I don’t get it. This isn’t hard. The Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and white nationalists hold their largest rally in decades to “take America back” in the sleepy college town of Charlottesville, VA. It could have been anywhere really, but since it was Charlottesville, the location is poignant as that is home to the University of Virginia, a premier institution of higher education in America.
A torch-lit march is staged by white power organizers the night before through the UVA campus, where participants are visibly seething in hate, and loudly chant “Jews will not replace us” and “Blood and Soil,” a key slogan of Nazi ideology that is intertwined with racist and anti-Semitic ideals.
That following day white nationalists were to hold a “Unite the Right” rally at Emancipation Park, where sits a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee that is scheduled for removal. That rally never took place, as chaos and violence erupted between white nationalists and counter protesters, culminating in the death of Heather Heyer, and the injury of 19 others, after a white nationalist sympathizer drove his vehicle into a crowd of counter protesters.
Another 14 people were injured in street clashes and two Virginia State Police officers were killed after their helicopter crashed while assisting police on the ground during the protest.
As President of the United States it’s incumbent upon the duties of that office holder, and as leader of the free world, to convey a resolute and unequivocal condemnation for such a despicable display of racial hated. This includes a blanket rebuke of the very existence of hate groups such as the KKK and any white power morons that choose to participate with them. There can be no moral equivalency about “both sides” being at fault.
It’s a softball issue. Any sensible politician with a moral compass makes that call and hits the delivery out of the park. But not Trump. He says nothing Friday night, then takes the heat for David Duke and the KKK for days – as several who marched on Charlottesville wore Trump’s bright red “Make America Great Again” hats.
Finally the president made a respectable statement, if unconvincing, on the Monday after the violence, but it was easy by then. Duke recognized Trump bought him the time he needed, and with a wink and a nod, had to come down on the white supremacists to get the press off his ass.
One of the Trump supporters primary damage control arguments after his election was that the president would surround himself with qualified individuals to help guide him. That didn’t happen. Instead only family members, self-absorbed elitists and right-wing conspiracists were brought in. These individuals are systematically augmenting a change in our government, from lower court appointees that serve for life, to reorganizing cabinet agencies under the strangulation of internal gag orders that hide the true damage.
Trump and his henchmen are dismantling America from the inside. Their idea of making America great again is to bring back the Klan and institutionalize racism as they all make a buck off this boondoggle. It’s the great swindle of our time.
Trump’s appeasement and cajoling of racial intolerance and inciting violence against any who criticize him has given rise to an uncomfortable truth in America. There remains a considerable white population in this country that harbors prejudice against those of a different color, sexual orientation or cultural background.
For decades globalism has squeezed those making a living off manufacturing jobs, as employers exported them to countries where labor is cheaper. Extremists want to conveniently try and make the argument that an ever-growing presence of what they feel are non-Americans are taking the remaining blue-collar jobs.
In actuality, these are simply non-white immigrants who contribute legitimately to the economy, and often accept work that many whites and blacks refuse to take. But perception is hard to break when Fox News spreads its lies.
This confused white constituency feels its politicians have failed them, and for this reason they voted Trump. He spewed hateful language and sentiments that prior to his candidacy wasn’t allowed to be said in polite company much less in public from any politician. This constituency may not wear hoods, but they fear for their future, and fear easily turns to hatred. Trump has capitalized on their fear and manipulated it to his gain in the form of white nationalism and nativism.
My fear is other politicians, not just in the South, but especially in current and former manufacturing states will suffer from an inability to do what is right because Trump has emboldened this population. Nativism has become a voting constituency or “base” for rank and file Republicans.
Trump routinely firebombs his own party instead of actually getting any work accomplished. There is no dignity in denigrating a decorated war hero like Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). Worse is people in a crowd anonymously cheering along with him for the senator’s demise.
Politics is based upon agreements and disagreements, with differing people arguing over an issue’s merits, then finding common ground to make progress. But with a president who possesses no leadership skills, that cannot get over any criticism and only seeks to help those that match his color and socio-economic background – the majority of patchwork nationalities making up America stands to be neglected, if not persecuted.
Whether Donald Trump wants to recognize it or not, his actions thus far are of a man whose heart is filled with hate. He is a divisive force interested only in himself and leaves a trail of devastation in his wake. Trump indicated there were some good white supremacists, some good Nazis in Charlottesville, and sadly that is because some of them are his buddies and supporters.
I found it telling that after Trump showed his true colors about those fine racist supporters, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a Trump supporter, said the following, “The president has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful.”
“He also recently has not demonstrated that he understands the character of this nation. He has not demonstrated that he understands what has made this nation great and what it is today, and he’s got to demonstrate the characteristics of a president who understands that, and without the things that I just mentioned happening, our nation is going to go through great peril.”