President’s Trump’s remarks to the nation on Saturday in response to the violence that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia, were meant to calm the nation. They were thoughtful, measured and on target. The fact that his remarks were criticized by the radical left is not new. There is nothing this president has ever said or done – or could ever do, short of sacrificing his children before a statue of Maxine Waters – that would appease this group. They deal in unfounded acquisitions, name-calling and demagoguery.
The fact Trump was criticized by so many in his own party, however, is regrettable. It shows these people to be spineless sycophants who would do anything to protect their backsides, keep the boat of political correctness afloat or grab a little media attention. Others, like the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol, have hitched their wagons to the never-Trump crusade and are hopelessly stuck in that mode, and now corporate CEOs are pandering.
Nevertheless, those who have criticized the president for not initially calling out specific persons or groups while Charlottesville and state police were still working to disperse the crowd and assess what went wrong, should hang their heads in shame. Were there white supremacists and other misguided, disaffected groups among the organizers of the “Unite the Right” event called to protest the removal of the statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee? Yes. Were there militant and undesirable groups among the organizers of the anti-protest? Yes, and these two groups clashed before the event even began, causing the governor to declare a state of emergency. But who was to blame for the violence?
Were all those who gathered in Charlottesville bad people? No. Many were simply dismayed that some of our history is being unceremoniously destroyed. Others believe that honoring anyone who fought on the side of the Confederacy is an affront to society.
Given the history of Black Lives Matter and the recent violence perpetrated by Antifa that turned some of our college campuses into war zones, our president was absolutely right to show restraint. He should be applauded, but instead he has been soundly criticized.
What exactly did the president say that was so offensive?
“We’re closely following the terrible events unfolding in Charlottesville, Virginia. We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides. It’s been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama, this has been going on for a long, long time. It has no place in America. What is vital now is a swift restoration of law and order and the protection of innocent lives.”
Trump went on to remind us of this important truth:
“(N)o matter our color, creed, religion or political party, we are all Americans first. We love our country. We love our God. We love our flag. We’re proud of our country. We’re proud of who we are, so we want to get the situation straightened out in Charlottesville, and we want to study it. And we want to see what we’re doing wrong as a country where things like this can happen. …”
What was so wrong about those statements? He called on the country to come together as one. It’s as simple as that.
On Monday, Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas Jr. did his best to correctly chronicle the events that led to the tragedy. Thomas stated that the problem began with “mutually combatant protesters” confronting each other. In other words, groups or individuals on both sides.
All of us remember how Barack Obama was quick to jump to conclusions and assign blame. One unfortunate incident resulted in a “beer summit” at the White House for one of the unjustly accused. Make no mistake, I, like Donald Trump, think that David Duke is a reprehensible individual, but what if Trump had unjustly accused him? Yes, even that would have been a mistake. It simply would have been wrong to point the finger at any one individual or any group at that time.
Now, I could point out how the media never seems to single out or speak ill of anyone or any group on the left that incites racial discord and, yes, even violence. The cable networks have given some of the worst offenders platforms and some of these individuals their own shows.
As a country, we need to get a grip and put an end to this reactionary piling on. Name-calling and the baseless accusations against Trump and some of his staff in the White House serves no useful purpose and further divides us. It needs to stop!