MSNBC’s All In: Trump Unleashing ‘Animal Spirits’

Wednesday night, MSNBC’s All In continued to milk the “is Trump a racist” debate, this time focusing on the President's remarks at his most recent rally. Host Chris Hayes began by explaining one of the liberal media's most difficult quandaries: “What do you do with a Trump rally?” Well, the answer seemed obvious enough as Hayes and guests proceeded to name-call and tear Trump and his supporters apart.

Hayes ensued: “And at the culmination of an attack on Ilhan Omar, he accused her of being an anti-Semite and the crowd sort of took it from there.” Rather than examine the Democratic Congresswoman's history of anti-Semitic rhetoric, Hayes made it clear Omar would not be held accountable for her remarks.

 

 

The host then showed a clip from the rally and warned: “That's a crowd of Americans being incited by the American president to chant 'Send her back' against an American congresswoman.”

Political analyst and commentator, Zerlina Maxwell joined the conversation lamenting with Hayes: “This is a sad moment for the country, but it's not surprising in any way. I think some of this goes all the way back to the 2008 campaign. Some of his rallies remind me of the Sarah Palin rallies.” She continued: “I felt -- I feel like that is where this originated and that sort of fervor and that racial resentment being openly expressed. What Donald Trump has done is normalize racism.” Is this supposed to imply that Trump’s base has always been inherently racist? That all along they’ve been awaiting Trump to give them the “okay” on racism?

Apparently so. Maya Wiley, a former assistant U.S. attorney stated: “…we saw it in the headlines today around the vote to denounce his racism, that it became energizing, energizing for the Trump base.”

Hayes then got to the heart of the matter, prompting his left-wing guests: “What's the right way to characterize a crowd, an overwhelmingly white crowd. Not exclusively, but an overwhelmingly white crowd chanting 'Send her back' about a black woman who is a U.S. Congresswoman and U.S. Citizen?”

The Daily Beast senior editor, Harry Siegel, responded: “Racist, xenophobic, cruel, un-American.” He then went on to wonder: “The question is what the rest of us are going to do about this as these animal spirits, if you like, have been unleashed.” Ironically, it’s doubtful that any of the inhuman ‘animal spirits’ in Trump’s base read The Daily Beast.

Hayes continued fearmongering: “I think he's radicalizing people. I mean, it's happening in real time. Like, we're watching it happen. It shows up in the public opinion polling data. The antecedents were there, we know they were there, it's not like Donald Trump invented racism."

He then concluded with the lowest insult a liberal host could consider: “And even his tactics if you read Nixonland, Rick Perlstein's great book about Nixon, it's just kind of a dumber, more vulgar version of Nixon.”

Here is the transcript from the July 17 episode of All In:

All in with Chris Hayes

07/17/19

08:09:14 PM ET

CHRIS HAYES: Let me just sort of break the fourth wall here and say, what do you do with a Trump rally? It seems like it's designed to be a television production and to suck people into coverage. And so, if there is news, you cover the news. But, there was a moment at the rally that seems to be an important moment to show and get some reaction to. He did go after Ilhan Omar repeatedly, along with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley, I believe, and Rashida Tlaib. The women -- the Democratic congresswomen that he tweeted should go back to their country. And at the culmination of an attack on Ilhan Omar, he accused her of being an anti-Semite and the crowd sort of took it from there. I don't know if we have that clip cut, but if we do, let's take a look.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP [CLIP]:  Omar has a history of launching vicious anti-Semitic screeds.

CROWD [CLIP]: Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!

HAYES:  That's a crowd of Americans being incited by the American president to chant "Send her back" against an American congresswoman.

ZERLINA MAXWELL [POLITICAL ANALYST]: This is a sad moment for the country, but it's not surprising in any way. I think some of this goes all the way back to the 2008 campaign. Some of his rallies remind me of the Sarah Palin rallies.

HAYES: Yeah.

MAXWELL: I felt -- I feel like that is where this originated and that sort of fervor and that racial resentment being openly expressed. What Donald Trump has done is normalize racism. That has been true going back to birtherism, and he makes it okay again to be overtly racist in public without any fear that there will be any societal repercussions whatsoever and that is not something that I am willing to, you know, sit around and be silent about. And I don't think anybody that feels that racism is an unacceptable and unpatriotic position to have and to express in public, they should not be silent in this moment either.

MAYA WILEY [FMR. ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY]: I completely agree with Zerlina, and I'd take it one step further. I think it's more than sad. I think it's dangerous.

MAXWELL:  I agree.

WILEY:  And I think it's dangerous centrally to democracy and for all the reasons that Zerlina said and when you add that what he is doing, and we saw it in the headlines today around the vote to denounce his racism, that it became energizing, energizing for the Trump base. That should not represent an American base because America has never represented only one group of people, and the democracy that we've created is fundamentally about how we be pluralistic and govern together, and that is what he's attacked.

HAYES: What's the right way to characterize a crowd, an overwhelmingly white crowd. Not exclusively, but an overwhelmingly white crowd chanting "Send her back" about a black woman who is a U.S. Congresswoman and U.S. Citizen?

HARRY SEIGEL [THE DAILY BEAST SENIOR EDITOR]: Racist, xenophobic, cruel, un-American. The question is what the rest of us are going to do about this as these animal spirits, if you like, have been unleashed. And, look, Trump won a very weird -- had a very weird path to victory in a lot of ways.  He did not win the popular vote, and he is aiming for that same path again except now he has a tremendous war chest and the power of the incumbency that further excites all of these people, who if they thought his ways were enchanting, for the most part, were quiet about it. I think it's going to take a tremendous political force and the next year and change to hopefully get us back to that sort of moment. But people are not ashamed of shameful behavior right now. They're chanting it.

HAYES: Yeah, and it's -- I also think -- well, there are two things here. I think he's radicalizing people. I mean, it's happening in real time. Like, we're watching it happen. It shows up in the public opinion polling data. The antecedents were there, we know they were there, it's not like Donald Trump invented racism. And even his tactics if you read Nixonland, Rick Perlstein's great book about Nixon, it's just kind of a dumber, more vulgar version of Nixon.  

 

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