Elizabeth Fraser

U.S. News


Trump’s Erratic Behavior Fuels Civil Unrest

President Trump is promoting a controversial dichotomy. To his faithful voters, he was pointing out that not all the right-wingers at Charlottesville were white supremacists. But by equating these groups with the anti-fascists, he has recklessly caused public dismay, anger and uneasiness.

Many, including some Republicans feel that Trump failed to sincerely denounce racial hatred. His press-room has been in chaos all week, after a series of remarks and speeches which would have never passed muster even by a junior proofreader in the West Wing.

Speaking from Trump Tower, the President spoke in a now familiar tone, a turgid and egotistical intonation reserved for a press he despises and for anyone who does not share his opinions, This was icing on the cake for press conferences, and made Sean Spicer’s efforts look worthy of a JFK award from the Harvard School of Government. Trump’s comments that day deviated from the more measured reaction he uttered the day before as he read from a teleprompter.

At the Trump Tower news conference did we witness Trump expressing his core beliefs?

No sooner had these words left Trump’s mouth than they were seized upon by high-profile members of the right, notably, former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard, David Duke, who praised the president for his “honesty and courage to tell the truth about Charlottesville and condemn the leftist terrorists…”

The recent civil unrest is a national tragedy which culminated in the death of a peaceful protester, 32 year old Heather Heyer, who was killed by a car driven by a self-proclaimed racist. Heather’s mother, Susan Bro, commented, “Heather’s life was not about hate,…and this young man who ran my daughter down mistakenly believed that hate would change the world, and it doesn’t.”

“Hate harms people, and I don’t want more hate brought by my daughter’s death,” she said. “I want peace that she would want. I want change. I want equality. I want fairness, and I want it done peacefully.”

A handful of high-profile Republicans have criticized Trump’s handling of the tragic incident like Senator Bob Corker, who decried the president for “not demonstrating he understands the character of this nation” and calling for “radical change” in Washington DC.

Certainly there was no long line of Republicans fighting to get on television and defend the president. Almost all voices have been critical.

The United States is now at the point where if Richard Nixon was to be found alive and run for the presidency at 104, he’d win by a historic landslide. Remember Bushisms? The world laughing at ‘stupid’ George W.? Well ‘W’ has been wise enough to call on the country to reject racism and hatred. But that’s not a former president’s job, it should be that of the man in the Oval Office.

What Donald Trump will say next week might be as foreign to American discourse as a pet shop in Pyongyang and as predictable as the weather in Wales. It looks increasingly unlikely that this president can heal the divisions caused by his insensitive comments.

Trump simply does not get the mood of the nation. “The Nazis were to blame but so were you” is not a vote winner. But, with Donald, we never know what to expect.