Why won’t Donald Trump say the words?
After the tragedy on Saturday, the world is wondering—we are asking ourselves—we should be asking ourselves—what kind of country are we? And what is important to us?
The public knows. The reaction to the death in Charlottesville was immediate and appropriate.
The public’s servants know; politicians from every walk of life denounced the onslaught of white supremacy in Virginia. It was a rare moment of the unity we have heard so much about, and so rarely seen.
Where was the President of all the people?
The world has changed after Charlottesville. The nation has changed.
Nations are not just collections of businesses and neighborhoods. If they mean anything, they have to stand for something. For too long we have allowed ourselves to tolerate the bigot and the dog-whistle. We have glanced the other way, and pretended these people do not exist. But they exist; and they may wreak havoc on innocent people whenever they choose. White supremacy is real; their terror is real; they must be fought, not given a seat at the table.
Why doesn’t the President see that?
The President is a fan of the words “radical Islamic terror,” in some combination. He says it as often as he can, whenever he can. This is, after all, the World’s Frankest Man, the man who got to power by saying all those things the so-called PC police wouldn’t allow. He called Mexicans rapists and claimed Muslims celebrated on 9/11. He made fun of the other candidates’ families and called them crooked.
After Charlottesville, the oracle has gone silent. How strange! Where is that famous tongue now, Donald? Why so silent? Has your astounding frankness run out at last? When these pale, suburban-commando screamers hold Pier One tiki torches and threaten clergy and students, where is your condemnation? What more will it take to convince you?
Why are you afraid to call this terrorism?
I visited most of the alt-right sites after the killing: Reddit’s The_Donald, 4chan’s /pol/ board. The denial was amazing to watch. Those chest-thumping braggarts and complainers couldn’t deal with the fact that a member of the alt-right, a white supremacist, had done this terrible deed. The keyboard warriors were running from their fight.
It was a Soros plot, they wrote.
It was a false flag, they said.
In a post with the subtitle “NO BRAKES,” one The_Donald poster wrote: “Terry McAuliffe, Mike Signer – planned whole event with left-wing orgs, stood police down to give backdrop to PLANNED VIOLENCE. #DriveThemOut”. The post had 3487 upvotes. They will what-about until the sky ends. Accepting reality is foreign to them.
Because his followers thrive on hurt feelings, and cannot endure logic and reason, Trump could get away with lying over and over again. No more. Here’s a hard, undeniable fact for you: there is a young woman dead in Virginia, and a Nazi gunned the engine. Own your follower.
This wasn’t a lone wolf. This was not a single disturbed individual. This was an army of disturbed individuals. If you’re curious about when a movement becomes a threat, here’s the exact point. Right here, when a man feels empowered enough to drive a car into a group of people who bear him no threat. Because he was surrounded by an army of like believers.
I’m not sure what the mystery here is, Donald. Even Fox News was forced to cover the rally. How clear do I need to make it? There was a literal torchlight parade in Charlottesville. The people used the Nuremberg salute, and swastikas were everywhere. This was a clear, frank, open campaign for white supremacy. Short of hanging a sign reading “We support the goals of National Socialism,” I’m not sure how much more explicit they could be. There are Nazis in America, and you don’t care.
Among the White Supremacists, there is a famous slogan, called the 14 words. The Anti-Defamation League describes them as follows:
“14 Words” is a reference to the most popular white supremacist slogan in the world: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.” The slogan was coined by David Lane, a member of the white supremacist terrorist group known as The Order (Lane died in prison in 2007).
I have fourteen other words in mind for you:
“I, Donald Trump, repudiate and condemn white supremacist terrorism in America, now and always.”
You can’t serve two masters. Choose one set of fourteen words to follow.
You are the President of America, of all the people. Or you claim to be. So, I’d like to hear you deny them. Just once.
Not your flunkies. Not your family. Not your press officer, or your Twitter, or your spokespeople or your house organ, Breitbart.
You, man. Just you. Say the words. Say them today.