Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), twin brother of 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro, recently posted a public shaming list of President Trump donors who lived in his congressional district. For a brief moment, there appeared to be a glimmer of hope that level-headed Democrats would join in with those rebuking the use of such shameful tactics. How naïve. Perhaps more shocking than a radical progressive congressman creating a hit list of his own constituents was the unabashed show of support he received from prominent party figures and their dominant media and academic cohorts.
House Republicans already have called for an Ethics Committee investigation into Castro’s disturbing act, which has led to private citizens in his district receiving blowback. Justin Herricks, owner of Precision Pipe Rentals, was one of the 44 donors listed by Castro. He told The Hill that he and his company have become the targets of verbal harassment. Herricks said he has received phone calls cursing him as a “racist piece of sh*t” who supports a “white supremacist.” It is clear that Castro has put this man and his business in physical jeopardy.
Open Season on Trump Voters
This fact appears to be no problem for several leading Dems and progressive professionals who openly defend and even praise Castro’s deed. Brother Julian’s presidential campaign was not the least bit bothered; its official spokesperson Sawyer Hackett tweeted and retweeted several pro-Joaquin posts in the wake of the incident. Hackett told Vox, “Trump and his right-wing enablers whine about publicly available information being released because they want to distract from his role in fueling the kind of racism, bigotry, and white nationalism that we saw in El Paso,” referring to the recent mass shooting.
But twin Julian is not the only 2020 Dem hopeful backing Joaquin. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), whose presidential campaign has yet to make even the slightest blip on the national radar, also tweeted his support, saying Castro “didn’t ‘dox’ anyone and I stand by him. Big donors are public information — always have been.” The maximum donor threshold being discussed here is $2,800, hardly the rarified realm of well-heeled billionaires.
As for the top-shelf Dem contenders, Symone Sanders, senior adviser to Joe Biden’s campaign, ominously declared, “What’s done in the dark will come to light cc: Trump donors (Note: FEC data is public information).” Sanders appears to relish in callously showing no regard for the private citizens thrust into a social media firestorm by their own elected representative’s Scarlet Letter proclamation.
Radical Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) also unsurprisingly backed Castro’s actions, saying “Chairman Castro, They don’t like it when you name their donors. The public needs to know who funds racism.” Harvard leftists were not to be outdone, however, amping up the vitriol even further with their remarks. Laurence Tribe, professor at the Ivy League university’s law school, openly stated that Castro “is right to name publicly those who are funding Trump’s hateful ads, ads that put Hispanic lives at risk.”
Another Harvard prof, Juliette Kayyem, who also serves as a national security analyst for CNN, played the intellectual. “The faux outrage … is part of #stochasticterrorism playbook for white supremacy,” she tweeted. “They dog whistle to racism and fail to shame it, then feign shock that their public support for it (inc. monetary) is highlighted.” Stochastic is a buzzword of the moment being embraced by many on the left to accuse Trump of knowingly inciting violence with the things he says.
Kayyem frequently slams Trump as an enabler of white terrorism. “The use of the bully pulpit by Trump has contributed to the greatest threat of United States terrorism today. … I’m just done going around this issue,” she told Boston public radio station WGBH in an Aug. 7 interview. “The president is contributing to a white supremacist terrorism that is the greatest terrorist threat to American citizens today, more than any other terrorist or racially or politically motivated violence is.”
Given her incendiary tone, it’s a tad unnerving to note that Kayyem served as a former assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security in the Obama administration.
Alas, she is not the only CNN analyst to stand with Castro. Joan Walsh, a political analyst for the network who also serves as the national affairs correspondent for the leftist publication The Nation, gleefully reposted the hit list repeatedly. When Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) soberly decried Castro’s list as “grossly inappropriate, especially in the wake of recent tragic shootings,” Walsh mocked him by replying, “Thank you so much for publicizing this sir. I missed it. Will share.”
Matthew Dowd, chief political analyst at ABC News, also has tweeted or retweeted several posts in defense of Castro. A look at his timeline shows an obsession with the notion that Trump supporters are racists. “One aspect which needs to be held responsible are all those media folks who wrote about trump supporters and economic anxiety without talking about how much race mattered,” he tweeted on Aug. 7, one day after Castro’s hit list was posted. The following day, Dowd tweeted, “Has anyone ever met a racist who admitted to being a racist or didn’t get upset when called a racist?”
And so it goes. We continue to witness an ongoing dehumanization of Trump supporters by those on the political left. This ugly and highly dangerous vilification comes from elected Democratic officials and their staffers, entrenched establishment media outlets, and the halls of Ivy League academia. It is quite possibly the single most important news item of 2019, for the potential consequences are monumental.
This nation will struggle to survive intact if tens of millions of Americans are branded as evil and undeserving of basic civility merely because they back a president who does not toe the progressive line on immigration and racial obsessions. The establishment left is ramping up its rhetoric in a reckless manner that could spill into open violence.