Why I Wouldn’t Change a Word of Trump’s Statement

By | 2017-08-19T15:14:57+00:00 August 17th, 2017|
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President Trump on Saturday first addressed the alarming violence that was then unfolding in Charlottesville, Virginia, between neo-nazi nationalists and their opponents, the alt-Left “activists” that includes groups such as Antifa, Black Lives Matter, Communists, anarchists, and supporters of Palestinian terror.  

Trump had been scheduled to speak about the Veterans Administration. To the extent his comments addressed Charlottesville, they were hastily constructed, on the basis of incomplete knowledge. Representing Donald Trump, unplugged and unvarnished, they came straight from his heart.

And, to my mind, they were perfect. I wouldn’t change a word.

“Egregious” displays of “hatred, bigotry and violence” have no place in America he told us, with stunning clarity. No exceptions. No qualifications. Whoever you are, whatever you are, whatever your grievance, there shall be one law, one standard.

The first thing to be done was “a swift restoration of law and order and the protection of innocent lives…[for] no citizen should ever fear for their safety and security in our society.”  Had Trump stopped there, it would have been enough. It would have been more than Barack Obama had said in eight years.

Obama was on the wrong side of violence. He sympathized with the rioters in Ferguson, Missouri, and made excuses for the riots in Baltimore. Worse still, he failed even to mention the need to establish law and order and protect the lives and property of innocent people. And he put lives in danger by blaming the violence on the police.

There was nothing visceral about Obama’s comments. He expressed no sympathy for the people who’d lost everything. Juanita’s Fashion R Boutique was “the largest black-owned boutique in St. Louis” before it was burned to the ground. And Natalie DuBose could only weep as her little cake store was destroyed. Obama didn’t talk about them, their safety or security.

As far as I know, no Nazis participated in the violent riots that occurred during the Obama years.  But many of the people who did participate, according to the Washington Post, were “activists” who’d participated in the Occupy movement. They wore masks and lobbed Molotov cocktails at the police. “They call the gasoline-filled bottles ‘poor man’s bombs,’” the Post reported with seeming approval. These were the same folks who showed up in Charlottesville, and they didn’t need Nazis to provoke them to do what they did.

In opposition to all of the violence, President Trump said, “Above all else, we must remember this truth, no matter our color, creed, religion or political party, we are all Americans first. We love our country. We love our God. We love our flag.” Our identity as Americans transcends all of the other identities that divide us on the surface.

“No child should ever be afraid to go outside and play or be with their parents and have a good time,” he said, as he has many times before, while decrying the terrible loss of innocent young lives and the destruction of families in black-on-black violence that occurs regularly in our inner cities. All children deserve to grow up in safety and security.

“We must love each other, respect each other and cherish our history and our future together,” he said. For Americans have a shared history. We are bound up with each other. For better and for worse, our past and our future are intertwined, inextricably. We cannot escape our joint history, for we carry it in our genes.

And that’s why he exhorted us to “cherish our history and our future together.” We cannot expunge parts of our history without destroying ourselves. The Charlottesville tragedy didn’t start with the Nazis or the Alt-Left. It started with the decision to tear down the statue of General Robert E. Lee.

For Americans have a shared history. We are bound up with each other. For better and for worse, our past and our future are intertwined, inextricably. 

America is the golden chalice for which people worldwide reach, often at great peril. But something’s obviously broken, and we need to study the situation and see where we went wrong, Trump told us. That includes all of us as individuals, for a government can do only so much. “My administration is restoring the sacred bonds of loyalty between this nation and its citizens, but our citizens must also restore the bonds of trust and loyalty between one another,” he said.

What President Trump said in his first, very emotional statement about Charlottesville can’t be improved upon. Nevertheless, the screaming media jackals demanded more. So accustomed have they become to the anodyne, formulaic responses of the mass of politicians, that when they’re offered something different and profound, they’re incapable of understanding it.

But ordinary people heard and understood what President Trump said on August 12, when he was speaking to them. When he spoke of Charlottesville again, on August 15, he was speaking to the media. You wanted names, he said, here you are. Now go fuck yourselves.

He could not and did not recant anything, for to go against conscience was neither right nor safe. There he stood, he could do no other. May God bless President Trump.

About the Author:

Esther Goldberg
Esther Goldberg is a lawyer living in Alexandra, Virginia.