Donald Trump is supposed to be president of all the people, but time and again he seems wedded to the most extreme elements in his base, defending them after their hate-filled screeds and instigation of violence. He does this by equating their actions with those of their opponents on the left, which he did again earlier this week. Trump just doesn’t seem to get it. While he calls out the Ku Klux Klan and Neo-Nazis for their racism and violent ideology, he seems to believe that the left is equally at fault when there are conflicts, as happened this weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The alt-right came to town looking for trouble, with one death and many injuries resulting when a neo-Nazi drove his car into an opposing crowd. Trump said many of the right-wing marchers were not Nazis or KKKers but were demonstrating against the tearing down of the Robert E. Lee statue. He said that they were not violent and just wanted to preserve history. He questioned when the denial of past American history would stop and whether George Washington and Thomas Jefferson would be attacked next.
Trump seems to have no moral compass and provides equivalency to violent members of his base and their opponents, as well as to the protectors of slavery and those who fought against it. He says that history cannot be erased and is right about that. However, portions of our history that were evil, like the institution of slavery and those who wanted to preserve it, should not be honored by our nation. Men fighting for the Confederacy not only wanted to continue slavery, but wanted to destroy America and break up the Union. We should be willing to acknowledge past wrongs in our history and move forward.
Often, Trump cannot seem to discern between good and evil, right and wrong. He sees world events in the light of how they affect him, and not as inherently bad or good. This is because of his narcissistic personality where everything that happens revolves around him. Obviously, General Kelly and the team that is supposed to contain Trump are not up to the job. He still spouts off spontaneously without considering the effect his words may have on Americans and citizens of other nations, or just doesn’t care.
David Duke of the KKK and Richard Spencer of the alt-right were elated with Trump’s words as he divided responsibility for the Charlottesville violence between the right and the left. This in itself should tell us something about Trump’s handling of the incident. The alt-right appears enervated after Trump’s description of the confrontation in Charlottesville and has promised more demonstrations in the near future to help spread their ideology.
We should also keep in mind that Trump and Charlottesville have taken his outbursts against North Korea and Mueller’s investigation of Russian meddling in the last election off the front pages, changing the conversation in the media. Whether this was done purposefully is anyone’s guess, but this is the only thing people are talking about now. Whatever Trump’s motivation for his defense of the alt-right’s actions (and there may have been none in his spontaneous dissertation), he has done a major disservice to the nation that he heads. On one hand, he says that bigotry and racism have no place in America and then he equates the bigots and racists with those who demonstrated against them. Trump seems to have no understanding of the impact of his words on other people, even though he has told us that he’s very smart, did very well at the Wharton School, and was a brilliant businessman. Unfortunately, he’s our president.
Photo by Shutterstock
Copyright 2017 The Moderate Voice