Charlottesville, Virginia is a beautiful city. I recall quite vividly taking my children there to visit Monticello, the home of President Thomas Jefferson, a true Renaissance man. It was quite an “enlightening” experience for us to say the least.
The word “enlightening” can also be used to describe the events in Charlottesville on Saturday, August 12th which resulted in an innocent protester allegedly having her life snuffed out by a white supremacist.
The history of heinous acts inflicted on this country by white supremacists can be traced back decades if not centuries and includes lynchings and goes all the way through such events as the Charleston Church massacre and now Charlottesville.
The enlightenment to which I am referring is the hopeful enlightenment of the portion of the electorate that placed Trump in the presidency. It is enlightenment to his clear leanings toward white supremacy as evidenced by so many of his policy positions including Muslim bans and Mexican wall building.
How anyone could actually be surprised that Trump could not bring himself to readily condemn the white supremacist/Neo-Nazi/Ku Klux Klan hate-filled actions in Charlottesville is a mystery to me. Surprised, however, many were.
There should not be any surprise.
If having the likes of Steve Bannon, Sebastian Gorka, and Stephen Miller in his inner circle of advisers is not enough of a clue to his inner thinking then his own words during his campaign should have served as a clear indication regarding how he views violence against anyone not on his bandwagon: “Knock the crap out of him, would you? I promise you I will pay your legal fees.” I’d like to punch him in the face.” “Maybe he should have been roughed up.” “Part of the problem is no one wants to hurt each other anymore.” “I don’t know if I’ll do the fighting myself or if other people will.” “The audience hit back. That’s what we need a little bit more of.” “If you do hurt him, I’ll defend you in court, don’t worry about it.” “I’ll beat the crap out of you.”
It took Trump about an hour to respond via a tweet to the CEO of Merck, Kevin Frazier, deciding to walk out of Trump’s Manufacturing jobs Council in protest to Trump’s response, or rather non-response, to Charlottesville.
Trump’s use of tweets to go after the likes of anyone who says anything unflattering about him is too numerous to list here.
How revealing, then, that no such instant response was forthcoming regarding the murder by a white supremacist. Yes, Trump did have an initial response that attempted to blame “many sides” for what occurred in Charlottesville.
This response proved so politically toxic that he was forced to come back two full days later to read, and I do mean read, a prepared text specifically condemning the hate of white supremacists, Neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan.
To say, in his reading, that Trump came over as an ISIS hostage reading a prepared script would probably not do justice to how forced his effort was.
No, the reason Trump could attack Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for not uttering the specific words “radical Islamic terrorist” but found so much difficulty bringing himself to utter the words “white supremacist terrorist” is simple. He does not want to offend or alienate a specific segment of Trump voters who came out of the shadows to support and vote for him. Let me put it another way.
If, in the aftermath of the horrific events that took place in Charlottesville, one Donald J. Trump took it upon himself as a true leader to say “I not only condemn and deplore the hate-filled actions of such alt-right groups as white supremacists, Neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan BUT I fully reject their support.
Moreover, I sincerely regret anything I may have said or done in the past that may have in any way contributed to these tragic events.” then even I might be able to find it possible to gain an iota of respect for this deplorable man.
I think it safe to say, however, that I don’t expect him ever to bring himself to admit any wrongdoing.
It is not in his make-up, especially the orange one.