With all that Charlottesville means now and will mean in the future, this much is clear: Donald Trump is probably the most genuine president we’ve ever had.
- He is a genuine racist.
- He is genuinely ignorant of United States History.
- He genuinely believes that there is a moral equivalency between those who hate and those who want to stop the hate.
- He is genuinely a terrible businessman.
- He genuinely thinks that he, and only he, can have a correct opinion on an issue.
- He has genuinely done damage to the office of the president of the United States.
But we should have known, shouldn’t we? After all, Trump ran on a white nationalist platform that blamed the country’s troubles on President Obama, immigrants, foreign countries, multiculturalism, political correctness and amorphous values that it’s clear Trump does not value. The far right-wing groups that include members of the KKK and Nazis are lauding his remarks from Saturday and Tuesday, remarks that placed equal blame for the violence on civil rights, justice and anti-hate groups. He claims to have seen footage and watched it closer “than anybody else,” (I’m not sure how you do that), then determined that it showed an equivalence that ignored reality.
Because people walking down a street chanting “Jews will not replace us” is that same as…people walking down the street in 1935 saying the same thing. In German.
And that brings up another trope of the Trump catastrophe. He says that he’s not racist or anti-Semitic because his daughter married Jared Kushner, who is Jewish and Orthodox, and then she converted. This is, and please pardon the disconnection, hogwash. I married into a Catholic family and while both parents seem(ed) to like me, they both harbor(ed) terrifically ugly anti-Semitic attitudes. They both deny(ied) their prejudice, but it was there just below the pleasant surface. So when Trump talks about his bona-fides, I don’t believe him for a second. And clearly, he has little regard for Kushner’s feelings as evidenced by his refusal to paint racist hate group violence for what it is.
As for history, the president seems to think that Robert E. Lee, Nathan Bedford Forrest and Stonewall Jackson are morally equal to George Washington because, after all, they all owned slaves. Never mind that the first three allied themselves, as treason, with a government that wanted to break up the United States, enshrine slavery as a constitutional right, and to rip up the laws that George Washington fought to establish and then helped to create. And after the Civil War was over, Forrest and others decided that they could not live in a country where the freed slaves had the same rights as white men. They then created a legal system that ignored the constitution and brutally killed African-Americans for more than a century.
The consequences are already unfolding. CEOs, you know, the people Trump said would help him rebuild the economy, have already left the Manufacturing Council and the Policy Forum as a protest over his remarks. And I’m sure more will follow.
But the real damage he’s done is embolden some frightening sociopaths who want to do damage to me, my relatives, and my friends and acquaintances, who encompass a multitude of races, religions, ethnicities, genders and sexual choices. He’s said that Nazi ideology is equivalent to civil rights activists.
The President of the United States believes all of this. Think about that!1