'Normalization Of Hate:' White Nationalist Language Of America First Caucus Sets Off New Alarms On Racism

It is no coincidence that Donald Trump's white supremacist advisor, professional hate-monger and Fox News personality Stephen Miller traffics in the same language, public policies and ideas as Greene and her proposed caucus.

After Punchbowl News shared details about Greene's proposed white power caucus, it was met with outrage and condemnation by the commentariat and political chattering class. She denied ever having seen the document, and responded with contradictory claims that no such group would be formed.

Greene of course argued that she was a "victim" of a smear campaign by the "liberal news media," and in a striking display of cowardice even blamed a staff member for misrepresenting the nature of the caucus and releasing a rough draft of its founding document.

In all likelihood, Greene and her cabal were testing norms and boundaries. She and her allies temporarily retreated in order to reassess their larger strategy of how to weaponize white supremacy as a way to maximize their power within the Republican Party. Testing norms and boundaries and then recalibrating is a common strategy among political extremists.

Leading Republicans and other "sensible" voices on the right condemned Greene and her theoretical caucus as a way of demonstrating their false anti-racist bonafides. Such voices claimed that the America First group's stated beliefs in the superiority of "Anglo-Saxon civilization," and its related desire to keep America a majority-white country by shutting down nonwhite immigration, represent a betrayal of the country's best traditions and values. More "traditional" Republicans also took the opportunity to denounce Greene and her cabal as a way of superficially distancing themselves and their party from the enduring stain of Trumpism.

Too much of the mainstream news media cannot conceal its hunger for a return to normalcy and its quest for "reasonable," "decent" and "traditional" Republicans. In breathless reporting, the mainstream news media and its hope peddlers, professional centrists and stenographers of current events proclaimed that Republicans were "outraged" and "disgusted" at Greene and the America First caucus. The Republican Party was once again described as descending into chaos and disarray because of Greene's latest white supremacist stunt.  

But the real story of the America First Caucus is one of style versus substance: Today's Jim Crow Republican Party largely agrees with the nativist and white supremacist policies of Greene's proposed caucus. The fake outrage is really a function of public relations, reflecting how boldly such ideas and policies are being presented.

Make no mistake: Today's Republican Party is America's and the world's largest white supremacist organization. Its slide into open embrace of white supremacy with the rise of Trump and his neofascist movement did not occur overnight. That outcome took several decades, from the infamous Southern strategy of Richard Nixon's time to Reaganism, the white backlash of the Tea Party against Barack Obama and a Republican Party that is so extreme that is has more in common with neofascist political organizations in Hungary and Poland than with mainstream democratic political parties in other parts of the West.

Donald Trump's presidency and movement were and are based on white racial resentment, anxiety about a loss of white privilege and control over American society and, for many of Trump's supporters and followers, an embrace of overt white supremacy and a desire to hurt nonwhite people.   

The Republican Party, its leadership and elected officials fully embraced and consistently supported Trump's policy agenda — no matter what degree of deflection or prevarication they may wish to offer. Loyalty to Trump was so extreme that the 2020 Republican platform was nonexistent: The party would do whatever Trump wanted. The so-called reasonable and traditional Republicans in Congress voted for almost every one of Trump's proposals, however racist, cruel, fascistic and anti-democratic they have been. Even "good Republicans" such as Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, who twice voted to convict Trump for his crimes against democracy, still supported almost all of his legislation and policy positions.

Although he is no longer president, Donald Trump remains more popular among Republican voters and his followers than the party itself. Public opinion polls and other social science research has repeatedly shown that the "economic anxiety" among the "white working class" that led to the Age of Trump was primarily a function of racism, white supremacy and what experts have described as "ethnic antagonism" and fear of "displacement" by nonwhites.

On Jan. 6, Trump's followers launched a lethal coup attack on the U.S. Capitol. That act of treason was fundamentally an attack on the legitimacy of America's multiracial democracy. As shown by public opinion polls and other research, a majority of Republicans, then and now, support the Capitol attack or seek to blame it on others.

In numerous states, the Republican Party has publicly criticized or formally censured the relatively small number of elected Republicans who dared to condemn Trump's coup attack, resist his false claims of election fraud or support his impeachment.

Other research shows that Republicans, and Trump followers specifically, reject the very idea of American democracy if white people are no longer to be its dominant group. 

Experimental research shows that when white participants are exposed to information suggesting that the white proportion of the population is declining, they exhibit not just social-status anxiety but fears about the literal extermination of the "white race." Such fears then lead to racial bias and greater support for right-wing extremist policies.

By refusing to accept the basic fact that today's Republican Party is a white supremacist terror organization, the mainstream news media is repeating exactly the same mistakes that led to the Age of Trump and the coup attempt of Jan. 6.

Greene and her America First Caucus are not an aberration. They are not something strange or alien to the Republican Party. In many ways, she and her proposed group are the Republican Party's heart, passions and unrestrained id. This is a dangerous truth that the mainstream news media is afraid to speak publicly and forcefully.

In effect, the media's desperate search for "reasonable Republicans" is an attempt to normalize the abominable. That only serves to enable neofascism. This is not a bad habit, an involuntary compulsion or a "lack of journalistic imagination." It is a perilously irresponsible choice that may lead to the demise of American democracy.

How is Marjorie Taylor Greene's failed "America First" caucus any different from the GOP?
Stanford Racism Precipitated “National Policy of Exclusion” and Internment Camps
'Obsessive' far-right Sussex man jailed for stirring racial hatred in calling for 'civil war'
After a watershed moment of violence, Asian Americans begin to speak out