Here’s the thing about working in the news: The hours are long, and the pay is terrible.
But on the other hand: Everybody hates us!
You get used to it. I like to think that at any given time, perhaps a third of the Triad is upset with me, a third are grateful that I’m here and a third don’t care either way.
Lately I’ve been experiencing a new form of vitriol, above and beyond the usual fare: Personal. Menacing. Disturbingly misguided.
The best — or worst, depending on your point of view — came in the form of a series of anonymous voicemails, 38 minutes spread out over 12 messages from a single source.
It’s part personal attack, part manifesto and part lunatic screed, a diatribe against everything that is not white or Christian. It invokes the founding fathers, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. My caller made predictions, named enemies and walked right up to the line of threatening personal violence.
But the most interesting thing he said is excerpted above, where my Copenhagen-voiced caller articulates the heart of Trump’s base, the basis for Nixon’s Southern Strategy, the reason why our first Black president sent so many white Americans into conniption fits.
It’s the racism. This guy was just willing to admit it. And I choose to believe him.
In that one word, my caller explained why so many Trump voters no longer care about deficits and taxes (Where my tea party people at?), the shifting set of standards applied to lawmakers, the dog-whistle codewords that make them salivate.
For so many of them, it really is that simple.