Saturday, August 12, 2017

When People Show You Who They Are...Believe Them
The president did not say what many of us wanted our president to say and we should ask about that moving forward. He missed an opportunity to unite us even as he called for unity.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides, on many sides.”

Condemnation. This is certainly expected and required and appreciated.

Inserting and emphasizing through repetition ‘on many sides’ might be arguably accurate in broad terms (violence and hatred exist across the spectrum), but is grossly inaccurate in the context of today’s hatred, bigotry, and violence.

Missing? Unlike most other leaders, public and private, Republican and Democrat, he chose not to condemn the hatred, bigotry, and violence of white supremacists today. And when a missed opportunity intersects with one's own self-interest (those he chose not to condemn support him) it becomes a profound and cynical failure of leadership.

“We have so many incredible things happening in our country. So when I watch Charlottesville, to me it’s very very sad. Above all else, we must remember this truth: no matter our color, creed, religion, or political party, we are all Americans first.”

This is also good. I only wish his overall tone and policy menu reflected this call to respect all colors, creeds, religions, and political parties. And his choice to leave the condemnation of white supremacy unsaid reinforces with his actions that he does not believe (or fully understand) the words he is speaking (or take the meaning of words seriously).

Then the president recited employment numbers to argue things are going well in America, which was a very odd choice in this context. It sounded like he thought the most important message to send in a time of national emergency was that he has been doing a good job as president. 

Sad and disappointing. Using words expressing a call for unity to advance a message designed to divide us. 

The president is (again) showing us who he is. Believe him. He is about to lead us into an unnecessary nuclear conflict with North Korea and the advisers pushing this hardest, that he brought into the White House, are the (self-declared) white supremacists...that is, on the same team as those whose hatred, bigotry, and violence was on ugly display today.

This article in The Hill reports that several Republican leaders are critical of the president’s failure to name the problem here and call out white supremacists who support him.

Senator Cory Garder (R-Co) said,
"Mr. President - we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism.” 

Making similar comments are Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Chuck Grassley (R-IO), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Tim Scott (R-SC). Good news and a separate source suggests the Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) has added his voice.

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