In my last post, I discussed a piece by The Young Turks’ Michael Shure, reporting that many Conservative Mormons in Utah have turned away from the Republican party and are supporting an alternative Conservative candidate, Evan McMullin. The reason for this change of political loyalty appears to be an abhorrence of Trump’s state policy of banning Muslims from entering America. Many members of the LDS Church object to this because of their experience of persecution when the Church first arose in the 19th century.
Obviously, there was going to be a backlash against McMullin from his former colleagues on the American Right. He’s been attacked by members of the Republican Party, and now he’s also under attack from the White nationalists. Citizens of Utah are receiving robocalls – presumably this means automatic calls playing a recorded message – from William Johnson. Johnson identifies himself as a White nationalist and farmer. He then goes on to urge people not to vote for McMullin because he’s ‘an open borders immigration amnesty advocate’, and then gets on to more personal smears. He states that McMullin’s mother is a lesbian, who has married her partner, and that, as McMullin is himself over 40, and unmarried with no girlfriend, he too must be gay. He then implores the person receiving the call to support Donald Trump, who will respect all women and make America great again.
McMullin has responded by stating that he has a very Conservative, very traditional view of marriage. His mother has a different view, but that’s OK – he loves her very much.
Cenk Uygur, The Turks’ host, points out how sinister, and at the same time, ludicrously funny, this assault on McMullin’s character is. The attacks on his mother’s sexuality, and inference to his own, are really childish. ‘Are we really still in third grade?’ asks Uygur. At the same, it shows how sick America is in danger of becoming, as this Nazi wants people to hate McMullin for not hating his own mother. And Uygur also points out how ominous this is as well. Johnson is part of a White Nationalist Superpac. He’s a lawyer, and a member of the American Freedom Party. Uygur notes how Trump makes a pretence of disavowing the support of the racist Right, while really enjoying their support. He points out that if these robocalls have an effect, and Trum wins, even if the margin is very small, like 2 per cent, Trump will nevertheless be in debt to the White Nationalists. And he will doubtless wish to return the courtesy once he’s in power.