Yesterday, during his foreign policy address, Donald Trump proposed what's essentially a purity test for immigrants. I have a new essay about that up at BNR:
We must view this latest intolerably offensive proposal within the context that my colleague Peter Daou has laid out in three parts – that Trump is not strictly running a presidential campaign at all, but "purposely working to lead an uprising of the extreme right, to be a 'heroic' figurehead for white nationalism, to create an atmosphere of violence, intimidation, and nullification."Head on over to read the whole thing.
Trump is no longer running to be president (if he ever was), but to be a historical figure with a legend bigger than even the U.S. presidency can confer. He is not seeking fame, but infamy. And losing the U.S. presidency would cast him as a martyr to a far right, white nationalist movement, whose members greet with cheers every brick he's laying in the foundation of this martyrdom – rigged elections, a corrupt establishment, political correctness run amok.
And to understand the true devilry of this proposal, and the crucial role it plays in further outreach to white nationalists, one must understand the nature of immigration in the United States. Specifically, the history of a racial hierarchy in immigrant preferences.
...It is within this newly-empowered long-term movement of white nationalism that Trump's "ideological test" for immigrants must be viewed. This is not just another "stupid" idea from a man running an "incompetent" campaign. It is instead another terrifying dog whistle to his white nationalist supporters that they can count on him to carry their mantle.