By David Futrelle
Donald Trump will blithely threaten nuclear war in hair-raising off-the-cuff remarks. But his milquetoast statement on Charlottesville today — referring vaguely to violence “on many sides” — was clearly carefully scripted, seemingly to avoid offending the white supremacists who have been some of his most fervent supporters.
Whatever his intent, White supremacists are cheering his evasive non-response as a sign that “he loves us all.”
it worked pic.twitter.com/ekSZnw6FCK
— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) August 12, 2017
Trump's remarks today were deliberately vague to send a wink and nod to white supremacists, and the alt-right is aware and clearly thrilled. pic.twitter.com/TbQGpdxVed
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) August 12, 2017
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) August 12, 2017
by condemning hatred "on many sides," the president of the United States just handed an immensely valuable gift to David Duke
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) August 12, 2017
And to Richard Spencer, and “Baked Alaska,” and all the other Nazis and quasi-Nazis and “oh-no-I’m-not-a-Nazi”s who marched in Charlottesville.
The closest Trump came to condemning the terrorism was this bizarre tweet, posted late in the day.
BEST FUCKING REGARDS!?
Not that any of this should be a shock at this point, given that during his campaign Trump deliberately and repeatedly incited his supporters to attack those protesting him.
On the campaign trail Trump reminisced about "the old days" where protestors would be "carried out on a stretcher."
— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) August 12, 2017
Trump is the one who made it okay to "Beat the crap out of 'em."
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) August 12, 2017
And he’s not the only one to encourage violence. One commenter reminded us that right-wing columnist and University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Reynolds literally urged drivers to plow into Black Lives Matter protesters in a tweet last year
None of this bodes well for the future.
Make no mistake. When Donald Trump loses election or is impeached he will incite these most fanatic supporters to violence. https://t.co/dr0fjzkgj9
— Richard Schiff (@Richard_Schiff) August 12, 2017
Sadly, I think this is almost certainly true.