By William K. Black
September 4, 2017 Kansas City, MO
When people do awful things and know they are doing awful things and want to continue to do them they compound their awfulness by playing cute. The cuteness demonstrates that they know that what they are doing is indefensible to moral people. The political “dog whistle” is an example of this cutesy tactic. Rachel Maddow’s September 4, 2017 program presented a classic example. She showed video of a white supremacist/Neo-Nazi praising Donald trump’s election victory to an all-white audience. The speaker ended his talk by proclaiming “Hail Trump” and extending his arm in a Nazi salute – except that he was holding a glass of water. His audience understood the “dog whistle” immediately. A number of them leaped to their feet to give answering, frenzied Nazi salutes – just as the speaker hoped. The speaker created this charade because he knew it was not acceptable to moral audiences to praise President-elect Trump as the new incarnation of Hitler and a group of his strongest supporters as neo-Nazis. The leaders of the worst people in America know they need to hide how awful their followers are from regular Americans.