Evan Osnos Links Donald Trump to White Identity Rightists, But Forgets to Mention the Osnos Role in the Making of Trump
Donald Trump’s nationalist coalition takes shape—for now.
BY EVAN OSNOS
On July 23rd, Donald Trump’s red-white-and-navy-blue Boeing 757 touched down in Laredo, Texas, where the temperature was climbing to a hundred and four degrees. …
When Trump announced his candidacy, on June 16th, he vowed to build a two-thousand-mile-long wall to stop Mexico from “sending people that have lots of problems.” He said, “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” Three of the statements had no basis in fact—the crime rate among first-generation immigrants is lower than that for native-born Americans—but Trump takes an expansive view of reality. “I play to people’s fantasies,” he writes in “The Art of the Deal,” his 1987 memoir. “I call it truthful hyperbole. It’s an innocent form of exaggeration—and a very effective form of promotion.” …
Evan Osnos hopes you are as shocked, shocked to read that as he must be.
When the Trump storm broke this summer, it touched off smaller tempests that stirred up American politics in ways that were easy to miss from afar. At the time, I happened to be reporting on extremist white-rights groups, and observed at first hand their reactions to his candidacy. Trump was advancing a dire portrait of immigration that partly overlapped with their own. …
Ever since the Tea Party’s peak, in 2010, and its fade, citizens on the American far right—Patriot militias, border vigilantes, white supremacists—have searched for a standard-bearer, and now they’d found him. In the past, “white nationalists,” as they call themselves, had described Trump as a “Jew-lover,” but the new tone of his campaign was a revelation. Richard Spencer is a self-described “identitarian” who lives in Whitefish, Montana, and promotes “white racial consciousness.” At thirty-six, Spencer is trim and preppy, with degrees from the University of Virginia and the University of Chicago. He is the president and director of the National Policy Institute, a think tank, co-founded by William Regnery, a member of the conservative publishing family, that is “dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of European people in the United States and around the world.” The Southern Poverty Law Center calls Spencer “a suit-and-tie version of the white supremacists of old.” Spencer told me that he had expected the Presidential campaign to be an “amusing freak show,” but that Trump was “refreshing.” He went on, “Trump, on a gut level, kind of senses that this is about demographics, ultimately. We’re moving into a new America.” He said, “I don’t think Trump is a white nationalist,” but he did believe that Trump reflected “an unconscious vision that white people have—that their grandchildren might be a hated minority in their own country. I think that scares us. They probably aren’t able to articulate it. I think it’s there. I think that, to a great degree, explains the Trump phenomenon. I think he is the one person who can tap into it.”
Jared Taylor, the editor of American Renaissance, a white-nationalist magazine and Web site based in Oakton, Virginia, told me, in regard to Trump, “I’m sure he would repudiate any association with people like me, but his support comes from people who are more like me than he might like to admit.”
Here’s Evan Osnos on the Charlie Rose Show promoting the Extreme Right / Donald Trump connection.
Of course, Evan Osnos doesn’t seem to find many white identity folks who have actually met Donald Trump.
A reader points out that Osnos also forgot to mention in his giant article that his own family played a much larger role in constructing Trump’s celebrity: Evan Osnos’s father, Peter Osnos, was Trump’s editor on The Art of the Deal and subsequent books.
Here’s the first paragraph of the acknowledgments from Trump’s The Art of the Deal:
For example, from the Los Angeles Times in 1987:
December 20, 1987 | ELIZABETH MEHREN
NEW YORK — As the policeman from Midtown North said, “Now this is a party.” At that moment, several thousand of Donald Trump’s closest friends were gyrating on a dance floor smaller than most volleyball courts. Every few seconds, another among the thousands of red balloons that dropped from the ceiling of the atrium at Trump Tower would explode, a victim of a stiletto heel or an errant champagne glass. With expansive thanks to publisher Si Newhouse of Random House, editor Peter Osnos (ditto) and co-author Tony Schwartz, this was Trump’s little get-together to introduce “Trump: The Art of the Deal,” a book that sold a cool 54,000 copies in one week alone.
And here’s an entertaining 1990 New York article discussing Peter Osnos’s gung-ho role in editing and promoting Trump’s second book, which came together as Trump was experiencing financial difficulties and was feeling a little humbler than normal.
And here is the New York Times wedding announcement for Evan Osnos listing his father as Peter Osnos, editor and publisher.