Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in her most forceful attack on rival Donald Trump said he has helped the “radical fringe” take over the Republican party and the tycoon’s rise was a broader story of advance of hardline, right-wing nationalism around the world.
“He is taking hate-groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican party. His disregard for the values that make our country great is profoundly dangerous,” she said at an election rally in Nevada.
Clinton, 68, alleged Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia.
She highlighted Trump and his advisors’ embrace of a hate movement – the disturbing “alt-right” political philosophy.
This “alt-right” brand is embracing extremism and presenting a dystopian view of the US, Clinton said, which should concern all Americans regardless of party.
Clinton argued that the 70-year-old’s embrace of the ideology, cemented by hiring the former head of a leading “alt-right” website Breitbart.com as his campaign CEO, dovetails with a troubling history of hateful behaviour: Trump was sued by the US Department of Justice for racial bias in the 1970’s and started his presidential campaign calling Mexicans criminals, drug traffickers and rapists.
“A fringe element has effectively taken over the Republican party. And this is part of a broader story – the rising tide of hard-line, right-wing nationalism around the world,” Clinton said.
The Democrat nominee contrasted Trump’s divisiveness with her vision of the US that is stronger together. She stopped short of calling Trump and his advisors outright racist.
Clinton’s comments coincide with a surprising shift in Trump’s strategy. The controversial billionaire has suggested he might revisit his call to deport 11 million immigrants in the United States illegally.
But Clinton said a man with a history of racial discrimination, who traffics in dark conspiracy theories drawn from the pages of supermarket tabloids “should never run our government or command our military”.
“So no one should have any illusions about what’s really going on here. The names may have changed. Racists now call themselves ‘racialists.’ White supremacists now call themselves ‘white nationalists.’ The paranoid fringe now calls itself ‘alt-right.’
But the hate burns just as bright.[…] this isn’t just about one election. It’s about who we are as a nation. It’s about the kind of example we want to set for our children and grandchildren.”