I wouldn't give Donald Trump too much credit for understanding and exploiting how folks tend to "take an aberration...and conflate it with the norm." Right-wingers have long been masters of taking isolated counterexamples and pretending they obliterated actual trends -- why, they built a whole tort "reform" movement on isolated, hysterical anecdotes. And it's not just right-wingers, either: media outlets have never thought a headline like "white man walks streets of black neighborhood without incident for 53 years" worth running, but be the white man who gets mugged or shot there and the media will make you immortal. Even Mr. Trump's threat to publish a list of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants has lately been outdone -- the Little Green Footballs blog used to tabulate stories of Muslim-perpetrated violence during Tha Bush Mobb years, even though finding 100 incidents of violence out of a population of one billion still does not mandate that we condemn an entire religion. Our brains may be wired to receive stories better than we receive rigorous arguments supported by solid data, but that doesn't make the stories right and the arguments and the data wrong.
I have lots of issues with this New York Times article that asks "Are Liberals Helping Trump?" For one, its thesis (that when liberal animosity drives Trump supporters further into the arms of Dear Leader) rests on conversations with exactly three Trump supporters and two historians. For another, that thesis also assumes -- and, worse, excuses -- an intolerable amount of intellectual laziness on the part of conservatives: I mean, isn't it dumb to make a decision based merely of the ferocity of your opposition? For a third, I never see the Times wring their hands about liberals clinging harder to Bernie Sanders when right-wingers employ their brand of "moral Bolshevism," which they do, like, all the time. For all of that, I agree that liberals should refrain from assuming that everyone who voted for Donald Trump is a racist. Yes, you can assume someone making a white power signal at you is a racist, and yes, I agree that a vote for Mr. Trump enables racism, but most folks learn about their own racism better when (for example) you point out similar racism in other folks. And some of them even appreciate your generosity when you do.