To wallow in a sewer is to smell like one. To consort with noxious racists has the same effect.
No excuse remains for anyone to pretend that Donald Trump isn’t an antisemite after he welcomed two of the worst of them to Mar-a-Lago last week, the entertainer Kanye West, now known as Ye, and the white supremacist Nick Fuentes.
It’s no surprise, of course, to learn in what gutter Trump’s sympathies lie. That was clear enough in 2017 after the neo-Nazi riot in Charlottesville, Virginia, when he said there were “very fine people on both sides” among those who protested in favor of the Confederacy.
What’s astonishing now is that he doesn’t bother to deny it. Consider how he tried to explain hosting West and Fuentes and what he didn’t say upon being called to account.
“Kanye West very much wanted to visit Mar-a-Lago,” Trump said. “Our dinner meeting was intended to be Kanye and me only, but he arrived with a guest whom I had never met and knew nothing about.” He said later that West “expressed no antisemitism.”
West alone is so notorious that no politician should want to associate with him, least of all a former president who’s running again. Moreover, none of his subsequent statements expressed any revulsion toward the antisemitism for which West and Fuentes are infamous. His silence validates them and makes him complicit.
West’s record is clear
West has a long and current record of outspoken antisemitism. He’s become an avatar for night riders whose graffiti and handbills desecrate Jewish neighborhoods, cemeteries, synagogues and schools. Trump has no excuse for not knowing that.
Fuentes hosts a livestream show, "America First," which has a following called the “Groyper Army.” He founded the extreme right America First Political Action Conference as a rival to the more establishment Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
According to the Anti-Defamation League, Groypers “claim not to be racist or antisemitic and see their bigoted views as ‘normal’ and necessary to preserve white, European-American identity and culture. ... They believe their views are shared by the majority of white people.”