Today, Donald Trump finally, grudgingly read off a teleprompter to give a qualified condemnation of white supremacist groups…as a secondary statement after trying to brag about the economy and his trade and tax cut plans...you know, the most urgent things that needed to be addressed first.
Trump’s core statement about the horrifying events in Charlottesville, delivered stiffly like a disinterested 5th grader reading out loud to his class, with none of the emotion and vehemence of his attacks on the press, Nordstrom and Kathy Griffin, were:
“Racism is evil — and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans,”
Can you see the game he’s playing here? He is only condemning those who “cause violence” in the name of racism. He’s not unequivocally condemning the KKK, Neo-Nazis and all white supremacists…he seems fine with those people and their beliefs (and their votes) unless they’re violent. These organizations weren’t condemned by Trump for being racist.
Trump has a personal history of racism and he ran on whipping up racism and harnessing it to win elections. Many people including some here at The Planet saw it as inevitable that violent racial conflicts lay ahead thanks to Trump…and anyone who saw him at his rallies exhorting violence against the often black protesters there knew it was only a matter of time.
Trump apologists who viciously attacked President Obama because he didn’t say the words “Radical Islamic Terrorism” (though he did identify the evil groups committing attacks whether ISIS, Al Qaeda, etc.) now of course say that when Trump only blamed “many sides” for the Charlottesville violence without naming any white supremacist groups, he said all he needed to say.
What no non-racist person can argue with though is that it should not require two days and a teleprompter to condemn Nazis. Never in the history of America has a president avoided immediately condemning groups who commit terrorism and kill innocent Americans.
A Gallup poll came out today showing an all time low of 34% of Americans approving of Trump and a record 61% disapproving of Trump. The most despised president since polling began is only becoming more despised by the non-tiki-torch carrying majority of Americans. And in the process, he has torched any bridges that could conceivably be used to bring him back even to his previous highs (though even then, a majority of Americans disapproved of him).
Trump made a statement this weekend and today. He does not want to turn off white supremacists from supporting him. He appealed to their racism to get elected and they are a strong part of his shrinking base. Trump told America this weekend, “As long as racists vote for me, don’t expect me to condemn them unless I’m really forced into it”.
It’s well known that Trump is a raging narcissist so no one should really be shocked by his sociopathic behavior. Racism doesn’t hurt him, it helps him so why shouldn’t he avoid condemning it? Principles and morality are not sensibilities that float around in the heads of sociopaths. Only self-gratification and the ends always justify the means. Exploiting racism put Trump in the White House, so from his POV, racism is a good and useful thing.
Just as this first deadly, racist rally under Trump was inevitable, so is the next one. Trump has unsurprisingly lost any moral authority over a majority of Americans through his rampant dishonesty and immorality over the past seven months so when that does happen, even if he thought it was most advantageous to him to step up and condemn the perpetrators by name, no one will respect what he says or see it as authentic.
We have a much longer road to go down with Trump’s destruction of our society and democracy, it can and will be repaired. Trump’s protection of the cancer in this nation that is racism, will ultimately destroy him and his legacy as badly as prosecutions against him and his cronies in the Russia investigation.
Trump betrayed this country by endeavoring to collude with Russia in tampering with our elections (Don Jr. has confessed to this). He has betrayed it once again by trying to protect white supremacists who attack and murder innocent Americans from condemnation because they support him (as Russia does).
Morality does not have “many sides”. There is one side and along with the white supremacists with whom he has gotten into bed, Trump is on the wrong and ultimately losing side.