Donald Trump is the frontrunner as the Republican nominee for President of the United States. This information is disturbing even to many Republicans. In Minnesota, dozens of Republicans who had previously bitten their tongues are suddenly rushing to endorse Marco Rubio, who now looks like the best bet to stop a Trump candidacy in the general election.
The Republican senator from Florida is conservative. But he's not Trump. The New York real estate scion and reality TV star flirted with racism at the start of his campaign — Mexicans are "drug dealers" and "rapists," he said — and since then he's had several full-on make out sessions with white nationalism.
With the latest development, right here in Minnesota, Trump and his racist backers might have hit third base. It seems that likely caucus voters in the Iron Range are getting robocalls trying to push them toward backing Donald Trump's presidential campaign. The calls are very, very racist.
The campaign messages are originating from the American National SuperPAC, an explicitly white nationalist organization that's making its calls out of the 213 area code in Los Angeles.
The supporter on one call identifies himself as "William Johnson, a farmer and white nationalist." Johnson then explains that the "white race is dying out in America and Europe, because we are afraid to be called racist."
Then Johnson, if that's really his name, says some stuff that will definitely get someone called racist. Schools don't have enough "beautiful white children" these days, and white people are facing a "genocide" if they don't speak up for... what, it's not clear. White people things. Mayonnaise. Duck Dynasty.
"Don't vote for a Cuban," the ad says, a clear reference to Marco Rubio, "vote for Donald Trump."
The ad claims Trump's biggest selling point is that he is "not afraid." But its senders should be a little afraid that they've targeted some of the wrong people.
One recipient was a Democratic legislator, Rep. Carly Melin, DFL-Hibbing, who shared with City Pages the audio of a voice message she received Thursday evening. Click below to hear the short, frightening clip.
Melin thinks, charitably, the racists on the other end might have been blindly hitting households that have previously voted in caucuses or primaries. That's Melin, sure. But the third-term Iron Range legislator is also a lifelong Democrat. And she's not a racist.
"I found the content to be offensive," Melin said, "and am shocked that so much hateful rhetoric has been part of the 2016 election cycle."
Sadly, it has. We have Donald Trump to thank for most of it.