Trump’s Response to Charlottesville was no Accident

I’ll be brief here. The last few days have been a whirlwind. My heart goes out to the people of Charlottesville for having to play host to a conflict over the core of who we are. It’s not going to stop there. The alt-right is already planning marches all over the country, including right here in Boston. Before they do, I’ll make you a bet. Trump will continue to dog-whistle white-nationalists and the larger alt-right with every new conflict. Why do I believe that? Let’s review what’s happened recently:

  • White-nationalists march on Charlottesville. Clashes ensue. Three people dead.
  • Trump gives a lukewarm condemnation of the events, stating that “many sides” are responsible for what happened.
  • White-nationalists celebrate his statement, considering it a wink in their direction.
  • The “MSM” freaks out and chastises Trump.
  • Trump comes out with an altered statement that is marginally more forceful against hate groups.

How many people think the lukewarm statement he gave on Saturday was a careless mistake? I don’t think it was. I think he wanted to come down soft on the racists in his base so he and his party could:

  • Claim incompetence.
  • Come out with a stronger statement only after the predictable outrage from “that crazy MSM”.
  • Privately play up that his hand was forced by “that crazy MSM”.
  • Get some free praise from the less-extreme elements in his party.

This is a dangerous game he’s playing with extremists at our country’s expense. The Boston Globe did a great piece last week about how predictable his cycles of deception can be: Lie, Bluster, Concede the Obvious, Move On.

He’s applied this to every scandal from Russia to the size of his inaugural crowds. In my opinion, his handling of Charlottesville is just part of that larger pattern, but this time applied to the most dangerous elements in our society.

So when the next march happens, and I’m sure it’s right around the corner, watch for this pattern. And fight it with a vengeance. This is not who we are.