After the horrific display of hatred and bigotry in Charlottesville, Virginia, Trump is floundering big-time.
During the “Unite the Right” rally this weekend – which sought to bring together various extreme right-wing and nationalist organizations that helped propel Trump to power – a 20-year old white supremacist drove a car into counter protesters, killing one woman and injuring many others.
At first, Trump condemned bigotry “on many sides,” in an obvious effort not to alienate the radical right-wing racists that remain faithful to his administration.
Trump’s cavalier handling of the events has attracted intense criticism. Members of his own party have spoken out in disgust. Cory Gardner – a republican lawmaker from Colorado – wasted no words condemning both the president’s actions and the terror in Virginia:
This isn’t a time for innuendo or to allow room to be read between the lines. This is a time to lay blame.
Senator Orrin Hatch appealed to the United States’ history fighting fascism, citing his own brother’s sacrifice to combat the very political and social forces that are resurfacing during the Trump era.
We should call evil by its name. My brother didn't give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home. -OGH
— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) August 12, 2017
As a result of Trump’s gambit to appease his racist base, three high-profile CEOs have stepped down from the White House’s manufacturing council.
After Trump finally condemned white supremacy by name, he retweeted an article from the conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec, who is known for peddling the debunked “pizzagate” and Seth Rich stories.
The article explicitly attacked gun violence in Chicago.
After Trump bowed to pressure, he recognized that he still needed to give something to his rabidly far-right, white nationalist base. Choosing this moment of all times to highlight inner-city violence was a not-so-subtle dog whistle through which he hoped to reaffirm to his fascist supporters that he does still agree with them.
This man is pathetic and pandering. He is also increasingly unpopular. As the elite and powerful – such as the CEOs who stepped down from Trump’s manufacturing council – distance themselves from the administration, thereby depriving it of legitimacy, and activists keep up the pressure in the streets, things will only get a lot worse for Trump. Eventually, the rotten dregs of his radical right-wing supporters will be all he has left.