Nazism, Thy Name Is Trump: Why Trump’s Recent Comments Are a Harbinger of Things to Come
Donald Trump may not have said it in so many words, but he has officially embraced Nazism and white supremacy. The war of ideologies has begun.
America has learned a few important things over the last 72 hours: 1) That America’s moral compass is beginning to slide towards the way of the Nazis; 2) That extremists are more than willing to murder those of us who disagree with them; 3) That such extremists are solidly in line with Donald Trump’s agenda; and 4) That Donald Trump is willing to sacrifice American lives to maintain that support.
What we witnessed in Charlottesville, VA, on Saturday was the first true battlefield in what may yet become an extremely long — and potentially bloody — new campaign in America’s fight over the most basic of human and civil rights. Make no mistake: Racism never truly died in America; it weakened and went somewhat underground, but thanks to Donald Trump, we are seeing a resurgence in hate speech the likes of which have not been seen in America for decades.
Because what we have seen from Donald Trump, even in the wake of Heather Heyer’s murder on Saturday, is far more than just a failure to understand, or a failure in leadership. It was an endorsement of hate groups, such as the KKK and the Neo-Nazi movement. It was a wink towards white supremacist groups which said, “I have to go on TV and publicly chide you to quell public outcry, but I won’t interfere at a policy level with your actions.” When Donald Trump said and reiterated that he denounces the hate and violence “on many sides,” he indicated that even those defending themselves from the violent actions of hate groups are to blame for the violence.
Yes, on Monday, Trump may have backtracked slightly in his second televised statement, when he finally declared that “racism is evil” and that hate groups are “morally repugnant.” But this isn’t the point, either. The point is that, in the immediate aftermath of a family’s tragedy after the loss of their daughter, Donald Trump did not say her name or express sympathy directly to that family. He did not call out any of the people or groups who were a part of Saturday’s violence. He did not call out racism, white supremacy, or those who practice them, as the cancers upon our society that they are. He did not declare the attack against an entire group of lawfully-assembled protesters under the Consittution as an act of terrorism. Instead, he put out a generic statement with no teeth in it which all but endorsed the actions of hate groups in America.
Because in the immediate period after his initial remarks, white supremacist group Daily Stormer praised Donald Trump specifically for saying nothing directly about or against them; they took it as his endorsement:
Less than a half-hour after Trump’s live remarks, the Daily Stormer had declared the president’s words as a signal of tacit support for their side:
Trump comments were good. 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.
There was virtually no counter-signaling of us at all.
He said he loves us all.
The neo-Nazi live blog also noted that Trump had refused to respond when a reporter asked about white nationalists who supported him.
It is further worth noting that Donald Trump has never been shy about leveling his Trumponian brand of disgust against anyone who disagrees with him. Vox compiled a rather lengthy list of those who have drawn his ire, including Joe Scarborough, Katy Tur, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Meryl Streep, and Rosie O’Donnell, to name just a few. And it has taken far less time for Trump to respond to his critics than it ever took for him to take a weak swing at hate in America.
Because Donald Trump is a president for the ages. Donald Trump is a president for discrimination, for white supremacy, for destroying democracy, and for shredding the United States Constitution. During his campaign, he criticized the Black Lives Matter movement for wanting to bring an end to the senseless police violence that has seen so many blacks murdered in cold blood because of their skin color, and maybe for making a minor ruckus because they wanted to know what they had done so wrong. He stated in no uncertain terms that he wanted to implement a ban upon Muslims entering the United States, and while it took a few months for him to get a version of such a ban approved, he has manged to at least partially succeed in doing just that. And just reviewing Trump’s short-but-damaging legacy reveals a slew of ways in which Trump has used legal framework to roll back many civil rights protections.
Make no mistake: The Donald Trump that we saw on Saturday was the real Donald Trump. What we saw on Saturday after the horrific events which had transpired not long before he gave his initial remarks was not a president who cares about America or its people. What we saw on Saturday in the aftermath of a terrorist attack by a white supremacist on our nation’s soil was a president who could not care less about the well-being of its people. What we saw in Donald Trump on Saturday was a commander-in-chief who cares only about his supporters and making sure they stay happy, no matter what it costs the country or its people. No, Donald Trump didn’t say the words, “I endorse white supremacy and extremism,” but he didn’t have to. Silence, as they say, speaks volumes, and Donald Trump’s silence on the issues of racism and hatred said everything that we needed to know. And even dating back to before the election, Donald Trump had garnered considerable support from such hate groups.
To add further insult to injury, Trump actually retaliated against the news media after being forced to make his second statement yesterday:
That’s right: Donald Trump was actually insulted that the media had the audacity to demand that he act like a president! Can you imagine the nerve it took to demand that our commander-in-chief actually perform the job to which he was elected? I can only imagine how terrible it must have been for Donald Trump to force himself to once again go before the public — after less than 48 hours, no less— and at least pretend he gives a damn about the United States and its people. What a terrible insult to this Grand King of the United States that he had to come before his lowly peasants and grace us with yet another insulting testament to the low-class, uneducated, uncaring failure of a presidency the Donald Trump Administration has descended into.
But Donald Trump isn’t even the most important person here. No, the most important people are the new Neo-Nazis and white extremists who actively protest the right of our fellow Americans to even exist, much less to actually play a role in our society and our democracy. The most important people in this are our neighbors, those who we think are kind and decent people but who in their hearts harbor such hatred of anyone who is different that they would be willing to kill off the rest of us so that they can take over American society. A war has begun between white supremacists and those of us who believe in human decency, and the opening shots have been fired. Donald Trump and his administration have chosen their side, and they have chosen to stand firmly against America. We must use every tool given to us by democracy and the law to destroy this new wave of hate, or it will mean the fall of America as we know it.