Let’s be honest, though. In modern times, according to modern politics, what doesn’t make you racist? Absolutely nothing. And there lies the problem. Why shouldn’t white people be allowed to be proud of their heritage?
Mr. Trump’s campaign electrified the world of white nationalists. They had long been absent from mainstream politics, taking refuge at obscure conferences and in largely anonymous havens online. Most believed that the Republican Party had been subverted and captured by liberal racial dictums.
Many in this new generation of nationalists shun the trappings of old-fashioned white supremacy, appropriating the language of multiculturalism to recast themselves as white analogues to La Raza and other civil rights organizations. They call themselves “race realists” or “identitarians” — conservatives for whom racial heritage is more important than ideology.
But across this spectrum, in Mr. Trump’s descriptions of immigrants as vectors of disease, violent crime and social decay, they heard their own dialect.
Mr. Spencer, a popular figure in the white nationalist world, said he did not believe that Mr. Trump subscribed to his entire worldview. But he was struck that Mr. Trump seemed to understand and echo many of his group’s ideas intuitively, and take them to a broader audience.
“I don’t think he has thought through this issue in a way that I and a number of people have,” Mr. Spencer said. “I think he is reacting to the feeling that he has lost his country.”
This year, for the first time in decades, overt white nationalism re-entered national politics. In Iowa, a new “super PAC” paid for pro-Trump robocalls featuring Jared Taylor, a self-described race realist, and William Johnson, a white nationalist and the chairman of the American Freedom Party. (“We don’t need Muslims,” Mr. Taylor urged recipients of the calls. “We need smart, well-educated white people who will assimilate to our culture. Vote Trump.”) David Duke, the Louisiana lawmaker turned anti-Semitic radio host, encouraged listeners to vote for Mr. Trump.
Modern political convention dictates that candidates receiving such embraces instantly and publicly spurn them. In 2008, when it was revealed that a minister who endorsed the Republican nominee, Senator John McCain, had made anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim remarks, Mr. McCain forcefully repudiated them.
Mr. Trump did something different.
Asked about the robocall, Mr. Trump seemed to sympathize with its message while affecting a vague half-distance. “Nothing in this country shocks me; I would disavow it, but nothing in this country shocks me,” Mr. Trump told a CNN anchor. “People are angry.”
Pressed, Mr. Trump grew irritable, saying: “How many times you want me to say it? I said, ‘I disavow.’”
There seems to be this strange belief that all Republicans are white and own nice cars in expensive suburbs. Let the BLM movement and their liberal supporters call you racist all they want, the beliefs they were founded on show more intolerance and ignorance than anything the rest of us could possibly say or do.
If you’re voting for somebody based strictly on their social policies, you don’t deserve to vote. This is President Obama’s legacy, a country divided, a country potentially doomed.