Bill Britton: “President Trump’s Lost Opportunity.”



The perpetrators of violence in that city have been variously called “right-wing extremists,” members of the “alt-right,” or “neo-Nazis.” Whatever name you might choose, these groups are anti-American. The irony, of course, is that one of their slogans is, “Take America Back,” which echoes candidate Trump’s earlier campaign promise. But back to what? The bigotry that inheres to these groups offers up the obvious answer: back to a mythical America where segregation and all its nastiness ruled, particularly in the old South, but which still rules in the hearts and minds of many Americans, no matter their geography.

The events in Charlottesville presented President Trump with a moment to step forward as leader of all the people, to name the agents of extremism, and to condemn their actions. Make no mistake about it, the rally was organized by these extremists for the sole purpose of sowing violence in the wake of the city’s decision to remove symbols of an earlier violence directed at black Americans, fractionalized under Article One of the U.S. Constitution and sold into slavery. In the words of David Duke, former president of the KKK, the rally “fulfills the promises of Donald Trump.”

Trump’s equivocation in his subsequent statement to the press was obvious: “We condemn in strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides.” His “on many sides” gave the clear impression that those who protested the violence of the extremists were equally guilty. Reporters then shouted, “Mr. President, do you want the support of these white nationalists?” Trump didn’t answer. Of course he wants their support; he captured virtually all their votes in the last election.

On December 1, 1862, one month before signing the Emancipation Proclamation, President Abraham Lincoln addressed Congress with these words: “We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just–a way which, if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless.” This past week saw a retreat to a darker America, one that the world will not applaud.

Update: Finally, on Monday, two days late, Trump issued this statement: “Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”

Bill Britton is a freelance writer and formerly an editor for John Hopkins University Press, ABI Research, and Elsevier Science, and is a frequent contributor to Vero Communiqué.

12 thoughts on “Bill Britton: “President Trump’s Lost Opportunity.”

  1. Read the first sentence and that’s all. The Perpetrators Of Violence were NOT the White Racist groups, they were the BLM and Antifa thugs bearing everything from clubs to home grown flame throwers. Make no mistake, I, my conservative friends and President Trump don’t condone anything the KKK or neo-Natzis believe or support but it takes two to tango. Everywhere the liberal hate groups go, without permit, they cause havoc. They loot, riot and cause violence. None of this would have happen if the police enforced the laws.

  2. smehiel: I again refer you to the words of David Duke, former KKK president: The hate rally “fulfills the promises of Donald Trump.”

  3. smehiel: I refer you also to a link (below) that lists the main groups responsible for the Charlottesville rally. If they aren’t racist, then you are delusional, but I myself believe the bacon odor is unmistakable. Sure, Trump called out extremist groups 2 days later, but only after saner voices in the White House spoke up in response the generally negative outcry from across the political spectrum, including many republicans.
    Go to:

  4. I never said the groups protesting the removal of a statue in Charlottesville are not racist. What I’m saying is that the groups on the left who were the most violent are also racist – they hate whites and they hate America and our history. They don’t acknowledge that America is the ONLY country who fought a civil war to end slavery, they don’t acknowledge the multiple underlying reasons behind the civil war, the deaths of thousands nor the improved conditions for blacks in today’s America. I’m saying the President was correct in pointing out that there’s plenty of hate to go around. Unfortunately, you only recognize one side and you only want to saddle Trump with the problem. You certainly wouldn’t acknowledge, like the mess in foreign affairs, Obama left a major mess in race relations and divisions in this country. “If I had a son, he’d look like Trevon.” No, it’s all Trump’s fault and the people who voted for him.

    Here’s another perspective on what happened in Charlottesville:

    By the way, I didn’t need Trump to “call out” the names of the specific groups – that’s been done by the media for months now while they’ve tried to paint Trump as a racist having been elected by racists. It’s getting pretty old.

  5. smehiel: Re your “The Perpetrators Of Violence were NOT the White Racist groups,” Trump’s speech repudiates that claim: “Racism is evil,” said Mr. Trump, delivering a statement from the White House at a hastily arranged appearance meant to halt the growing political threat posed by the unrest. “And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the K.K.K., neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”

  6. And in closing, Thomas, I thought you wanted to publish articles that were fresh and original and couldn’t be read in many other publications. Mr. Britton’s comments are not original and can be read in every liberal blog site and heard all over the MSM.
    More interesting and helpful would be a discussion of the more cogent issues at play in what happened in Charlottesville. Even the ACLU had the courage to stand up for the freedom of speech – even speech you don’t like. As for trying to erase our American history and tear down statues representing the South, that should be a topic that is discussed in an open and honest fashion. After you’ve taken down all the statues and changed all the names of roads and highways named after Democrats, what has improved?
    Today Charlie Rose and the Rev. Sharpton were discussing not having a Jefferson Memorial in Washington…is that where this ends? There were blacks who OWNED slaves in Virginia before the war – do we want to talk about that? No, we want to ignore the deeper issues facing our nation and we want to let BLM and Antifa tear it down and tear us apart. Finding fault with Trump is easy.

  7. smehiel: You wrote, “Thomas [Hardy], I thought you wanted to publish articles that were fresh and original and couldn’t be read in many other publications. Mr. Britton’s comments are not original and can be read in every liberal blog site and heard all over the MSM.” The clear implication is that you, smehiel, are not to any degree captured by the conservative media (yes, the media do include Fox, Breitbart, Limbaugh et al., not just MSNBC, the NY Times etc.). That you alone, smehiel, are the one objective voice in the room is ludicrous at best.

    As far as defending my original post, “President” Trump’s news conference on Tuesday did that for me by drawing a moral equivalency between those who came to Charlottesville bent on spreading the manure of hatred with those protesting that hatred. I use quotation marks around the word “President” because Trump has abrogated his right to that title.

    Am I, as a liberal, alone in my conclusions? One look at General Kelly, a fellow Marine, during the news conference said it all, but not quite. Dozens of Republicans have since condemned Trump’s words, along with six business leaders who have left his council on manufacturing jobs in protest. One would hope that the Republican leadership will screw up enough courage to condemn Trump by name.

    The one person who heaped praise on Trump was former KKK head David Duke who stands at the apex of white supremacy and must despise this quote from Nelson Mandela: “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion . . .” However, once born, you can drape yourself in hatred if you so choose. Apparently Trump has done so out of fear, fear of losing his extremist segment of the electorate.

    • In 1991 and again in 1998, businessman Donald Trump denounced David Duke and everything he stood for. He did it again in 2016. Now you have a fixation along with your lefty buddies of Duke and every utterance he makes. It’s really quite boring and borderline disgusting that you use Duke as a way to smear Trump and indirectly millions of people who voted for him.

      The President has never drawn a moral equivalency between the thugs of Antifa and BLM and the Alt-right, he has only said that both were to blame for the riot on Saturday. That’s the truth and something that you can’t handle.

      • Susan, I am so proud of you for standing up for Mr. Trump, despite the mainstream media. He has passed so much important legislation in such short period of time; and he is so popular. A recent poll found that women think he is very attractive. And he has cultivated so many relationships with our corporate CEO’s and leaders around the world. He is the man. His tax reform legislation is the bomb and moving so quickly through Congress. As well, his infrastructure legislation is moving so quickly through the Congress. He has done so much in such a short period of time. Its astounding how quickly this man moves with such bipartisan support. It is heartwarming, and worth noting, his Obama Care repeal and replace has had so much surprising support in the Congress. He is on a roll and you, once again, should be so proud to be one of his earliest and stalwart supporters. He’s awesome.

  8. Tom,
    I’m equally proud of you telling the truth about Trump’s accomplishments. All of his campaign promises have been realized. Especially notable is the wall on our southern border with Mexico. It is high enough to keep out all those rapist Gila monsters. Oh, wait a minute–I just received word that one got through. But kept in cages, they make interesting pets.

    Note to Susan: I’m convinced that you actually believe your fantasies. You might be able to sell them to Disney.
    Best from your favorite Snowflake.

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