Press 1 for the Good Old Days

Maybe I’ve missed something, but I suspect Donald Trump rallies like the one in Dallas Monday night are bringing back a dynamic we haven’t seen since a certain Alabama governor ran for president. Check out this account from Politico‘s Ben Schreckinger:

As it ended, attendees filing out, mostly white, clashed with 200 or so lingering protesters, mostly black and Hispanic. Police intervened in several heated exchanges, including some involving members of the Black Lives Matter movement. “Blue lives matter,” chanted several young Trump supporters.

Protesters then chanted a Spanish profanity at attendees. After attendees dispersed, dozens of police officers, including several on horseback, pushed protesters off arena property in a tense standoff.

After being pushed to the other side of the street, one protest leader encouraged those gathered to arm their families and teach them to protect themselves. “You’re only going to get Martin Luther King so long before you get Malcolm X,” he said.

Snakes alive, that quote will be snatched up by Brietbart.com and baked right into its next New Black Panther Party story! But I digress:

Down the street, a separate group of about three dozen protesters stood behind metal barriers and heckled attendees as they lined up for the event. Two women held signs that featured doctored photos of Trump in the uniform of the Third Reich, with a Hitler mustache and flanked by swastika-emblazoned flags. “Raise your hand, racists,” a man with a microphone connected to loudspeakers repeatedly shouted at the queued-up attendees. A Trump supporter in a purple dress raised her hand. She walked up to the barrier separating attendees from protesters and, when offered the microphone, shouted into it — first in Spanish, then in English — “The Mexicans are the hairs of a–holes. Viva Donald Trump.” She added, to a female protester, “Clean my hotel room, b—-.” She later identified herself as Jackie, age 30, but declined to provide a last name.

“Somebody press 1 for English,” hollered Trump supporter David Loutz, 52, at the protesters. He said Trump won his loyalty when he said he would deport millions of undocumented immigrants. “This isn’t going to be painless. They’ve been inflicting pain on us for 20 years,” said Loutz, a van driver, of the anticipated deportation process. “I was very humanitarian until the numbers became overwhelming.”

That last line reveals something pretty important about Trump fans. They view themselves as having been infinitely patient, even “humanitarian,” with the cultural indignities they’ve had to suffer as their country changed. No more. It’s the year for pressing 1 for the America they see receding in the rear-view mirror.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.