Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Trump Throws His Weight Behind White Supremacists & Nazi Supporters

On Tuesday the world watched in sheer abhorrence as the US president, speaking at length for himself and without a teleprompter, unequivocally laid equal blame on the protests against racism and bigotry—which he called the alt-left—and the KKK, white supremacists and Nazi supporters gathered in Charlottesville.  

In the largest gathering in decades, and as if the Civil Rights Era had never happened, white supremacists descended at night on the University town of Charlottesville, Virginia with burning torches, confederate flags, nazi symbols and rifles, chanting "You will not replace us / Jews will not replace us". They surrounded a small group of non-violent counter protestors gathered at the statue of Thomas Jefferson.  Shock and horror rippled throughout the country and beyond its borders.
“I cannot believe in my heart what I am witnessing today in America. I wanted to think not only as an elected official, but as a human being that we had made more progress. It troubles me a great deal.” Rep. John Lewis.
But not, apparently, in the White House, which was mute. The next day, white supremacists, itching for a fight, attacked those protesting against them in ugly violence which culminated in a Nazi supporter gunning his car into a peaceful gathering of protestors, injuring 19 and killing Heather Heyer, a courageous young woman who had dedicated her life to fighting bigotry and hate.

Donald Trump, the man who can't control his Twitter compulsion, waited until late in the day to even comment. His repugnant refusal to name and shame the KKK, Nazi supporters and white supremacists drew immediate bi-partisan fire, Democrats not afraid to directly criticize the president. Some Republicans joined them.   

The next day, in a strangely surreal mini-speech, Trump, newly coiffed and made up, did as he had obviously been told to. He read clumsily from a teleprompter words that had been patently written by somebody else. Words that he was very uncomfortable with. Anybody who was fooled hasn't been paying attention for a very long time. Those of us who have, weren't surprised when he broke out and said what he really wanted to say on Tuesday at a "press conference" that was mean to be about infrastructure.

It didn't take Trump long to dump the script and lash out at length at the counter protesters, calling them the alt-left, blaming them for their violence and for attacking the white supremacists and fascists, giving them an unequivocal boost.
General Kelly stood behind Trump, severely troubled. Did he really think he could control this terrible excuse for a man? Kudos to him for being bothered, but he should have been severely horrified long ago, enough to refuse the job and publicly condemn Trump and his administration.

Other Republicans also reacted immediately, except for Mike Pence of course, who praised Trump for meaning what he says and saying what he means. Hard to understand the logic of that, given his teleprompted little speech the previous day. There is only one way for Republicans to illustrate that they have any integrity at all. Unequivocally condemn Trump, get rid of him, and clean out his administration. Any Republican who doesn't do that? Their words of protest now are meaningless.

America has a white supremacist supporter, a bigot, a serial sexual abuser, a snake oil salesman, a liar, a cheat and a very stupid man with severe personality disorders for a president, and too many Republicans have been fine with it. They may criticize him but they don't care enough to protect their country from him. And that's the truth.

Fortunately, the majority of America do care. Even Trump's base is dwindling. Ultimately all he'll be left with will be the KKK, neo-nazis and white supremacists. The toxic dregs of American society.
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Democrats care a great deal. They have lashed out at Trump in no uncertain terms. Stalwart of integrity, Civil Rights pioneer and icon Congressman John Lewis, who has courageously and unerringly devoted his life to defending Civil Rights and said in January that he didn't consider Trump to be a legitimate president, spoke out at a town hall meeting in East Point Georgia.

"It troubles me a great deal… Speak up, speak out, get in the way, get in trouble - good trouble and necessary trouble. We have to tell our people to get out and participate in the democratic process."

And while all of this is going on, the Russia investigation is ramping up. To date, analysts have had little faith in the likelihood of impeachment, which would need a Republican Congress to act. Recently, as Trump has gotten more and more out of control, more Republicans are either speaking out clearly against him, or drifting away. Suddenly, impeachment is starting to look like a real option, because if the GOP lets Trump stay he'll take them all down with him.

It's been obvious from the start but they haven't wanted to face it. It's becoming harder and harder to ignore. America will be rid of this scourge. The world will breathe a sigh of relief. Until he goes, a Washington Post editorial says it all. The nation can only weep.
That car in Charlottesville did not kill or wound just the 20 bodies it struck. It damaged the nation. Mr. Trump not only failed to help the country heal; he made the wound wider and deeper.