Fareed Zakaria: "It's Okay For White Men To Criticize America," Trump Did It Constantly In 2016


CNN's Fareed Zakaria reacted to President Trump's campaign rally in Greenville and said the message the president is sending to brown people is "shut up and stand in line." In an interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN Wednesday night, Zakria said Trump was singular and unique in the way he campaigned in 2016 "trashing America."

Trump's message, according to Zakaria, was America is a terrible place and cited Trump's inauguration address where he used the phrase "American carnage." The CNN host pointed out the president's slogan is still 'Make America Great Again' which means America is not great.

Zakaria says Trump understands immigration in a "base way" and knows how to manipulate his base and scratch their belly. He also accused Trump of taking advantage of "cultural anxiety" and making promises like to take people back to a time before we had "uppity women."

"But it's manipulation. They can't see that they're being manipulated. Maybe they don't care," CNN's Don Lemon said of Trump supporters.

"That's why his slogan is 'Make America Great Again,'" Zakaria said of Trump. "'I'm going to take you back to this world before there were these uppity women, before there were these people of color telling you what's wrong with the country.'"

FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: Well, what's striking is the president's defense now is that this is not racist because all he is saying that these Congresswomen are radicals who hate America and constantly criticize it. And what is striking to me about that is the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump was singular, almost unique as a presidential candidate in just constantly trashing America. Donald Trump's message during the 2016 campaign was America is a terrible place.

We're losing out to everybody. Everybody's treating us badly. His inaugural address talked about American carnage. The rally he's at in Greenville that he's holding where he's talking about these things is still called "Make America Great Again" meaning we're still not great.

So he's allowed to do that. And what that tells you, Don, is it's okay for white men to criticize America. But if you're a young black woman with a funny name or a young brown woman with a funny name, shut up and stand in line. That seems to be the message...

I think there's a lot of stuff going on. I think that there is a certain part of the population that is very uncomfortable with all of this immigration from unusual places. There is a certain part of the population -- I don't discount the degree to which -- there is also a reaction to kind of uppity women, you know?

I mean, this is a country that like much of the world was a patriarchy for a long time. And here you have these very assertive young women who are challenging the existing order. So there is a lot of stuff going on here. What is true, I think, is that Trump in a very base way understands this and he knows how to scratch that itch. And that's the sad thing. That he actually -- he knows what he's doing and sadly at some level it's working...

One of the things that we have come to realize I think in the last ten years is that when people feel anxious for a number of reasons, some of it economic, they go to a place of cultural anxiety. And that the person -- and this is true in Europe, this is true in the United States, the person who can -- who can in some way reassure them, you know, about that country, that's why his slogan is 'Make America Great Again.'

'I'm going to take you back to this world before there were these uppity women, before there were these people of color telling you what's wrong with the country.'

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