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Fox News host Bill O'Reilly says left wants to take power from 'white establishment'

Pundit made similar remarks around the time of Barack Obama's re-election

Feliks Garcia
New York
Wednesday 21 December 2016 05:04 GMT
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly says left wants to take power from 'white establishment'

Bill O’Reilly lashed out at efforts to do away with the Electoral College as a racialised effort to quash the “white establishment” in US politics.

The Fox News pundit made his remarks following Donald Trump’s election win was finalised by electors across the country. Mr Trump, who lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by more than 2.8 million votes, achieved a narrow victory through the Electoral College.

Mr Trump continues to claim that he won in an historic landslide, but his 306 to 232 electoral win ranks 48th of the 58 votes in US history.

The unexpected win prompted significant criticism from progressives, as the results are not necessarily representative of the voters’ actual choice – especially due to harsh voter ID laws in states like North Carolina that essentially disenfranchised voters of colour.

But Mr O’Reilly believes efforts to change the system are an attempt to remove white people from political power.

“If the Electoral College were abolished,” he said, “presidential candidates could simply campaign in the nation’s largest cities – New York, LA, Chicago, Houston – and rack up enough votes to pretty much win any election.”

He claimed the “hidden reason” behind calls to retire the Electoral College are intended to neutralise the “largely white rural areas in the Midwest and South”.

“The left sees white privilege in America as an oppressive force that must be done away with,” Mr O’Reilly added, without acknowledging the spectre of America’s racist past.

“The left wants power taken away from the white establishment and they want a profound change in the way America is run.”

His remarks come amid public concerns over the incoming Trump administration and its ties to advocates of white supremacy.

Mr Trump campaigned on an anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim platform that galvanised groups like the Ku Klux Klan and various neo-Nazi organisations. His selection of Stephen Bannon – the former chair of Breitbart, the “platform for the alt-right” – only strengthened those concerns.

Mr O’Reilly made similar claims during the 2012 election, claiming the “white establishment is now the minority”.

He added: “And the voters, many of them, feel that the economic system is stacked against them and they want stuff. … People feel that they are entitled to things and which candidate, between the two, is going to give them things?”

“The demographics are changing,” he added. “It’s not a traditional America anymore."

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