Trump’s Grudging Condemnation of White Supremacists

Matt Yglesias - Trump's Grudging Condemnation of White SupremacistsDonald Trump’s statement today on Saturday’s murder in Charlottesville — a grudging, teleprompted address that came only after days of foot-dragging and criticism — is the latest edition of a well-warn tango.

Time and again, Trump loudly and clearly signals solidarity with the worst and most deplorable elements in American life, only to grudgingly back away in a manner designed more to give his fellow Republicans cover than to redress any actual harms.

There was nothing in today’s remarks that couldn’t have been said two days ago, and there was no hint of remorse or self-reflection over the pain his behavior has caused.

White supremacists like David Duke who see Trump as winking at them will, rightly, feel that once again the president’s willingness to take political heat on their behalf constitutes a not-so-subtle thumbs up. Americans who feel alarmed by the growing boldness of white nationalists will, rightly, feel that the president doesn’t take their concerns seriously. But Republican Party members of Congress and conservative media and institutional leaders who were discomfited by Trump’s odd behavior will have the license they need to pretend that everything is fine.

–Matt Yglesias
The Trump Tango Is Tiresome and Pointless

7 thoughts on “Trump’s Grudging Condemnation of White Supremacists

  1. >the license they need to pretend that everything is fine.

    This is Trump’s go-to move. Trump mumbles a few words that can vaguely be construed as support, and everyone from evangelists and other Christians to Republicans to Fox News to rural Southerners to the working class glom on to those words and claim that their support is justified and not at all hypocritical and in violation of their morals AND their self-interests.

    • Yep. Someone highlighted a tweet from a guy saying, more or less, now Trump has criticized the white separatists but it won’t be good enough for MSBNC and CNN. Right! Because it isn’t good enough. It was just his way of giving all these people cover to continue to support him even though he’s as racist as Andrew Jackson.

  2. Let’s parse Trump’s non-apology apology, shall we?

    “as I have said many times before: No matter the color of our skin, we all live under the same laws, we all salute the same great flag”

    If this isn’t a dog whistle for “law & order,” and the reference to the flag a slam on 49ers anthem protester Colin Kapernick, I’ll eat my hat.

    Same with: “Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups”

    “those who cause violence … including” / “criminals and thugs” / “other hate groups” is most assuredly a reference to Black Lives Matter, which white bigots consider to be a violent racist movement.

    Supposedly Steve Miller wrote this. And don’t tell me he doesn’t know exactly what he’s signaling.

    • Exactly! Conservatives all know what “racism is evil” means: isn’t it a shame that liberals keep being racist against white people. On the right, it is taken as fact that racism against whites is as bad or worse than racism against black and brown skinned people. Just look at the polling.

      • It was. I think the Steve Miller one was too subtle. Neo-nazis, or at least the ones I’ve worked with at shitty jobs, tend to have some major psychiatric issues. Nuance is not something they easily grasp.

        • You are right about psychiatric issues. My experience with such people is that they have psychological problems. Watching that Vice video of the protest made me think of that. Christopher Cantwell obviously tries to come off as this badass. But he’s so clearly lost. When he released his weepy video about how Facebook had banned him, it didn’t surprise me. And that he got into white supremacy via the Men’s Rights movement, that made even more sense. So much male dysfunction comes from a lack of being able to get laid.

          Note: there is a screenwriter and producer named Christopher Cantwell. I feel sorry for him.

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