Neo-Nazis and white nationalists are overjoyed by Trump referring to himself as a “nationalist.” Hate crimes have surged since Trump’s election. His rhetoric has encouraged the haters, the racists, and the anti-Semites to emerge into the open. Now they have a leader who welcomes their support.

“White supremacists are saying they were winners in last week’s midterm elections.

“They were already emboldened by the language used by President Donald Trump and senior members of his administration — words like “nationalist” and “invasion” that have hateful dual meanings — according to a review of sites frequented by white supremacists. And they saw Tuesday’s results as a victory for white America with what they believe will be progress toward a border wall, an end to DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, and birthright citizenship.

“Memes and commentary on the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer site bashed nonwhite candidates who did not win, as well as losses by Republicans not seen as Trump loyalists.

“”This changed history. It cleared away any of the remaining fog of confusion about what exactly we are dealing with in this country,” Daily Stormer founder and publisher Andrew Anglin wrote. “This is a race war. Period.”

“What is not clear is if any extremists will follow words with violence, as allegedly happened with Robert Bowers, who has pleaded not guilty to killing 11 people at a synagogue late last month, allegedly because he believed Jews were helping “invaders.”

We will get through this dark period in our national life. But it will require all of us who believe in American ideals of justice, equality before the law, respect for others, and basic human decency to stand up and be counted, to organize, to resist and to persist until this national nightmare has gone away and the rats are back in their holes.