President Trump’s impromptu press conference yesterday was a total fucking failure. Pretty much anyone could come up with better responses to questions regarding the horrific domestic terror event in Charlottesville.
1. If you are fighting to prevent a statue of Robert E. Lee from being taken down, you are, in fact, a white supremacist. Trump said yesterday, of Charlottesville, that there were “very fine people…in that group that were there to protest the taking down, of to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.” No, you are not a very fine person. You support the Confederacy and slavery, which is what Robert E. Lee fought for. By definition, you are not “very fine.” This is not difficult.
2. Trump said, “It looked like they had some rough, bad people, neo-Nazis, white nationalists, whatever you want to call ‘em. But you had a lot of people in that group that were there to innocently protest and very legally protest.” If you march with neo-Nazis and chant racist things with white nationalists, it doesn’t matter how legal your protest is. You are still a Nazi. You are still a white nationalist. And, legal march or not, you should be scorned. Not scorning them is supporting them.
3. Trump said, “Many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. So this week, it’s Robert E. Lee, I noticed that Stonewall Jackson’s coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after. You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?” George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were slaveowners. They also helped create the United States which led to the freeing of the slaves. It’s complicated, and, yes, we should have a discussion of their place in our understanding of history. Robert E. Lee was a slaveowner who, as I said above, fought so that a country of seceded states could keep slaves. The same goes for Stonewall Jackson. Lee and Jackson are not equal to Washington and Jefferson just like Donald Trump is not worth a hair on Abraham Lincoln’s balls.
3a. Could we clone Lincoln from a hair on his balls? Just thinking out loud here.
4. In the same way, both sides of the Charlottesville conflict were not equal, despite Trump’s insistence that they were. Yes, there was violence from the counterprotesters, but nothing like the violence from the “innocently” protesting racists, including, you know, murder. And, not to get redundant here, but one side was Nazis. The other side was against Nazis. To say “there is blame on both sides” is to say that Nazis are the same as not-Nazis. If you cannot say that not-Nazis are objectively better than Nazis, you have nothing useful to add to any conversation.
5. Trump said that Friday night’s tiki-torch protest was done “very quietly.” Many pictures from the event show white men and a few white women yelling or chanting. It is patently false to say it was quiet. And if they weren’t chanting, they were making the Nazi salute, which is louder than just about any noise.
6. If I were John McCain, I’d be looking out for polonium in my tea. When a McCain comment was brought up, Trump gritted his teeth and said, “Senator McCain? Senator McCain. You mean the one that voted against Obamacare? Who is Senator McCain? You mean Senator McCain who voted against us getting good health care?” He sounded stabby. Also, if I were John McCain, I’d think nothing of using my last year or so on earth to destroy the dangerous man who mocked my imprisonment and torture.
6a. If anyone knows these supposed rational Republicans are, now would be a good time for them to reveal themselves. Hopefully, the denouncement are rolling in, or we’re in deep, deep trouble.
7. Anyone who can watch that press conference and not think that we are being led by a deranged, out-of-control racist nutcase is someone who will never be convinced about Trump’s unfitness for office. Which means we should be seeing a New York Times article about those people in the next day or so.
7a. Obviously, everything Trump said yesterday was a
lie utter bullshit, but we already realized that.
7b. We knew we were in scary territory with Trump. We are now living the beginning of a dystopian TV series. It’s up to us to make sure it’s canceled before it gets renewed for another season.
Since the President seems to have a hard time putting the words (let alone 2 words) together, I gave it a try for him. Questions asked by reporters are in bold.
Why did you wait so long to put that last statement out?
I was working with law enforcement to figure out exactly what white nationalist groups were behind the riot, so that I could condemn them specifically and by name. Additionally, I called the family of Heather Heyer, the young woman who was tragically murdered by a white supremacist, to offer my condolences.
Note: Trump hasn’t actually done either of those things. But he should have. Then, he could have had a solid answer instead of “I didn’t wait.”
On the issue of placing blame?
The fault for the events in Charlottesville lies squarely on the Neo-Nazi groups who planned and orchestrated a deadly riot. Political violence and hate-based intimidation are decidedly un-American behaviors. Next question.
On the support of the alt-right?
That’s a hateful group, and it horrified me to see what they were doing and to see some of them wearing hats that say “Make America Great Again.” They’re not making America great. They are actively worsening the situation in this country. They may claim to support me, but I don’t want their support – and I certainly don’t support them.
Should the statues of Robert E. Lee stay up?
States and local governments have the authority to make that decision. However, I’d like to see them replace Confederate monuments with monuments to those who fought for the Union. That way, it preserves history and celebrates the memory of the people who fought on the right side of history.
There are no morally complex questions here. Instead of babbling about “both sides,” Trump just had to say that racists are bad and show compassion for their innocent victims. It’s not that fucking hard.