The Dangerous Deception of Trump’s “Silent Majority” Myth

Trump supporters are neither silent nor a majority

Guy Nave
The Polis

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Trump supporter at an Arizona rally Photo: Gage Skidmore/Commons Wikimedia

Only hours after a New York jury found Donald J. Trump guilty of 34 felony counts, I saw pictures on television of Trump supporters with signs that read, “The silent majority stands with Trump.”

My first thought was that Trump supporters are anything but silent. Next, I asked myself, “What causes Trump supporters to believe they represent a ‘majority’ of Americans?”

Examining the “silent majority” myth

While I’m unsure if he was the first American politician to use the phrase “silent majority,” during a 1969 speech, Richard Nixon used the phrase to depict popular and nationwide protests against the Vietnam War as the disruptive and anti-American actions of a radical leftist minority. Nixon called on the “great silent majority” to reject calls for a withdrawal from Vietnam and the advancement of civil rights at home.

Like Nixon, Trump frequently utters the phrase “SILENT MAJORITY,” often in all caps from his social media accounts, to falsely suggest that white rural and suburban voters — especially those who fear racial and cultural diversity — are representative of “real America.”

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Guy Nave
The Polis

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