Well, here's how I spent my summer and early fall this year:
But Trump did not become the object of white nationalist affection simply because his positions reflect their core concerns. Extremists made him their chosen candidate and now hail him as "Emperor Trump" because he has amplified their message on social media—and, perhaps most importantly, has gone to great lengths to avoid distancing himself from the racist right. With the exception of Duke, Trump has not disavowed a single endorsement from the dozens of neo-Nazis, Klansmen, white nationalists, and militia supporters who have backed him. The GOP nominee, along with his family members, staffers, and surrogates, has instead provided an unprecedented platform for the ideas and rhetoric of far-right extremists, extending their reach. And when challenged on it by the press, Trump has stalled, feigned ignorance, or deflected—but has never specifically rejected any of these other extremists or their ideas.
This stance has thrilled and emboldened hate groups far more than has been generally understood during the 2016 race for the White House. Moreover, Trump's tacit welcoming of these hate groups into mainstream American politics will have long-lasting consequences, according to these groups' own leaders, regardless of the election outcome.
In putting this piece together, Sarah Posner and I, along with Esther Kaplan and her team at the Nation Institute's Investigative Fund (Jaime Longoria, Kalen Goodluck, and Evan Malmgren) compiled a database to track all of Trump's many connections to the extremist right -- and it turned out to be massive. I was fortunate to have such gifted partners in Sarah and Esther, who were able to help shape it into what I think is a powerfully compelling narrative.
Some of the data I collected included memes from various alt-right websites and forums/chatrooms. It's some of the most vile material I've ever gathered in doing this work over many years.
Here's a collection of some of them. The most vicious ones are also near-pornographic, so I won't be posting those.
But the next time one of your Trump-loving friends complains about Hillary's comments regarding that "basket of deplorables," show them these and ask them if they consider the description wrong for these people.
Myself, I think they're even worse than that. I call them "the Execrables." And Trump has raised an army of them.