Trump supporters at a campaign rally Wednesday night in Greenville NC erupted in chants of “Send her back!” when the president spoke disparagingly of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).
Omar, a U.S. citizen born in Somalia, is a vocal member of the “Squad” of four first-term members of Congress — all fiercely critical of Trump.
As the crowd roared, the president egged them on.
“These congresswomen are helping the rise of a militant, hard left. They never have anything good to say, which is why I say, if they don’t like it, let them leave,” Trump said. “They don’t love our country, and in some cases I think they hate our country.”
The crowd chanted: “Leave!”
It was a predictable moment, given Trump’s week-long campaign of racial comments about the Squad, all women of color, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Omar.
But the president’s choice of racism as a short-term goad to white voters is a bad sign for the future of the Republican Party.
The reason: demographics.
“The numbers simply do not lie,” says Axios. “America, as a whole, and swing states, in particular, are growing more diverse, more quickly. There is no way Republicans can change birth rates or curb this trend — and there’s not a single demographic megatrend that favors Republicans.”
And the future is already upon them: “Next year the entire under-18 [U.S.] population will be majority non-white,” and in less than a decade “the under-30 population will be majority non-white,” Axios says, citing the Brookings demographer William Frey.
Axios notes that census data shows “Hispanic people now make up a quarter of the population in Florida, almost a third of the population in Arizona and 39% of Texas — all Trump states in 2016 that are becoming more winnable by Democrats.”
So while Trump thinks racism is a winning strategy for his 2020 campaign — a notion Axios calls “highly debatable” — just down the political road, it is anything but.
“Long-term, it seems unambiguous: If you need more African American and Hispanic voters, maligning and marginalizing them strikes even some inside this White House as stupid politics.”