Earlier this week King shared an article on Twitter offering his support for the Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who has based his political ascendancy on bashing Muslim immigrants. King added the words, “Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”
These comments are catnip to white nationalists.
While some might be inclined to dismiss King as a fringe figure, the very fact that so few Republicans are willing to criticize him speaks volumes. They clearly don’t want to alienate those voters who agree with King’s racist remarks. It’s yet one more reminder of the extent to which white nationalism and open racism have become normalized within the modern Republican Party.
Even after a campaign in which Donald Trump ran on an unambiguous platform of racism, xenophobia, and intolerance, it has, somehow, become inappropriate to identify the role that white nationalism plays in defining and uniting the modern Republican Party.
Yet when people like Steve King continue to play leadership roles in the GOP and avoid condemnation for racist remarks, what more evidence do we need that many GOP voters, rather than being turned off by the open embrace of race-based appeals from Republican leaders, find them attractive. Steve King is not some fringe figure — he’s the mainstream of the modern Republican Party.