For Whites Sensing Decline, Donald Trump Unleashes Words of Resistance – The New York Times

This year, for the first time in decades, overt white nationalism re-entered national politics. In Iowa, a new “super PAC” paid for pro-Trump robocalls featuring Jared Taylor, a self-described race realist, and William Johnson, a white nationalist and the chairman of the American Freedom Party. (“We don’t need Muslims,” Mr. Taylor urged recipients of the calls. “We need smart, well-educated white people who will assimilate to our culture. Vote Trump.”) David Duke, the Louisiana lawmaker turned anti-Semitic radio host, encouraged listeners to vote for Mr. Trump.Modern political convention dictates that candidates receiving such embraces instantly and publicly spurn them. In 2008, when it was revealed that a minister who endorsed the Republican nominee, Senator John McCain, had made anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim remarks, Mr. McCain forcefully repudiated them.Mr. Trump did something different.Asked about the robocall, Mr. Trump seemed to sympathize with its message while affecting a vague half-distance. “Nothing in this country shocks me; I would disavow it, but nothing in this country shocks me,” Mr. Trump told a CNN anchor. “People are angry.”Pressed, Mr. Trump grew irritable, saying: “How many times you want me to say it? I said, ‘I disavow.’”Asked six weeks later about Mr. Duke’s support, he said he had been unaware of it: “David Duke endorsed me? O.K. All right. I disavow, O.K.?” Later, on Twitter, he repeated the phrase: “I disavow.”Mr. Trump has often used those words when confronted by reporters. The phrase is comfortingly nonspecific, a disavowal of everything and nothing. And whatever Mr. Trump’s intentions, it has been powerfully reassuring to people on the far right.“There’s no direct object there,” Mr. Spencer said. “It’s kind of interesting, isn’t it?”Mr. Trump’s new supporters took his approach as a signal of support. In an interview on a “pro-white” radio show called “The Political Cesspool,” Mr. Johnson, of the American Freedom Party, praised Mr. Trump’s handling of the controversy.“He disavowed us,” Mr. Johnson acknowledged, “but he explained why there is so much anger in America that I couldn’t have asked for a better approach from him.”

Source: For Whites Sensing Decline, Donald Trump Unleashes Words of Resistance – The New York Times