President Trump’s Charlottesville comments are drawing criticism from many quarters for not being “presidential.” CNN, NBC, The New York Times, The L.A. Times, CBS, to name a few, have fallen all over themselves to bash Trump’s failure to condemn Saturday’s protestors. That’s not to mention the politicians (the operative term, in this case, for sure) from both parties who have rushed to condemn those who protested the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee from a park in Charlottesville, several of which also criticized the President.
When there’s an incident with the potential to polarize, divide and inflame the passions of different groups of Americans, how should the President communicate to the nation? If he’s the chief executive of all of the people, if he’s in charge of the branch of government which executes and enforces the law, then shouldn’t he first stand, without compromise, for the rule of law? Shouldn’t he be tolerant of the right held by all American citizens to have different opinions and to express them publicly and peacefully without fear of bodily harm? Shouldn’t he demonstrate the utmost respect for our judicial process? Shouldn’t he avoid making inflammatory comments prior to having full information?
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides.”
So said President Trump, yesterday, and his comment fit the presidential mold very well. He did those things a President should do, and he said those things a President should say.
Presidential? It’s been so long since we’ve heard a President speak Presidentially, in a crisis, that some of us don’t know it when we see it.
Here are some things I know:
Regardless of who was protesting, anger over the wholesale attack on anything related to the Confederacy is a real thing that ticks off a great many, average, working Americans who are not part of any political movement.
The people protesting the removal of the statue were advocating for an argument which should legitimately be heard and which many citizens want to be heard.
Having an outlet for one’s frustrations to be heard is a good way to prevent violence.
There is definitely a strong, anti-white bias in the Western world, right now.
The counter-protestors are the ones who picked the fight, in this case — there would have been no violence had the leftists not crashed the party.
Leftists in this country have used violence and brutality to repress arguments with which they disagree for two or three years, now.
Here are some things I don’t know:
I don’t know who started the violence in Charlottesville on Saturday.
I don’t know why the person who killed the counter-protestor did what he did — it may have been a political act, or he may have been drunk or high and panicked when he hit the car in front of him.
I don’t know how many leftists were protesting against the removal of the statue (what with leftist names like “Nazi,” “National Socialist Party,” some kind of “Worker’s Party,” etc.).
I don’t know the various stances held on all issues by each of the individual protestors and counter-protestors present on Saturday, nor do I know any of their undoubtedly varied motivations.
I don’t know all of the good things or bad things done by all of the people present, either on Saturday or in their lifetimes.
In light of what I (and we as a nation) both know and don’t know, thank you for a measured response, Mr. President. One which stands for the rule of law, free speech, respect for various opinions. One which condemns unlawful violence while appropriately acknowledging that many people, groups and incidents led up to the violence. One which implicitly acknowledges that the citizens with opposing opinions are still all citizens with the right to express their different opinions peacefully. One which gives time for the rule of law, particularly the judicial process, to take its proper course.
This is in contrast to our past President, Obama, whose dark legacy this violence really is. Obama: the most divisive President we’ve ever had. Three times he faced the same circumstance, and three times he took a side — the wrong side, in each case, as it turned out– without having all the facts. By doing so, he emboldened thuggish animals who steal, kill and destroy and who love their self-imagined victim status more than their own lives or those of their families and neighbors. By doing so, he unleashed self-entitled young leftists, cop-killers, Antifa and disgruntled old leftists to intimidate, destroy, injure and kill. By doing so, he inspired the hatred of free speech–even the hatred of our nation, and he created the intense frustration which ultimately expressed itself in the phenomenon known as “President Trump.”