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On Tuesday, hip-hop artist, producer, and social media star Kanye West visited President Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate. Needless to say, the gates of Hell were opened (Kanye Visits Trump at Mar-a-Lago, Absolute Chaos Follows). West has recently been in the news as an alleged “anti-Semite” because he has embraced what appears to be Black Hebrew Israelite beliefs.
We’ve encountered the “Black Hebrew Israelites” before. They were the proximate cause of the “Covington Kids” fiasco, where a group of Catholic high school students from Covington, KY, were accused of being disrespectful to some grifting, Stolen Valor, fake shaman at the Lincoln Memorial (Nathan Phillips Refuses Offer to Meet With Covington Kids Because They “Stole His Narrative”). They were also the perpetrators of a fatal attack on the Jersey City market (Jersey City Board of Education Trustee Implies the Jews Killed There Had It Coming and Maybe More Killing Is Needed).
I’m not sure how West’s new-found religion differs in any substantial way from the bullsh** slung by “Doctor” Ibram X. Kendi and the rest of the Critical Race Theory hustlers other than the perceived difference in the social status of the adherents.
Then the word emerged that West was not alone. He was accompanied by another socially undesirable Mexican-American named Nick Fuentes. Fuentes is classified as a “white supremacist,” and “anti-Semite,” and so, we are told, he is entirely deserving of our hate. As I’m not sure if I could pick either West or Fuentes out of a two-man lineup, here is the Wikipedia entry on Fuentes. The crap that had already hit the fan was now funneled into a ramjet engine; see Jersey City Board of Education Trustee Implies the Jews Killed There Had It Coming and Maybe More Killing Is Needed.
The Trump response has been to flail about.
At first, someone on Trump’s team denied Fuentes was at the lunch.
That explanation became, in the jargon of Watergate, “inoperative,” and Politico reporter Meredith McGraw had to delete the above tweet. If your mission was to burn a reporter and create an implacable enemy, this is pretty much how you’d go about it.
Then President Trump made this statement on Truth Social.
This statement followed it up.
By Friday, Team Trump had turned to their favorite reporter, the New York Times’s Maggie Haberman, to confirm the story.
Former President Donald J. Trump on Tuesday night had dinner with Nick Fuentes, an outspoken antisemite and racist who is one of the country’s most prominent young white supremacists, at Mr. Trump’s private club, advisers to Mr. Trump conceded on Friday. https://t.co/Ie1mlMlZh3
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) November 26, 2022
The stink of this was bad enough that even Breitbart took notice.
According to this report in Breitbart, Trump had dinner at Mar-a-Lago with Kanye, Nick Fuentes, and Milo Yiannopoulos, because a former president, now in another campaign, just can't have enough disreputable people at the table. https://t.co/K9Gs97SVpq
— Byron York (@ByronYork) November 25, 2022
At least Ali Alexander, or whatever he’s calling himself this week, wasn’t at the table.
President Trump says he doesn’t know who Fuentes is. This may be true. But someone in a very high position on his staff does know who Fuentes and Milo are. They either okayed the meeting and didn’t bother to tell President Trump about who he was meeting with, or they told him, and he agreed anyway. Neither of the two possible scenarios is very pleasing.
As I said earlier, I’ve never had dealings with Fuentes, and I haven’t followed his career. I don’t know his values and beliefs beyond what I’ve read. That said, what is known is how the media portray him. That counts. If you meet with a guy like Fuentes, you have to announce it, and you have to get something of value out of the meeting. The idea that Fuentes, and heaven forfend, Milo, can offer President Trump something of value leaves one breathless.
What sticks out in my mind is that President Trump learned very little from his four years in the White House. The same lack of discipline that was the root cause of so many “own goals” during his presidency was not an anomaly. It is baked into the way he operates. If President Trump knew who Fuentes and Milo were and agreed to have lunch with them, that would be a disqualifier for the presidency. If he had a staff who knew who they were (or worse yet, didn’t know) and greenlighted the lunch, his hiring them in the first place and not immediately firing them calls his judgment into question. On the other hand, if his position is that he can have lunch with whoever he damn well pleases, that’s fine. You just can’t do that and run for president.
There is no doubt that President Trump can whip up the base like no president since perhaps Ronaldus Magnus. But we can’t go to the wall for this guy in 2024 and, if he is victorious, have another goat rope like 2017-2020. Too many opportunities were blown last time around through self-inflicted wounds.
I’m not interested in some kind of bullsh** denunciation of Fuentes. But I think we are all owed a cogent, believable explanation of how this came to be. We need to see heads, figuratively, bouncing down the steps at Mar-a-Lago, along with a solid assurance that someone cares about this crap happening in the first place.