This New York Times editorial gets off to a good start:
While its modern roots predate the Trump administration by many decades, white nationalism has attained a new mainstream legitimacy during Mr. Trump’s time in office.
Discussions of Americans being “replaced” by immigrants, for instance, are a recurring feature on some programs on Fox News. Fox hosts Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, for example, return to these themes frequently. Democrats, Ms. Ingraham told viewers last year, “want to replace you, the American voters, with newly amnestied citizens and an ever-increasing number of chain migrants.”
In May, bemoaning an “invasion” of immigrants, Mr. Trump asked how immigrants could be stopped during a rally in Florida. “Shoot them,” someone in the crowd yelled. Mr. Trump gave a smirk and said, “That’s only in the Panhandle you can get away with that stuff,” as the crowd exploded in ghoulish laughter.
Far more Americans have died at the hands of domestic terrorists than at the hands of Islamic extremists since 2001, according to the F.B.I. The agency’s resources, however, are still overwhelmingly weighted toward thwarting international terrorism.
OK, so the presidency, the Republican party, and many of the nation’s most prominent media are in the hands of white nationalists. That sounds like a pretty extreme situation. What to do?
Moderate members of the political right must do more to condemn white nationalists, even if the president condemns them from one side of his mouth and extols ethnonationalism from the other.
Advertisers have a duty not to sponsor television programs that flirt with white nationalism or advocate it outright.
Banks have a duty not to help finance white nationalist organizations.
Religious leaders should feel called to denounce white nationalism from the pulpit.
Technology companies have a responsibility to de-platform white nationalist propaganda and communities as they did ISIS propaganda.
And if the technology companies refuse to step up, law enforcement has a duty to vigilantly monitor and end the anonymity, via search warrants, of those who openly plot attacks in murky forums.
Those people who encourage terrorism anonymously online should be named.
Sounds like a plan! But hang on a second:
Those who sympathize with the white nationalist ideology but who deplore the violence should work closely with law enforcement to see that fellow travelers who may be prone to violence do not have access to firearms like semiautomatic assault-style weapons that are massively destructive.
Last time I checked, the name for somebody who sympathizes with white nationalist ideology is a “white nationalist.” And if the Times wants to find some white nationalists who also deplore violence as a means of advancing white nationalism, its budget for yet more Cletus safaris had better be even bigger than that for further explorations of whether Alan Dershowitz is getting invited to enough dinner parties on Martha’s Vineyard this summer.
Donald Trump is a white nationalist. The mainstream right wing media and the Republican party have become extensions and amplifiers of Trump’s white nationalist agenda. This is now so screamingly obvious that even the Times manages to acknowledge it, for a good part of this editorial.
But when push comes to shove, establishmentarians always spit the bit. The white nationalists can’t be in the White House, because that would mean that this whole frame — in which white nationalists, aka Donald Trump and his tens of millions of supporters — are supposed to “sympathize” with the white nationalism they collectively embody, but at the same time not actually support white nationalism’s absolutely central historical, ideological, and practical commitment to using violence to maintain a herrenvolk democracy, would be nonsensical on its face.