The Steve King Style of American Politics – The New Yorker

The Steve King Style of American Politics – The New Yorker – For this and reasons like it, Congressman Steve King’s comments last weekend about the demographic future of the United States can’t be dismissed as the random Twitter ravings of a paranoiac—though admittedly we’ve gotten into the business of taking these types of statements quite seriously in the weeks since the Inauguration. King tweeted in support of the right-wing Dutch politician Geert Wilders that “Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t rebuild our civilization with someone else’s babies.” King defended himself from ensuing charges of racism by pointing out that his tweet said nothing about race. It didn’t have to: the phrase “someone else’s babies” did all the heavy lifting. The tweet, with an amazing degree of economy, channelled the racialist themes that figured prominently in the Trump insurgency last year. It also pointed to another commonality between the past and present. The 2016 election would have looked familiar to Hofstadter in part because the conspiratorial and reactionary politics of the early twentieth century were driven by demographic fears of the exact sort King invoked.

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