Tables Turned? Outrage Towards President’s Soft Rhetoric on Terror Sounds Vaguely Familiar…
Yesterday was a sad day for America. You had angry white supremacists, Nazis, the KKK, and members of the alt-right/white nationalist movement congregating by the thousands in Charlottesville, Virginia, which was met by thousands of counter-protestors, violence ensued and one person died and several were injured after a car drove into a crowd, an act many have called domestic terrorism. And on top of that, two Virginia cops who were patrolling the event were killed in a helicopter accident. It was truly a devastating 24 hours for a country that is already painfully divided.
President Trump made a statement to the press in reaction to the violence that occurred in Charlottesville.
Here are a few excerpts:
We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence that’s on many sides. On many sides. It’s been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama, it’s been going on for a long, long time. It has no place in America. What is vital now is the swift restoration of law and order, and the protection of innocent lives. No citizen should ever fear for their safety and security in our society. And no child should ever be afraid to go outside and play, or be with their parents, and have a good time.
Above all else we must remember this truth: no matter our color, creed, religion, or political party, we are all Americans first. We love our country, we love our God, we love our flag, we’re proud of our country, we’re proud of who we are. So we want to get the situation straightened out in Charlottesville, and we want to study it. And we want to see what we are doing wrong as a country where things like this can happen.
My administration is restoring the sacred bonds of loyalty between this nation and its citizens, but our citizens must also restore the bonds of trust and loyalty between one another. We must love each other, respect each other, and cherish our history and our future together. So important. We have to respect each other, ideally we have to love each other.
In his address to the nation, he did not verbally call out the white supremacists, the Nazis, nor the KKK who incited the violence. Instead, he called out the “hatred, bigotry, and violence that’s on many sides.”
My personal position is that Trump’s remarks were both right and wrong. They were wrong because Trump should have called out these hate groups by name. Several Republicans have already done so and some have also been critical of the president for not doing the same. Trump’s team should have known better when they drafted his speech, especially after the whole ordeal he went through during the election when he didn’t immediately denounce former KKK grand wizard David Duke.
That being said, Trump’s remarks were right because he was literally right. There is hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides. Folks in the #Resistance love to point to any hate crime that has occurred since Trump took office as if they never occurred before, but they turn a blind eye to the rioters that took to the streets after his inauguration, or the ones that assault Trump supporters, or the assassination attempt of GOP lawmakers by a deranged left-winger, or how about the Charlottesville counter-protester who punched a female reporter in the face for filming the aftermath of the fatal crash with her phone? There was actually violence incited by both the racists and the anti-racists in Charlottesville and to not acknowledge that is to not acknowledge reality.
But going back to the subject at hand, Trump should have struck a harsher tone, specifically on the white supremacists. In other words, the president should have called out the evil by its name for committing this act of terror.
Wait a minute. That sounds vaguely familiar…
The president should have called out the evil by its name for committing this act of terror.
Where have I heard that before?… I know!
The outrage the left has expressed towards President Trump for not identifying the white supremacists for this terrorist attack is equivalent to the right’s outrage towards President Obama for not identifying Islamic extremists after nearly every terrorist attack he faced during his presidency.
How the tables have turned.
For eight years, Obama never came forward to call a spade a spade. Whether it was the terrorist attack in Boston, Orlando, San Bernardino, or the several that occurred overseas, he and the vast majority of Democrats refrained from using the term “radical Islamic extremism” because they claimed it was an attack on all Muslims and using such rhetoric would only help recruit more terrorists. Trump railed against Obama on the campaign trail for being weak on terrorism. And there was never such a demand, especially by the mainstream media in particular, for him to condemn Islamic extremists. In fact, they’d often defend the president and mock conservatives for being so obsessed with terminology.
Well look who’s obsessed with terminology now?
Meanwhile, the Trump haters are up in arms at him for saying “many sides” are violent were never upset at Obama for invoking the Crusades in order to justify how bad Christians were hundreds of years ago to radical Muslims today. Or how about that time when Obama called an Islamic terror attack that targeted Jews in a kosher deli in France “random”? Just imagine the backlash Trump would have faced if he said such a thing.
Believe it or not, it’s possible to think both Obama was wrong then and that Trump is wrong now. Obama was too soft on one group of violent, hateful people and Trump is currently doing the same with another group of violent, hateful people. If you’re mad at Trump for not calling out white supremacists in his speech on Saturday, then you should have been mad at Obama for the past eight years for not having the courage to call out Islamic extremism.
Part of the reason why our country is so painfully divided is because too many partisans refuse to acknowledge when their side is wrong. It’s time to put ideologies and egos aside and help our country heal. And the only way to do that is to have civil discourse and to be rational, reasonable, and respectful with one another no matter what you believe. We must unite the United States of America.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.