August 28th, 2018
This article from me was printed/posted in the Capitol Times of Madison, WI yesterday.
“Back in 1988, Lee Atwater ran the presidential campaign for George H.W. Bush. Atwater is best known for running ads against the Democratic candidate, Michael Dukakis, that featured a murderer and rapist named Willie Horton. Willie Horton committed horrific crimes while on prison furlough while Dukakis was governor of Massachusetts. Atwater ran those ads in order to show Dukakis as being soft on crime. Since Horton was a black man, the ads also aroused racial fears among voters in that election.
Fast forward thirty years. Mollie Tibbitts has just been found murdered in Iowa. Her alleged killer is an undocumented immigrant. Already, President Trump is using this terrible tragedy to smear immigrants, legal or otherwise. It is unlikely that Trump cares at all about Mollie Tibbitts. Likewise, I don’t think that Atwater cared anything about the victims of Willie Horton. Trump and his cohort care very much that her alleged killer is useful to them politically. We can expect to hear a great about Mollie Tibbitts and her accused murderer from now until Election Day.
This is Trump’s Willie Horton moment.”