In America, there are a mere handful of groups that politicians can criticize with relative impunity — members of the Islamic State, Communists, and of course Nazis.
Yesterday, however, after neo-Nazi groups marched in Charlottesville, Va., and a terrorist attack took the life of a young woman and injured 19 others, Donald Trump took the ball to the hoop — and missed an uncontested layup.
Rather than condemning these groups he took an uncharacteristically muted approach — decrying what he called “this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides,” as if those bedecked in Nazi regalia and chanting racist and anti-Semitic slogans exist on the same moral plain as those protesting such hatred.
The same man who has ruthlessly attacked Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a Gold Star mother, the cast of Hamilton, Meryl Streep, and the department store chain Nordstrom chose to hold his tongue when it came to singling out white supremacists.
All of this is hard to square with Trump’s campaign-era statement that he is “the least racist person you ever met.” Even racist people condemn Nazis.
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