We look forward to a day that our default reaction to the latest news is no longer, “What in God’s green Earth is wrong with America?”
The hateful, dangerous behavior pouring out of Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday is only the latest manifestation of what has been enabled and empowered by the hardening of our political discourse.
It is despicable and it is shameful. And President Trump isn’t helping matters with acidic-laced diatribes against friend and foe – regardless of whether the targets are Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell or North Korean President Kim Jong-un. Everyone, it seems, is an enemy. And everyone is to blame but the president himself.
While President Trump got around to condemning the bloody protests on Saturday, he did not specifically criticize the white nationalist rally and its neo-Nazi slogans. In short, he did not rebuke white supremacy. He did blame hatred, bigotry and violence “on many sides.’’
No, Mr. President. This sort of virulent bilge is coming but from the mouths of cowardly and insecure white men who until recently occupied a dark and recessed corner of our country’s philosophical extremes. The president’s campaign and his election to the nation’s highest office – inarguably built in part upon the worst of anti-immigrant fervor – only encouraged them to come out into open.
For them, to spew racial hatred was cool again.
The president needs to stop playing footsy with their kind. He needs to stop thinking of them as a reliable voting bloc. He needs to respond as an American president should, with vigor and moral clarity.
If he wants a prototype, he could listen to what Speaker of the House Paul Ryan – a Republican – said:
“The views fueling the spectacle in Charlottesville are repugnant. Let it only serve to unite Americans against this kind of…