Jason Stanley on the Rise of Trump and Carson

Really interesting discussion.

Since the beginning of the Civil Rights movement, every presidential campaign has included accusations that candidates use code words so they can appeal to antidemocratic sentiments without violating what the Princeton political scientist Tali Mendelburg has called a “norm of racial equality.” This strategy was made explicit as early as 1981, when the Republican strategist Lee Atwater explained in a radio interview that politicians, who by around 1968 could no longer use the word “nigger” to denigrate black people, turned to abstracting the issue by talking about “forced busing,” “states’ rights” and “cutting taxes.” Such terms, he said, are “totally economic things, and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.” Violations of this sort have surfaced as recently as 2012, when Mitt Romney faced criticism for the claim by his campaign in South Carolina that President Obama wanted to eliminate work requirements from welfare.

So far, the current presidential campaign has been different…