Donald Trump’s ‘Racist Instincts’ Are Driving His Re-Election Strategy, Author Says

Speaking to conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin, author Robert P. Jones expressed his belief that Donald Trump’s “racist instincts” are driving his re-election game plan.

“I think it is clear that Trump’s own racist instincts are driving his strategy, and this is becoming abundantly clear to the American public,” he said.

Jones noted an October survey from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) — of which he is founder and chief executive — that found almost six out of 10 Americans believe that Trump’s words were “encouraging white supremacists.” However, the author also noted that the president’s purported game plan of appealing to racism is not his own creation but an “old Republican playbook” left by the former iteration of the Grand Old Party.

Notably, Max Boot previously argued that Trump was using the Southern Strategy employed by the GOP in the 1960s that purportedly tapped into racism to drive Caucasian Americans from the Democratic Party.

According to the PRRI founder, the previously mentioned approach is the source of Republicans’ current problem with Caucasian supremacy.

“When such a tactic is deployed for half a century, no one should be surprised when white-supremacist sentiments turn out to be an animating core of group identity. I hope there can be a more honest reckoning, both for the Republican Party and for its white Christian base that has provided theological and moral cover for this strategy.”

Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House.

In the light of American history, Jones claimed that Trump’s recent racially inflammatory comments — such as his claim that he will protect the suburbs from low-income housing — are “unremarkable.” The particular comment drew pushback from some who believed the remarks were both classist and racist. Nevertheless, the author claimed that the GOP and Caucasian Christians have an opportunity to use the current “moral question” to recreate the group from its foundation in a way that rejects both white supremacy and the president’s alleged use of strategies that fan the flames of racial grievance and fear.

Not all Republicans are on-board with the direction of Trump’s re-election campaign. In an op-ed for USA Today, Stuart Stevens, a veteran Republican strategist who is part of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, argued that the real estate mogul’s rise had been fueled by white grievance. But according to the strategist, the president’s approach is also driven by his own internal racial animosity as opposed to a broader strategic plan. Stevens pushed back against Trump’s approach and expressed disbelief that his allies have not tried to challenge him on racial issues.