Perry Bacon of FiveThirtyEight –
From suggesting on his first day as a presidential candidate back in 2015 that Mexico was intentionally sending “rapists” to America to calling for several liberal congresswomen of color to “go back” to their countries, President Trump has repeatedly used racial and at times racist language over the last four years.
These moves have created an active debate among political observers about whether Trump is acting on his sincere beliefs, employing a political strategy or pursuing some combination of the two. It’s hard to know Trump’s motives (and likely it is some combo). But assuming that Trump’s rhetoric and policy approach on issues of race, religion, nationality and other forms of identity are at least in part a political strategy, is it a smart one?