President Barack Obama has a new title for Donald Trump: “homegrown demagogue.”
At the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, Obama said:
America has changed over the years. But these values my grandparents taught me — they haven’t gone anywhere. They’re as strong as ever; still cherished by people of every party, every race, every faith. They live on in each of us. What makes us American, what makes us patriots, is what’s in here. That’s what matters. And that’s why we can take the food and music and holidays and styles of other countries, and blend it into something uniquely our own. That’s why we can attract strivers and entrepreneurs from around the globe to build new factories and create new industries here. That’s why our military can look the way it does — every shade of humanity, forged into common service. That’s why anyone who threatens our values, whether fascists or communists or jihadists or homegrown demagogues, will always fail in the end.
For Democrats and other opponents of Trump, the label perfectly describes how many feel the Republican presidential candidate: Trump is a person who plays into racist and prejudiced fears, rather than devising real policy solutions to problems facing the US.
Trump is, after all, a candidate who launched his campaign calling Mexican immigrants “rapists” who are “bringing crime” and “bringing drugs” to the US. He then called for a ban on all Muslims coming into the US. He’s been repeatedly slow to condemn white supremacists who endorse him, and he regularly retweets white supremacists and neo-Nazis. He’s repeatedly referred to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has said she has Cherokee ancestors, as “Pocahontas.” And that’s only a small sampling of the many, many racist and prejudiced things he’s said and done over the past several decades.
Obama is arguing that, whatever one’s political affiliation or policy views, these are the views and actions of a person who shouldn’t and doesn’t represent America. As Obama put it earlier in his speech, “That is not the America I know.”