It would be a stunning revelation to learn that anyone in America believed for a second that Trump was being sincere when he uttered the words “white supremacists, neo-Nazis, K.K.K., and other hate groups” in the same sentence as “evil” on Monday. By now, everyone and their pet canary knows that Trump resisted his own administration’s pleas to at least feign some outrage at his most fervent base of support for the violence and deaths in Charlottesville over the weekend. Apparently his chief of staff Kelly tricked him into saying something semi-respectable with assurances it would hasten his much-needed legislative accomplishments and achieve his lofty agenda sooner rather than later.
However, Trump could barely contain his revulsion at being pressured into reading an anonymously created script that infuriated his white supremacist devotees, and that pent-up revulsion came screaming out loud yesterday when he doubled down on his initial comments in what was reported as a combative exchange with reporters.
What Trump’s remarks blaming the anti-racist protestors for the violence in Charlottesville really amounted to was one giant mea culpa to the Nazis, KKK, and white supremacists for his comments on Monday. Trump’s remarks yesterday were what the New York Times rightly stated was giving the K.K.K., white supremacists, and Nazis “an unequivocal boost.”
That boost also served, as it was intended, to encourage and legitimize the Nazis and white supremacists by portraying Americans who oppose racism, fascism and white supremacy as “very, very violent” and really bad people. Many observers claimed Trump was in a flaming rage during his assault on decent Americans in front of the press, but it was really a bit of propaganda to portray opposition to him and his nasty Nazis as “very, very violent” behavior by “really bad people.” Americans can expect to hear a lot more of that propaganda going forward with terms like “alt-left, radical leftists, and leftist terrorists.”
No doubt Trump chose those terms while he perused the white supremacists websites criticizing him as a “cuck” for daring to insinuate in a prepared statement on Monday that the Nazis went to a protest armed and looking for violence; even though they advertised heavily that they were looking for violence and told their supporters to prepare for it. As Philip Bump noted in a WaPo article, Trump’s latest remarks “put a fine point on it, he sides with the alt-right [Nazis] in Charlottesville.” (author bold)
Trump had a lot to say in defense of his initial remarks that “many sides” were to blame for the racist violence, but it all focused on how he was “right” in claiming that “his people” were innocent and peaceful bystanders who were charged and viciously attacked by something he called “the alt-left.” The anti-racist and anti-fascists are not the “alt-left,” they are democracy-loving humanitarians the Nazis have pledged to confront again if they dare to exercise their constitutional rights to oppose fascism and white supremacy.
Shortly after Trump reiterated, with anger, that the real terrorists in Charlottesville were those protesting against fascism and white supremacy, the Nazis cult was duly satisfied; but none more than former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke who was elated. He tweeted:
“Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage to tell the truth about Charlottesville & condemn the leftist terrorists in BLM/Antifa.”
And one of the leading racists and white nationalist (supremacist) leaders who was an active participant in the Charlottesville Nazi-fest, Richard Spencer, was as super-excited and emboldened as Duke by Trump’s remarks. Spencer needed the tacit White House approval to keep advancing the Nazi cause after vowing over the weekend to “flood Charlottesville with similar protests in the coming weeks.” Spencer said:
“Trump’s statement was fair and down to earth (sic). I’m proud of him for speaking the truth.”
No doubt part of the so-called “truth” according to the Nazis is that anyone opposing the fascist white supremacists, and by extension Trump, is a “very, very violent leftist terrorist” and that the racists in the Nazi white supremacist movement are “very fine people.” It’s true Trump didn’t call the Nazis “my people,” but that is precisely what his devotees in the white supremacist movement heard and now know to be true; Donald J. Trump is one of them and they have his administration’s blessing and backing.
By resolutely asserting that Americans protesting against racism and fascism were more responsible for the “bloody and deadly” violence in Charlottesville than his supporters”brandishing swastikas, Confederate battle flags, clubs, shields, long rifles, anti-Semitic banners and Trump/Pence campaign signs,” Trump signaled to the Nazis he was defending them. As no small number of commentators and pundits have already noted, Trump’s comments on Tuesday “legitimized white supremacists [Nazis] like no president in modern history;” because he is, after all, just another Nazi fascist and an evil racist.