Michael Cohen of Politico recently wrote a piece about the racist code language of Donald Trump and Tea Party sympathizers (polling has shown Tea Party activists are not racist, so liberals report the racist leanings of people who merely sympathize with them).
Cohen is engaging in a time-tested tactic. The Democrats benefit from racism, and will occasionally intervene if the levels of racism fall too low. For example, quoting from the article:
Trump…is aiming his rhetorical guns on those he describes as scheming foreigners as well…Republican Party increasingly dominated by, and dependent on, white voters.
Cohen is saying in essence, “if you are white and feel threatened by outsourcing, you are racist; and if you are not racist, what is wrong with you?” By insisting that certain reasonable fears must be racist, Cohen’s framing pressures people to be racist.
This paragraph is where the real magic happens:
…represents a concerted effort “to arouse a fear of the Other.” It is an unsubtle effort to foster the notion that the president, a black man born of an African father, is somehow not “one of us.”
Many Independents voted for Obama confident that he was, in fact, one of them. Their disillusionment has been profound, as Obama has clearly shown he isn’t on the same page as other Americans. Trump has greatly benefited from this disillusionment. But Obama’s alienness is not the alienness of racial differences, and the reaction of Independents is not one due to racism.
This threatens Democrats. Racism is a powerful motivating force for the Democratic base. The more racism, the better. If social bigotry falls too low, they lose minority votes. This is why Democrats like Cohen are resorting to such disgustingly racist framings; by stating that opposing points of view must be racist, they are, in effect, trying to quasi-shame their opponents into being racist.
To be fair, I should note that Obama himself makes little use of these tactics, a very welcome development. However, like all Democrats he turns a blind eye to “useful idiots” like Michael Cohen.