The last 24 hours have been despicable, from Charlottesville to Seattle, no question about it. It is an unfortunate theme that we have seen repeated over and over again. The ugly side of hate and racism has once more reared its ugly head.
But what has been more incredulous is that Donald John Trump as the president of our United States has not clearly and specifically denounced the racist ways of these neo-Nazi groups, the “alt-right,” and white supremacists that spewed forth nothing but hatred and divisiveness. It cost an innocent life in Charlottesville yesterday, as we all know. And the media keeps asking, socratically so, why hasn’t Trump come out as, for example, the Governor of Virginia, Terry McCauliffe, and others have so proudly and honestly done? The answer could be as simple as reviewing how Trump has always viewed himself.
In May, he gave a graduation speech at Liberty University. Therein, “He urged graduates to not pick the career their parents want them to have, to not give into ‘bitterness and anger,’ to hold fast to the things they believe to be true, to proudly be an ‘outsider’ and to ignore the haters.”
This theme of Trump’s has resurfaced over and over again. It thus could not be clearer why, then, he ― even as president who should be leading with at least a panache of moral authority ― cannot come to clearly denounce the Nazi-like groups. The most he has done is to say such hatred and hostility on “many sides” should stop. On many sides? But there is only one side that is the outsider, and that is the “alt-right,” just as he considers himself to be. This is rooted not only in how he styled his campaign, viz, being an outsider that would “drain the swamp,” but it goes even further back than that.
Trump has considered himself as an outsider even back in the days of being a wannabe in the Manhattan real estate market. He never was really accepted (an outsider again), so he built his own skyscrapers there, and elsewhere, at least to structures on which he has licensed his name. Then there is the golf world, wanting to be in the upper echelon of the PGA bigwigs. Again, rather than being accepted, he built his own golf clubs and resorts. Before he became president, how many PGA-sanctioned tourneys were held at any of his clubs bearing his name? Only this year have we seen one, the Seniors PGA Championship at Trump National in Potomac Falls, Va.
Equally true, the “alt-right,” as outsiders, are part of Trump’s base. Who, least of all Trump, would want to publicly offend and significantly criticize a segment of his base that feel they are outsiders to their country as is Trump to the establishment in D.C., to the real estate magnates in NYC, and to those in the links world?
So, there is a theme that runs through Trump’s life ― being an outsider is great and beautiful. White supremacists are nothing but outsiders that want to take back their supposedly shite country that they feel they lost to a diverse and multicultural society our America has (rightly) become. As Trump told the Liberty U. students, ignore the haters ― and that is, so far, precisely what he is doing.
So, you might ask, why can’t Trump finally come out and denounce these groups once and for all. He can’t. He can’t because he, as are they, outsiders, and one outsider shouldn’t be criticizing another. This elixir become more poisonous knowing that Trump is weak, even as president, is lowering the hammer on a fellow outsider.
While Trump and these hate groups stand on different socioeconomic plains, there still remains a common denominator between them. So, maybe being an outsider, even as kissing cousins, isn’t all that it is cracked up to be? Just maybe.