Donald Trump has mastered the delicate art of scaring stupid people. And the easiest way to do that, which he likely learned from his study on the writings of Adolf Hitler, is through demonizing minorities. Whether it’s Mexicans, Muslims, or African Americans, Trump clearly has a prejudice against lots of people based on the color of their skin or their religion. What’s more, the businessman doesn’t hesitate to focus those prejudices for the benefit of his wallet and political aspirations.
So, with his racism and his skills for improvisation (likely honed by reality TV), it should come as no surprise that the GOP presumptive nominee heard a plane flying overhead during one of his rallies, and reacted as such:
‘Video: Trump sees a plane overhead, says “That could be a Mexican plane up there—they’re getting ready to attack.” https://t.co/ryWXqnrMgx
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) June 30, 2016‘
‘Mexico, and I respect Mexico, I respect their leaders, what they’ve done to us is incredible, their leaders are so much smarter so much sharper, and it’s incredible. In fact that could be a Mexican plane up there, they’re getting ready to attack.’
Now, the quip was obviously meant as a joke, but it underscores one of the important general themes of the Trump campaign. The Donald is not a politician, not a leader, and certainly not a diplomat, but rather an entertainer with a keen grasp of his audience. A joke like that wouldn’t have gone over at one of Bernie or Hillary’s rallies because Trump has made it a point to attract the sorts of people who see “the other” in everything. He may not believe that Mexicans are why the white middle class is on the decline, or that Muslims are the reason why many Americans don’t feel safe. But he realizes that these primal fears for safety and security are what drives many of the disenfranchised, and he knows how to exploit those fears. He doesn’t just do it for votes. He does it for money, attention, viewers, and even, in this case, cheap laughs.
Featured image is a screen capture from the video.