Brent Larkin, who served as the editorial director of The Cleveland Plain Dealer for nearly 20 years, recently published an op-ed claiming President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign will be an “xenophobic exercise in white identity politics.”
“Amidst a toxic cauldron of anger and hate stood the president of the United States, silently smirking as chants of ‘Sender her back!’ rained down around him. The mood was one he alone created in his image. And although he would later claim, laughably, to be a bit bothered by it all, that claim was merely another bald-faced lie,” Larkin dramatically begins his article.
He goes on to claim that Trump believes Omar is “brown and expendable,” and suggests the president is targeting members of the Democratic “squad” because they are women.
“All of them are women – Trump’s favorite targets for verbal and sexual harassment, abuse and, allegedly, rape,” Larkin writes. “The sights and sounds of that rally should have sent a chill down the spine of anyone who knows anything about 20th-century history. For now it is abundantly clear that, left to his own devices, Trump plans to make his campaign for re-election a referendum on race.”
After accusing the president, who has “three Jewish grandchildren,” of embracing “neo-Nazis,” Larkin argues that Trump is “betting his presidency on an attempt to rally white Christians to the cause of making one last stand against an America they see slipping away.”
“There will be nothing subtle about the strategy. This will be a xenophobic exercise in white identity politics,” he adds. “As 2016 proved, white evangelical Christians, these so-called ‘values voters,’ have flexible values.”
Larkin continues his smear of evangelicals for several more paragraphs, calling Trump the “most amoral president in the nation’s history” along the way. He then turns back to the issue of race, boldly claiming that “there’s little or no difference between Trump and George Wallace.”
“And because most voters, especially women, instinctively understand he’s a despicable human being, it’s unrealistic to expect Trump to campaign as someone who would devote his second term to healing the wounds he opened in the first,” Larkin writes.
He concludes by urging Ohio Republicans to denounce Trump and accuses Sen. Rob Portman of sacrificing “his reputation at the altar of Donald Trump.”
“Worth noting is that when Portman ran for re-election in 2016, he did so with the support of some of Greater Cleveland’s most prominent black business leaders. The senator’s way of returning that favor is to support the re-election of a man with a nearly 50-year record of racism.”
“The party of Lincoln is no more,” Larkin concludes. “It’s a cult of appeasers.”
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photos “Brent Larkin” by Brent Larkin and “President Donald Trump” by Gage Skidmore CC2.0.