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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Trump and Charlottesville: "Many Sides" and "Best Regards"

In Defying the Odds, we discuss Trump's relationship to bigotry.

Yesterday, a Charlottesville rally by supporters of Nazism and the KKK resulted in disaster when a driver deliberately smashed into counter-demonstrators, killing one and injuring many others.  Jennifer Rubin writes about Trump's reaction:
When he belatedly spoke up, all he could muster was a vague tweet (“We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Let’s come together as one!”) and then a despicable statement evincing the kind of moral equivalence Republicans used to denounce. (“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.” In case you missed that, he repeated, “On many sides.”) In yet another tone-deaf tweet, he declared, “Condolences to the family of the young woman killed today, and best regards to all of those injured, in Charlottesville, Virginia. So sad!” Sad?? His stilted, off-key lines betray his lack of empathy and failure to comprehend the gravity of the moment.

Natasha Bertrand at Business Insider:

The founder of the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi and white supremacist website that considers itself a part of the alt-right, celebrated the fact that Trump "outright refused to disavow" the white nationalist rally and movement.
"People saying he cucked are shills and kikes," wrote the founder, Andrew Anglin. "He did the opposite of cuck. He refused to even mention anything to do with us. When reporters were screaming at him about White Nationalism he just walked out of the room."
"Cuck" is short for "cuckservative" — a portmanteau of "cuckold" and "conservative" used by the alt-right to describe white Republicans "who are participating in the displacement of European Americans," according to white nationalist Richard Spencer.
When Trump tweeted earlier on Saturday that "we ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for," Spencer, who attended both days of protests, replied: "Did Trump just denounce antifa?"
Antifa is short for antifascist organizations.

"Clearly President Trump is condemning the real haters: the SJW/Marxists who've attacked our guys," said one commenters on the far-right, pro-Trump subreddit called r/The_Donald.
"Marxist" and "SJW," or social justice warrior, are terms frequently used by the far-right to describe liberals.

"So glad GEOTUS called this bulls--t out for what it really is," said another commenter, using an acronym to refer to Trump that stands for "God Emperor of the United States.'""Trump comments were good," said another Daily Stormer commenter. "He didn't attack us. He just said the nation should come together. Nothing specific against us. He said that we need to study why people are so angry, and implied that there was hate... on both sides! So he implied the antifa are haters."

The commenter continued: "There was virtually no counter-signaling of us at all. He said he loves us all. Also refused to answer a question about white nationalists supporting him. No condemnation at all. When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room.
Really, really good. God bless him."