Donald Trump has had such a big media week that it’s impossible to keep up with the fervor. Highlights include a John Cena smackdown and being shunned by his fellow candidates for his anti-Muslim statements. Trump’s call for a Muslim ban in the United States drew comparisons to Hitler and Voldemort. Things got physical when Trump was exposed as an annoyance to bald eagles (before saying he wasn’t scared of the lunging bird). He also may have unwittingly courted an Anonymous targeting.
Trump began the week by live-tweeting his disapproval of President Obama’s anti-terrorism speech, and defended his words by calling himself “the least racist person” the world has seen. As it turns out, Trump has attracted admiration from some race-obsessed folks.
The Stormfront website (which was established in 1990 by then-Ku Klux Klan leader Don Black) says their servers can’t handle all the Trump-related traffic in their forums. They’ve been forced to upgrade servers to survive. Further, David Duke gives props to Trump for inspiring as much white-nationalist rhetoric as Duke pulled off in the 1990s. Politico is calling this result the “Trump Bump,” and the effects may be lasting:
“Demoralization has been the biggest enemy and Trump is changing all that,” said Stormfront founder Don Black, who reports additional listeners and call volume to his phone-in radio show, in addition to the site’s traffic bump. Black predicts that the white nationalist forces set in motion by Trump will be a legacy that outlives the businessman’s political career. “He’s certainly creating a movement that will continue independently of him even if he does fold at some point.”
Politico followed up with Black, who said Trump “has sparked an insurgency and I don’t think it’s going to go away.” Black claims that Stormfront receives a million unique visitors during a typical month, but whenever Trump makes controversial statements on Muslims (or any immigration-related issues), the website sees a 30 to 40 percent traffic spike. Other group leaders say Trump’s rhetoric has made followers feel comfortable discussing “simmering racial resentments” that they believe other candidates have ignored. Yet opposing voices fear that Trump’s talk could promote an atmosphere that leads to violence against American Muslims and other minorities.
Trump gets people talking, but could that talk lead down darker alleys?
In addition, Trump’s notoriety may cause him issues on the personal front. The Presbyterian church wants to ditch him as a recognized member. Think Progress has all the details of the church’s embarrassment. General Assembly Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons wrote an open letter that admonishes Trump:
“Knowing our Lord was once a refugee, faithful Presbyterians have been writing church policy urging the welcome of refugees and demanding higher annual admissions into the United States since the refugee crisis of World War II. I especially hope [this] will inform you on your policies going forward.”
Trump getting himself excommunicated would be a pretty hardcore move, but he does claim to have street cred. Rutgers Presbyterian also tweeted a statement that asks the General Assembly office “to review [Trump’s] standing/membership in our denomination.”