The vile and racist “Send her back!” chants about Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) didn’t make an appearance at President Donald Trump’s campaign rally on Thursday. Instead, Trump knew just what to say to his crowd to get an old chant going: “Lock her up!”
“While Republicans are working every day to build up our country, the rage-filled Democrat Party is trying to tear American apart,” Trump said, leaving a pause for boos. “The Democrat Party is now being led by four left-wing extremists who reject everything that we hold dear.”
Trump then left another pause for boos after this clear shot at freshmen Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Omar. Omar, in case you don’t know, is a first-term congresswoman who was born in Somalia and came to the U.S. as a refugee. She (and the rest of The Squad) are frequent Trump critics.
Trump continued with a long riff against Democratic politicians who represent urban areas. Maybe a veiled attack at Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD)? Then he takes a shot at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi before moving onto to 2016 rival Hillary Clinton.
“Do you remember the word deplorable? Do you remember when Hillary used the word ‘deplorable’? She used two words. She used ‘deplorable’ and ‘irredeemable,’ right?” Trump asked the crowd.
“Deplorable was not a good day for Hillary. Crooked Hillary. She is a crooked one. She’s crooked,” Trump said. “She is crooked.”
The crowd then starts chanting, “Lock her up! Lock her up!” for about 10 seconds while Trump waits for them to tire themselves out. He even shakes his head a little as if to signal that they should stop, but he’s simply forgotten he has a microphone right in front of his face so he can’t possibly do anything!
Are we supposed to take a crowd chanting “Lock her up!” instead of “Send her back!” as some form of progress? Both are vile. Even Trump isn’t this dumb. He knows that by winding up the crowd by talking about four congresswomen who happen to be Democrats and who just happen to be black, Muslim, Puerto Rican, and outspoken, the crowds will do the work for him.
Trump knows by bringing up Hillary Clinton, who has largely disappeared form public life, that his supporters can make the intuitive leap. And yet, Trump’s hands get to stay metaphorically clean because he didn’t ask for the start of the racist chants himself! No sir! (They also have to stay clean because he’s a germaphobe.)