Donald Trump stirred up controversy long before he actually decided to run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. His first speech to announce his candidacy set a tone for his campaign that confused and shocked many people within the media and in cities around the country. He initially started talking about Mexicans and declared them criminals and rapists. He would later move on to say outrageous things about other minorities and women as his campaign progressed. His poll numbers started climbing mainly among the Republican base as his rhetoric began to become increasingly divisive and questionable.
That incendiary rhetoric is why it is no surprise that Donald Trump is starting to garner support from neo-Nazi groups and organizations scattered all around the United States. This can be seen when looking at one of the largest and most active neo-Nazi websites in America today. The site is called Stormfront and it is a centralized forum and news aggregation site for people who have neo-Nazi beliefs. The site was largely deemed as a fringe destination online that was normally ridiculed and dismissed. The rise of Donald Trump as a viable candidate for the Republican nomination, however, has changed this.
It appears that the rhetoric Trump is using every day has started to rile up the neo-Nazi community. People who were not actively seeking out others within that ideology are now coming out of the woodwork looking to become more politically involved. The first and primary destination appears to be Stormfront. The appearance of Donald Trump within the political scene caused traffic on the site to increase dramatically. The niche hate site saw such an increase that it became necessary to upgrade the servers to accommodate all the new traffic. Stormfront has exploded with neo-Nazis who want desperately to see Trump as the president of the country.
The reason is that Donald Trump has managed to tap into the vast reserves of hate and bigotry that were previously unacceptable to express in normal society. Trump is legitimizing it. Trump is a candidate who is not afraid to express sentiments of white nationalism, blanket hatred against other cultures and a belief that Christianity is what the United States is all about today. These are messages that go well with the outdated beliefs of neo-Nazis who honestly think that white Christian men are being oppressed and even killed in some instanced by people of other races and religions within the country.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, or SPLC, tracks hate groups like Stormfront. They have also seen an uptick in activity even in blatantly white supremacist groups like the American Freedom Party. Representatives from those organizations are expressing a type of giddiness that Trump seems to be uniting white Christian nationalists and neo-Nazis in a way that has not happened for many decades. The SPLC explains “When well-known public figures make these kind of statements in the public square, they are taken as a permission-giving by criminal elements who go out and act on their words.” The SPLC believes that there is likely to be an increase in hate crimes as neo-Nazis and others go out feeling empowered to act on hateful or violent beliefs.
Donald Trump is not responding to the news that neo-Nazi groups support him. He has not even rejected their votes. Trump is currently climbing even higher in the polls ahead of the Republican primary. He is outpacing his nearest rivals by over 10 points in the latest polls. There seems to be no sign that Trump will stop with his inflammatory rhetoric since it is working very well for him at the moment.