As the situation got uglier and uglier, Trump inevitably had to make some kind of statement. Speaking in a bored monotone, clearly annoyed at missing his golf game, Trump at first seemed to be issuing a standard presidential statement, until he paused and repeated the now much analyzed phrase, that there was violence on "many sides". He also did not once mention any of the white supremacist groups at the rally by name. Yes, we now live in a country where a president can look at a literal Nazi rally and not condemn them by name. It's clear why he feels this way: he and his advisors realize that a large part of his unlikely victory lay in the white resentment and anger exhibited in the rally; that these marchers and the voters who agreed with him were his base. Furthermore, Trump's bloated ego clouded his mind and showed him a group of people cheering for him, so he couldn't condemn them; not when they supported him so strongly. They saw him as being as wonderful as sees himself as being.
While it was good to see quick and strong criticism of Trump's comments, I am unmoved by the fact that many Republicans also were critical. Where were they we he was making racist comments on the campaign trail? Paul Ryan once described Trump's attack on a Mexican American judge as the "textbook definition of racism", why then did Ryan wind up supporting Trump? The fact of the matter is that the Republican party has been playing up white resentment to get an electoral advantage for decades. Trump is just the inevitable culmination of the racist dog whistles blown by the likes of Ronald Reagan and George H Bush. The party lost all credibility on this issue the day they decided to make an unexperienced egotistical bigot their party nominee. Don't tell me you're surprised that a hateful campaign produced a hateful president!
It should be mentioned that on Monday, Trump finally gave a stronger statement in which he called racism evil. While his words (which he obviously didn't write) were an improvement, it still was a case of a little too little, a little too late. If he really hates racism, why is his Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a man who was considered too racist to be a judge back in the 1980's? Why is one of Trump's top advisors Steve Bannon, a self proclaimed member of the white nationalist alt right movement?
Amazingly, this has all gotten even worse! Today, Trump gave a press conference in which he ignored his stronger words delivered on Monday and doubled down on his original comments. Conjuring up some imaginary image of the violent "alt left", Trump implied that many of the marchers were not actual white supremacists (did he not see the flags?) and that the violence that occurred happened because of the alternate protestors attacks. He failed to mention that the man who plowed into a group of anti-Nazi protestors was described by a former teacher of having once written a paper that was “very much along the party lines of the neo-Nazi movement,”. Instead, as Trump put it: “You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say that. I’ll say it right now. You had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit and they were very, very violent.” Words fail me as to how many excuses one man can make to not condemn a racist rally in the proper way that an American leader should in 2017. So I'll just close this by quoting David Duke again in a tweet: “Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage to tell the truth about #Charlottesville."