Even as the nation finds itself on the verge of crisis in the aftermath of a violent Nazi and white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia, the political ramifications are playing out in real time. Democratic and Republican leaders have spoken up to condemn the inherent hatefulness of the march. That left Donald Trump in a no-win situation, as those same Nazis and white supremacists are part of the base that elected him. And so he settled for a cowering tweet which generically condemned the march as “sad” while calling for unity. But his failure to stand by the white supremacists has led some of them to turn against him – including one of the leaders of the movement.
After numerous Democratic and Republican Senators and Governors as well a number of 2016 presidential candidates had already chimed in and sounded like real leaders, Trump belatedly tweeted “We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!” He then added “Am in Bedminster for meetings & press conference on V.A. & all that we have done, and are doing, to make it better-but Charlottesville sad!”
This didn’t win Trump any points with the American mainstream. Respondents on Twitter criticized his reaction as too little too late, and too unwilling to call out the Nazis and white supremacists by name. But the reaction from white supremacists was just as negative.
David Duke, the former KKK Grand Wizard who supported Donald Trump during the campaign, tweeted the following reply at Trump: “would recommend you take a good look in the mirror & remember it was White Americans who put you in the presidency, not radical leftists.” Trump has spent the past two years getting ahead politically by stoking this kind of radical racist hate, but as of today it appears to be finally catching up to him.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report