By Jason Taylor
No one ought to be surprised at the president’s inability to promote the better angels of our nature. He has never demonstrated even the tiniest awareness of the forward direction for human cooperation, compassion, and mutual understanding. It is very likely that he is, at the beginning of his eight decades, entirely incapable of learning how cooperation and mutual respect work. He is, quite simply, a bully and menace to the whole idea of a better world.
The United States made a huge mistake by electing this man. To survive that mistake we must now remove Trump from power and repudiate his insensible and backward actions.
Trump lied about what transpired Friday night on the UVA campus (I can’t say he was misinformed because he claims to now have all the facts). The torch-wielding white supremacists did NOT have a permit to invade the UVa campus, where they surrounded a small service led by mostly minority clergy and screamed “Blood and Soil’ and “Jews will not replace us’. The police had to be called so the clergy could leave safely.
After this blatant intimidation, the fake Lee protestors (did anyone see one sign that said anything about Lee’s statue?) should have had their permit revoked for the following day. They came to incite, plain and simple.
Trump loves his followers, his base, whether they are racists, white supremacists, neo-Nazis or alt-right militias. Trump is fine with neo-Nazis invading cities to intimidate peace-loving citizens because his father did not lose the use of two limbs fighting Hitler’s army, as my father did. Well, I am not okay with armed militias of neo-Nazis marching in America chanting their message of hatred.
The Southern Strategy (Lee Atwater) 4.0 is no longer relying on dog whistles and coded speech, it is out in the open with Trump. But the “South” isn’t confined to Old Dixie, because a sizeable part of the population of the Deep South and Appalachia moved north to Trump’s northern Rust Belt stronghold, to places like Ypsilanti, MI, nicknamed “Ypsitucky”. Oakland County, MI in suburban Detroit had the largest chapter of the KKK outside the South and solidly supported George Wallace for President.
Whether Trump is the bumbling progenitor of a yet more frightening successor or represents the high water mark of the current wave of white nationalism cannot yet be seen.
But if the Upper Midwest states cast their fate with the GOP as currently configured, it will be to their lasting agony because they will fall rapidly behind in the global economy and technology competition.
I applaud the citizens of Charlottesville who stood up to these thugs and said, we refuse to be intimidated. Right-wing thugs only respect people who refuse to be intimidated by their shields, clubs and assault weapons. If I was young and reckless, I might consider joining the antifas myself. Trump must stop encouraging extremists and equivocate about racists who want to destroy everything America stands for.
If Nazis are marching in the street, you bet they are going to be confronted by groups of people whose fathers and grandfathers fought and died to defeat the greatest danger ever posed to civilization. Just as freedom of speech gives no protection to one who falsely cries “Fire!” in a crowded theater, freedom of speech does not protect that intent on exterminating entire races and cultures. Those who chant “fighting words” are not, under our laws, entitled to plead self-defense when attacked, and are not protected by the First Amendment’s prohibitions against curtailing freedom of speech. A government that refuses to condemn and silence hateful speech that arouses the fear and anger of a target group can not expect the targets to be complacent. The government is charged with keeping the peace, and if it refuses to discharge its responsibility it can not complain when the people rise up and give Nazis and White Supremacists just what they deserve.
The KKK is a terrorist organization that was formed after reconstruction to suppress African Americans into subservience in the South. The organization murdered former slaves by methods that are used today by ISIS. They hung people, but also burned people alive and auctioned off their bones in a carnival like events.
President Trump says that many good people marched in protest with the KKK in Charlottesville. No moral person would march with the KKK for any reason.