The Most Important Reaction To Hillary Clinton’s Speech On Trump’s Racism

The sound of silence.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
CREDIT: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Today, Hillary Clinton delivered a blistering and unprecedented speech, labeling her opponent, Donald Trump, a lifelong racist.

She did not mince words, arguing that his racial bias rendered him unfit to serve.

A man with a long history of racial discrimination, who traffics in dark conspiracy theories drawn from the pages of supermarket tabloids and the far reaches of the internet, should never run our government or command our military.

If he doesn’t respect all Americans, how can he serve all Americans?

Clinton cited a lot of examples to bolster her point, tracing Trump’s history of racism from the suit the Justice Department brought against him years ago for discriminating against blacks and Latinos seeking to rent apartments, to his embrace of the birther conspiracy to his comments during the campaign about Muslims, Mexicans and others.

Still, Trump is the leader of the Republican Party. Branding him a racist is a fundamental threat to the viability of the party now and in the future.

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You would expect the leaders and elected officials of the party to rally to his side, blast Clinton’s speech as a smear and demand an apology.

Instead, there has been silence.

Paul Ryan, the Republican Speaker of The House, has two Twitter accounts. Collectively the accounts have posted 31 times on Thursday. Five hours later, he’s posted nothing about the speech.

Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, has three Twitter accounts. Five hours later, he’s posted nothing about the speech.

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Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican Party, has a very active Twitter account. Five hours later, he’s posted nothing about the speech.

The official twitter account of the Republican Party, the organization supposedly devoted to electing Donald Trump the next President of The United States, has also been silent about the speech.

There is also nothing about the speech on the GOP.com website or blog.

Trump, on the other hand, watched the speech and was quick to respond.

Trump’s campaign press office has also been busy dutifully attacking Hillary’s speech, which a spokesman called a “desperation play.”

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But the campaign seems to have trouble finding prominent Republicans to defend Trump. Right now his site features statements criticizing Hillary’s speech from luminaries such as Patricia Bober, Oz Sultan and Alfred Liz.

Some prominent Republicans might not be criticizing Hillary’s speech because they agree with it. Paul Ryan, for example, called Trump’s attack on Hispanic federal judge Gonzalo Curiel the “textbook definition of racism.”

Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse agreed.

Sasse opposes Trump’s candidacy while Ryan has endorsed him.

But today, the most striking thing is not what Republicans are saying. It’s how many of them are staying silent.