At a Donald Trump rally in New Hampshire on Thursday, a fired-up gentleman in the audience pointed out that there’s a non-American Muslim in the White House, as well as, naturally, secret Muslim extremist training camps stealthily taking over America “to kill us.” This is a popular POV for the Average Trump Voter!
The man’s statement, which Trump didn’t question or challenge, went like so, per CNN:
“We have a problem in this country. It’s called Muslims,” an unidentified man who spoke at a question-and-answer town hall event in Rochester, New Hampshire asked the mogul. “You know our current president is one. You know he’s not even an American.”
A seemingly bewildered Trump interrupted the man, chuckling, “We need this question. This is the first question.”
“Anyway, we have training camps growing where they want to kill us,” the man, wearing a “Trump” T-shirt, continued. “That’s my question: When can we get rid of them?”
“We’re going to be looking at a lot of different things,” Trump replied. “You know, a lot of people are saying that and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening. We’re going to be looking at that and many other things.”
Among other things, this points to Trump’s ability to sort of mimic a normal candidate—banter with the audience, promise you’re “looking at” their concerns, praise the question, that’s it, great job, no one knows you’re a turnip balanced atop a suit stuffed with newspapers—without actually doing what a normal candidate would. A normal candidate might gently, for example, point out that Obama is pretty clearly not a secret Kenyan Muslim, and there are probably not Muslim training camps popping up all over Tempe or wherever.
But Trump has two problems: first, he was, back in 2012, the leader of the “Obama is a secret Kenyan Muslim” brigade, demanding to see the president’s birth certificate and hinting darkly that he knew it was fake. Fun tweets that he hasn’t yet deleted:
Trump also sent “investigators” to Hawaii, who he darkly hinted were finding all sorts of skullduggery about Obama’s place of birth. When the president released his long-form birth certificate, Trump took credit for that too, but without ever admitting that he might’ve been wrong.
These days, as the Washington Post points out, Trump has gathered the die-hard birther fringe to his clammy bosom: a CNN/ORC poll found that 54 percent of his supporters believe Obama is a Muslim, which is, for most of those people, is part and parcel with the belief that he wasn’t born here. (Update: An CNN story from earlier this week said their polling found that 61 percent of Trump supporters said they believe the president was born in the United States.)
Anyway, the point here is that it’s nice that the racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, and real frightened lunatic fringe has finally found a candidate’s tent that’s big and bonkers enough to contain their congregation.
Image via AP