In response to the tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia, President Trump condemned the acts of violence in the “strongest terms.” He expanded his condemnation to include ALL who promote or carry out violence. Seems like a reasonable comment.
For the next several days, and counting, the left wing news media spun a narrative that by not mentioning the perpetrators and provocateurs by name, the President was actually endorsing the white supremacy organizations. To reinforce this claim, they dredged up previous times where they, themselves, interpreted Trump’s words to mean something other than their defined meaning. Sure, he condemned David Duke, but not quickly enough. He repeatedly preached against violence, but not in the right words. It was what Trump did not say that became the point of criticism. Consider this point again. The President strong words of condemnation against those who perpetrated violence in Charlottesville and any others who have similar motives had no meaning, but what he did not say did.
His words were described as a “dog whistle,” meaning that his actual words of condemnation were to be interpreted as a subtle show of support for the hate mongers. Dog whistle is a nonsense term that self-justifies interpreting a person’s words to any meaning a critic might prefer. A dog whistle is for dogs.
The Presidents condemnation was reiterated by virtually every person in his administration, many naming the offensive organizations. This included Vice President Pence, National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster and others. Among those strongly condemning the action AND the organizations was Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who immediately launched a federal investigation.
In the perverse world inside the New York City/D.C. press bubble, these condemnations by Trump administration officials, including his most senior staff, were interpreted as repudiations of the President’s statements. Even after the White House issued a statement on behalf of the President – his official statement – repudiating the white supremacist groups by name, the major media continued to malign the President by ignoring his more specific statements.
The hyperbole of the media, especially CNN and MSNBC, was boundless. The mainstream media, with their panels of parroting pundits, began to characterize the President with offensive appellations that are usually the rhetoric of the absurdly ignorant. Claiming that Trump’s failure to read the script they offered up in hindsight, major news personalities called him a racist, a Nazi, a white supremacist, a provocateur of violence. They lashed out at anyone who would not take up their intellectually corrupt cause in demonizing Trump to the point of impeachment or worse. They descended on the President with all the table etiquette of a pack of jackals.
They assassinated his character over condemning violent groups “on many sides.” The fact that they found those words so offensive is due to their acquiescence, if not endorsement, of the preponderance of political violence emanating from the radical left. For proof, one only need review the NY/DC media’s coverage of the attack on Republican congressman or their limited, if any, coverage on the calls for the random killing of police officers by left wing hate groups. For years, the mainstream media has minimized the meaning of the ubiquitous left wing violence. Campus riots and the trail of crime and violence in the wake of Occupy Wall Street were largely brushed off. The left and its media spokespeople have no moral pedestal from which to pass judgment. For these reasons, the left wing press could not address the other side of the confrontation and took umbrage when Trump did.
One thing I learned on the streets of Chicago is that when you have two gangs egging for a fight, you will get a fight. The reason for the conflict and who threw the first punch – or nowadays – fired the first shot is generally unknown and pretty much unimportant. Most times people wound up with bloody noses or black eyes, but sometimes people died.
In many ways, the tragedy that occurred in Charlottesville was similar to those urban gang wars. By both their nature and its intent the hateful white supremacist organizations are provocative and prone to violent confrontation. This is common knowledge and has been as long as I can remember.
I recall the ragtag remnants of the staunchly anti-Semitic KKK marching in Skokie, Illinois – arguably one of the most Jewish communities in America. It was not their intention to protest, but to provoke. The arrival in Charlottesville was no different.
What gets lost in the news – intentionally, I believe – is the motivation and intention of some of those who came to Charlottesville to protest. Most came to peacefully demonstrate and show the world that the hate mongers do not represent American values. Some, however, were there to provoke physical confrontation as they have done in other areas of the country. And they did. To doubt the culpability of the rally protesters, one only need recall the violent confrontation that commenced long before the fatal act of terrorism. This was a fight that could not have been more predictable if it had been advertised as a boxing card event.
Two hateful elements met on the streets of Charlottesville egging for a fight, much like those urban gangs of my youth. Unfortunately, the police were not adequately prepared to impose order. Like any such confrontation, shouts led to shoves and the cycle of violence was begun. When Trump condemned ALL those who promote and provoke violence, he is not wrong.
Larry Horist is a conservative activist with an extensive background in public policy and political issues. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman, and he has served as a consultant to the White House under Presidents Nixon and Reagan. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress and lectured at Harvard University, Northwestern University, Florida Atlantic University, Knox College and Hope College. An award winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He can be reached at email@example.com.