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Trump Is Not a “White Supremacist”

There's a difference between "white supremacy" and "white nationalism."
August 13, 2019
Trump Is Not a “White Supremacist”
(Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

1. Stop Saying “White Supremacy”

Remember back with the left used to be really, really good at weaponizing language?

It’s not abortion, it’s a “choice”!

It’s not confiscatory tax policy, it’s “fairness”!

It’s not discrimination, it’s “affirmative action”!

So why in the world has the left decided that they’re going to hang “white supremacy” around Donald Trump’s neck?

Because that’s not going to work.

For starters, Trump is not a “white supremacist.” Nobody in his orbit is a “white supremacist.” Approximately 0.0000000000000001 percent of his supporters are “white supremacists.” The ideological stew which passes for “Trumpism” is not based on “white supremacy.”

“White supremacy” is a very specific idea. It’s the notion that whites are superior to all other races. It believes in the “master race.” It worries about blood lines and dilution and is expansive in its view. There are people in this world who are actual white supremacists.

None of them are represented in American political life.

The actual malady we are suffering from today is “white nationalism.” Which differs from “white supremacism” in important ways.

“White supremacy” is necessarily expansionistic. “White nationalism” is inward-looking.

White supremacists believe in the superiority of the white race. White nationalists mostly believe that there is a hierarchy of races in terms of native ability, with Asians at the top, followed by Jews, then “real whites,” then brown people.

White supremacy is a boast. White nationalism is a grievance. White nationalists want to take back what they see as “their” country from the recently-arrived interlopers.

None of this is meant to excuse Trump, or downplay the dangers of white nationalism. But we ought to call things by right names, for a number of reasons.

The first is that it’s just true: Whatever Donald Trump’s private beliefs—whether by accident or by design—he has become a rallying point for white nationalists in America.

The second is that when you’re running against someone as obviously problematic as Donald Trump, you don’t help your cause by over-charging. Actually, you hurt it. Because when persuadable people hear your trumped-up charges and realize that one part of your theory of the case isn’t on the level, they’ll doubt all the other parts, too.

The third is that Trump won’t be willing to condemn “white nationalism.”

There’s a reason why, in his remarks about El Paso, Trump condemned “white supremacy.” It’s because his brand is nationalism. He can’t be for “nationalism” and then against “white nationalism.” That simply doesn’t work. He wants to tell voters, “I’m against all that white supremacy stuff. I’m just here for the nationalism.”

Why in the world would the left in general—and Democratic presidential candidates in particular—let him off the hook like that by claiming he’s a “white supremacist”?

2. Sorry in Advance

Over the last couple of years I’ve heard lots of good-faith explanations from friends about why I’ve got Trump and Trumpism dead wrong.

“It’s about judges.”

“It’s about saving the free market from the socialists.”

“It’s about the unique threat Hillary Clinton posed to the idea of the rule of law.”

All of which are quite sensible. One other thing I often hear is: “No, it’s not a personality cult.”

To which I will now and forever respond with this link.

It’s an old story, but it’s new to me and I’ll never be able to un-see it now. Because this is totally normal for any political movement based on a belief in conservative jurisprudence and free markets and the rule of law:

Tiffany Taylor is a country girl at heart and the 33-year-old mom of three is a Texan through and through, with a surprisingly cosmopolitan role model.For the past year, Taylor, an aspiring socialite who works in the oil and gas business, has been transforming her body and face to look like Ivanka Trump, the eldest daughter of Donald Trump.

Taylor has already undergone multiple rounds of plastic surgery to look like her beauty idol.

“I had my breasts done and I got a ‘C,’ so I had them done a second time and got a ‘D;’ I also had my nose done they just took out some of the bulk out of the tip and kind of defined it a little bit right here,” she said.

She’s also had injections in her cheeks and a “mini eye lift, and then my chin area lifted up to help with my acne scars and define the chin and I also had lipo in my stomach.”

And Taylor said she wants more. She recently went in for another round of surgery for a new nose job and to have her eyelids done. In all, Taylor said she has spent approximately $60,000 on plastic surgery. . . .

Taylor’s Houston-based plastic surgeon Dr. Franklin Rose said he is getting more and more clients asking for the “Ivanka Trump look.”

“She’s very beautiful and she’s very poised … and very elegant and very soft-spoken. So patients want to be like that,” Rose said.

After her latest round of surgery, Taylor went to Neiman Marcus to find clothes that would emulate Ivanka Trump’s classic style.

Come to find out that Taylor isn’t alone in her quest. Jenny Stuart, a 36-year-old mother of two and an IT headhunter in Texas, is a consistent head-turner when she’s out.

“I’ve been told probably hundreds of times that I look like Angelina Jolie,” Stuart said.

For some, a comparison to this Oscar-winning actress would be hitting the jackpot, but Stuart also wants to look like Ivanka Trump.

You’re welcome.

3. Heavy Burn

It is not everyday that a priest friend—a priest!—sends you hard-core pr0n. But I opened up my email last week and found this from Father C. It is . . . amazing?

That’s not quite the word for it.

Raptor Vacuum will have a significantly larger nozzle compared to the sea level engine it will be based on. According to Musk, RaptorVac will have a nozzle diameter of roughly 2.8m (9.2 ft), while the SL Raptor features a ~1.3m (4.2 ft)-diameter nozzle. With a larger diameter nozzle, a chemical rocket engine can technically generate more thrust and is significantly more efficient due to an increased expansion ratio, meaning the difference in the diameter of the nozzle exit and combustion chamber throat.

In the very simplest sense, this efficiency and thrust increase comes from the fact that a longer nozzle allows the exiting gas (reaction mass) to reach a higher velocity, thus conveying more momentum onto the rocket it is propelling.

Starship’s Raptor engines, of course, use liquid methane as fuel and liquid oxygen as their oxidizer. According to SpaceX, fully fueling a combined Super Heavy and Starship stack will require an incredible ~5000 tons (11 million pounds) of propellant – ~1500 tons for Starship and ~3500 tons for Super Heavy.

To contain such a huge amount of fuel and oxidizer, Starship (and Super Heavy) must effectively be turned into extremely mass-efficient pressure vessels, capable of supporting something like 20 kilograms of propellant with every kilogram of rocket structure.

SpaceX’s installation of bulkheads in the Texas Starship prototype are thus an inherent indication that the rocket is being readied to play the role of a massive, ultra-strong pressure vessel. While sitting vertically, a fueled Starship’s tank domes will be subjected to immense pressures and forces from the sheer weight of the liquid oxygen and methane held above them.

Either your eyes will glaze over after the third sentence, or this entire thing will push your heart-rate up to 120 bpm.

Jonathan V. Last

Jonathan V. Last is editor of The Bulwark.