FARGO — There was a small-city columnist who not long ago wrote that President Donald Trump is a racist and that that 2020 presidential election was going to be all about race.
"Forget tax cuts, regulations, judges, abortion or any of the other issues Republicans have convinced themselves are worth trashing 243 years of democratic norms for," the prescient scribe scribbled. "This is going to be about race, 100 percent. And it's going to be ugly."
Many readers scoffed, judging by the columnist's inbox and a handful of letters to the editor written by old white men who would just as soon cuddle with the orange one than their wives. But the columnist was confident because, well, he can read and has been paying attention.
Lo and behold, it is but two weeks later and the columnist has been proven correct beyond the shadow of a doubt.
You can send apologies to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We knew Trump would hurtle down the race-baiting freeway at 94 miles per hour again because that's who is he and what he does.
This time it was another racist attack on a Democratic politician who is a person of color.
Trump blasted Baltimore, represented by Rep. Elijah Cummings as "disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess" and saying "no human being would want to live there." Cummings is black and he represents an area that his largely inhabited by black people, who are, indeed, human beings who live there.
But it's always just a coincidence he attacks people of color, right? We can expect any day Trump will shred rural West Virginia as an "opioid-infested, poorly-educated, poverty-stricken mess," right? Right?
The national media are catching on to Trump's popularity in certain areas of the country, finally, after years of writing about "economic anxiety" and all the other lies they told themselves while meekly venturing forth from New York City or Washington, D.C.
The Washington Post reported that after the president posted racist tweets directed at four Democratic Congresswomen who are minorities, Trump's advisers concluded "that the overall message sent by such attacks is good for the president among his political base — resonating strongly with the white working-class voters he needs to win reelection in 2020."
It's not Trump sitting on the toilet, tweeting randomly while watching Fox News. It's a campaign strategy, one he's happy to propagate. Trump is attacking people of color because it works, and because he likes it. Or vice versa.
Republican strategist and media consultant Rick Wilson, writing for the Daily Beast, summed up the campaign that lies ahead:
"This is a referendum on Trump, and policy arguments will be lost in the static and fury of an apocalyptic campaign ahead. He’s telling you exactly what he’s going to do. He’s showing you with every speech, tweet, and policy that this election is about his ethnic animus and stoking the resentful edges of society into (a) race war."
It is 15 months until the election. He hasn't even really begun yet.
There is scorched earth coming. Some local yokel tried to warn you a couple of weeks ago.