Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Trump emboldens white supremacists to appease base

Jason Kessler NBC ATTACKED Jason Kessler was set upon as he addressed the crowd
Kenny Thornton | 21 August, 2017, 21:29

President Donald Trump spoke on Monday about the "Unite the Right" and counter-protest rallies that clashed on Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia leading to three deaths and 34 injuries.

In a series of tweets on Thursday, Trump said it was "sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our lovely statues and monuments".

Ever since President Donald Trump issued an equivocating response to the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend, over a dozen of the country's most prominent Republicans have denounced the president's remarks. This time he got in hot water again by appearing to side with white supremacists who "invaded" the southern city of Charlottesville, Virginia, after that city chose to tear down a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

Duke also praised Trump's comments on Tuesday, thanking the President for his "honesty and courage" in a tweet. "Why would you put a statue of Robert E. Lee or Stonewall Jackson in 1948 in Baltimore?" "Thank you all!" Mr Trump tweeted from NY.

Opponents call the statues a festering symbol of racism, while supporters say they honor American history.

Notable Trump apologist Scott Adams speculated that another reason why Trump refused to specifically disavow white supremacists is because this may open the floodgates to being asked to disavow every other hate-group.

And the White House said Thursday that it was abandoning plans to form an infrastructure advisory council.

Amid the controversy, the White House knocked down rumors that Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn might resign.

He returned to his combative stance Tuesday - insisting anew during an unexpected and contentious news conference at Trump Tower that "both sides" were to blame.

State Sen. Max Wise, R-Campbellsville, said the violence in Charlottesville was "obviously disgusting", The college professor lamented his classes aren't in session "so we could have an honest, intelligent discussion with our students, especially as it relates to domestic terrorism and what went on there".

Trump bankrupts Secret Service to pay for constant vacations and luxury travel
Meanwhile President Trump has taken 13 trips to Mar-a-Lago, his Bedminister golf club or Trump Tower this year combined. As a comparison, President Obama had only 31 people requiring protection during his administration.

The historian notes that early U.S. President John Adams - and his son, President John Quincy Adams - "had serious challenges from within their parties that prevented them from accomplishing much of anything", and President Andrew Johnson's experiences with Congress during Reconstruction might have some similarities, but "the parallel is not strong".

Trump also expressed distaste for removing statues of Confederate commanders in a heated news conference on Tuesday.

Trump has received extensive criticism from civil rights groups as well as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for having recently suggested moral parity between anti-racist counter-protestors and the white nationalists they confronted Saturday in the streets of the city. Neither do a number of other cities where white nationalist rallies are planned for the coming days. In yet another series of controversial tweets on Thursday morning, the US President argued that White supremacists and nativists protesting the removal of Confederate monuments (celebrating pro-slavery figures) were not wrong because it was part of the country's history that could not be changed, and those who were pressing for the removal of such monuments were "foolish".

Instead, it took almost 48 hours until Trump stuck to the script and brought down the hammer: "Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs - including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans", he said.

I believe the answer (or at least one better than, "This proves that Trump supports white supremacy!") lies in understanding who Trump's greatest enemy is since he took office (and before).

In another major sign of discontent within the Republican Party, Mr Trump abruptly abolished two of his White House business councils on Wednesday as corporate chiefs began resigning in protest over his racial statements. This means a majority of Americans (53%) admit they have their opinion of Trump completely, totally and irreversibly baked in. "He just can't forget his election trouncing".

He also called Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona "toxic" and a "non-factor in the Senate".

Sen. Tim Scott of SC said Trump's "moral authority is compromised".

Monuments, roads, and highways named after Confederate heroes abound in South-Eastern United States, including in and around Washington DC. "To some extent, I think a lot of them feel like they can counterbalance some of the president's worst instincts and some of the bad advice he gets from certain individuals on the team".

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