus and former Chair of the Political Science Department at Long Island University in New York. He has devoted his life to research and writing about political ideologies and the history of political thought. He is the author of Civil Society: The Critical History of an Idea, Proudhon and His Age and The Dictatorship of the Proletariat: Marxism’s Theory of Socialist Democracy. Full disclosure: In the 1960s, John and I both participated in the Stanford University honors program called Social Thought and Institutions.
The Federalist Society, Charles Koch, The Bradley Foundation and The U.S. Supreme Court
The nation is still reeling from the Trump administration’s assaults to the rule of law, and their ripple effects on democratic institutions. But these attacks were the result of strategic planning over decades, and the handiwork of networks of well-funded think tanks and lobbyists. Some of the country’s richest and most conservative individuals are, with so-called Dark Money, anonymously supporting these efforts.
Chief among these forces is the Federalist Society. Not well known until recently, the Society has worked quietly since the Reagan administration to overhaul the Supreme Court into a bastion of conservatism. Enriched with Dark Money, its had an outsized impact on the composition of the federal and the Supreme Court. Recently, weve witnessed how hard-fought social gains of the 20th century have been taken away from Americans, and landmark Supreme Court decisions have been overruled such as Roe v. Wade and a womans right to reproductive freedom, and Lemon v. Kurtzman, guaranteeing the separation of church and state.
Guest ” Attorney Lisa Graves, is the founder, director, and editor-in-chief of True North Research. Her analysis of such research has been cited by every major newspaper in the country. She has served as a senior advisor in all three branches of government. Lisa served as chief counsel for the US Senate Judiciary Committee for Senator Patrick Leahy. She was also a career deputy assistant attorney general the US Department of Justice. Lisa has spent the past 12 years examining the impact of dark money on judicial selection.