Even if Donald J. HateFluffer goes down in defeat tonight, America's various extremist and racist groups are feeling pretty good about this election. It's the start of something big, they say.
“Trump has shown that our message is healthy, normal and organic — and millions of Americans agree with us,” said Matthew M. Heimbach, a co-founder of the Traditionalist Youth Network, a white nationalist group that claims to support the interests of working-class whites. It also advocates the separation of the races. [...]
“What you can’t say is that we’re just a bunch of marginal loons,” [Robert Spencer] said. “The truth is that we have a deeper connection with the Trumpian forces and Trumpian populism than the mainstream conservatives do. They’re going to have to deal with us.”
Another reminder here: Donald Trump didn't do that. House Speaker Paul Ryan did that, by backing Trump as his party’s candidate despite his racist rhetoric. Mitch McConnell did that, by tucking himself into his shell and refusing to come out rather than condemning Trump's statements against Latinos, black Americans, Muslims, and other targets of the "alt-right." Trump chose to make his campaign a xenophobic cesspool of "alt-right" conspiracy theories and White Grievance, and while many Republicans whose careers in the party are over (e.g. Mitt Romney) condemned Trump's paranoid bile wholeheartedly, actual sitting Republican lawmakers did not.
And Reince Priebus, the man in charge of the party, rallied his party's apparatus to Trump and Trump's stances as if that rhetoric was, in fact, both perfectly legitimate and perfectly in line with the party.
When white nationalist groups confidently claim they're now a force to be reckoned with in the Republican Party, they're not wrong. The negotiations over how much of the white nationalist platform will be engaged and adopted by the Republican Party have already happened: top Republican leaders have given the Trump campaign's incorporation of those themes explicit and implicit approval.
It will be ten times harder for the party to walk back Trump's nationalist hate than it would have been to condemn it to begin with. White nationalists are confident they now represent the populist side of the GOP, and there's nothing the Republican Party has done this election, from state races to the presidential contest, that would suggest otherwise.