Joe Cunningham, writing for RedState.com, has reflected on the recent events in Charlottesville, Va. and provided some important takeaways from the weekend’s tragic outcome.
White supremacists feel emboldened by Trump and his campaign.
There can be no dispute on this issue. Trump’s campaign promises and even his style attracted the “alt-right” movement like a dog whistle. Self-identified white nationalists began to see a pathway from the fringes to the mainstream.
Cunningham wrote, “When David Duke says a rally of racist neo-Nazis is a “fulfillment” of your campaign’s promise, your immediate reaction should be to publicly state that, as a matter of fact, it is not. This is not me or us. He didn’t do that.”
The fact that Trump hesitated to call out these white supremacist movements by name this weekend certainly gave them more boldness. Duke even publicly “thanked” the president for helping America see the truth.
The White House has to address this immediately.
It goes against Trump’s instincts to anger any of his voting base; his campaign played right into the base’s values. But Cunningham said, “…it is time for President Donald Trump to speak out and, clearly and with no uncertainty in his words, disavow any and every white supremacist who uses his name as justification for their actions.” Cunningham believes that a part of addressing this issue is dealing with what he calls “the utterly toxic Steve Bannon.” He believes that Bannon is “destructive force” and is a “far too heavy negative to be useful to the president any longer.”
Cunningham said that not only do Trump’s advisers need to convince him to address this head on, but they also have to be forceful with the president about Twitter. He said that there has to be at least a second set of eyes that see what is written before it hits the masses.
There is no conservative defense of the rally attendees.
“Sorry. There isn’t. There is nothing you can say that makes anything about that rally (before, during, or after the violence) defensible. The people who attended the rally are people who believe that Americans who do not look like them should be kicked out,” Cunningham wrote.
He believes talking about other sides that may be wrong is like saying “two wrongs make a right.” Cunningham summed this point up by saying, “The fact that we keep having this damn argument over white freaking supremacists just shows how messed up the conservative movement has gotten.”
“Antifa” and other Leftist activists opened the door to this with their own protests.
Cunningham believes that the “Antifa” movement as well as other liberal activist groups need to stop trying to take the moral high ground. “The violence, the destruction of property, the shouting down of all political opponents, has led to this moment.”
He goes after the argument, “Well Antifa hasn’t killed anybody!” as a “stupid arguement.” Congressman Steve Scales was shot leaving a baseball practice by an alt-left lunatic who thought “Republicans Are Evil And Must Be Destroyed.”
There are extreme people on the Right and the Left, and they often are violent. Cunningham says, “The problem we now face is that there seem to be more and more extremists appearing every day.”
This could have been prevented. By both sides.
Cunningham says, “Democratic and Republican politicians have a hand in what happened on Saturday, and in anything like it that happens going forward. The amount of disturbing, unnecessarily harsh rhetoric from both sides, including but not limited to accusations of attempted murder and predictions of apocalyptic consequence, have to be toned down or eradicated completely.”
He attributes the lack of backbone among politicians on both sides to their fear of losing support among “an increasingly rabid and vocal minority within their base. They think they have to toe the line with them in order to stay in power. The cost of doing so, that can be counted in destruction and even death.”
What do you think about these take aways from Charlottesville?