In 1973, the Department of Justice sued Donald Trump, his father, and their real estate company for rampant racial housing discrimination in one of the largest such cases of the time. Trump wound up settling with the government in a way that allowed him to avoid any admission of guilt, meaning the government could not officially claim it branded Trump a racist. Despite Trump continuing to pursue a business and political career built on racism, it would take decades before the U.S. government would finally denounce him for racism. The long-overdue official citation arrived Tuesday evening in the form of House Resolution 489, bearing the unflattering title, “Condemning President Trump’s racist comments directed at Members of Congress.”
Trump’s offensive tweet on Sunday telling four Congresswomen to “go back” to the “countries” where “they originally came from” prompted this formal wrist slap. It was repugnant enough to convince four House Republicans (plus Rep. Justin Amash, who left the GOP earlier this month to become an Independent) to join the Democrats in voting for the Resolution, revealing cracks in the Republican Party’s cultish loyalty to Trump. The tweet also convinced conservative lawyer George Conway to finally change his mind about Trump as a racist. Although Conway has been a loud Trump critic, he explained in a Washington Post op-ed this week that he long considered Trump to be “an equal-opportunity bully.” But Conway quickly decried Trump’s “go back” tweet as “racist to the core.”
Trump’s “go back” tweet also proved to be the last straw for retired Texas Judge Elsa Alcala, a longtime member of the Republican Party. As she wrote on Facebook about Trump this week: “[A]t his core, his ideology is racism. To me, nothing positive about him could absolve him of his rotten core.” Judge Alcala did not stop there. She also declared Trump “the worst president in the history of this country” and announced that she is leaving the Republican Party because of its continued support for him.
Judge Alcala intends to vote in the Democratic primary next year and hopes that “every polling station will be overwhelmed with voters” while asserting that “any of the viable Democratic candidates are superior to the status quo.” Words have consequences. Although Trump might think that his racist words would help invigorate his base, they have no doubt succeeded in repulsing the many George Conways and Judge Alcalas out there who will not support a bigot in 2020.