Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton. (photo: Mary Altaffer/AP)
ould I approve waterboarding,” Donald Trump asked his supporters back in November. “You bet your ass I would. In a heartbeat. I would approve more than that. It works.”
And, he added, “if it doesn’t work, they deserve it anyway for what they do to us.”
Had Dick Cheney returned from the near dead, reborn as a know-nothing carnival barker rattling the bones of American Exceptionalism without the Biblical bullshit? Demagogue for a new day, Trump brings to life our ancestors who stole a continent from Native Americans and then plucked Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines from a rotting Spanish Empire. He gives voice to white supremacists, killer cops, and ballot-riggers who do not want the lives of black people to matter and do not want their votes to count. He panders to the growing ranks of nativists, each and every one the seed of earlier immigrants, who now despise the “huddled masses” from other parts of the world. And he speaks to the anxieties of white working-class underdogs whom he would inevitably betray.