Thursday, August 17, 2017

Inflammatory idiocy

"Donald Trump the neo-Nazi sympathizer has achieved what Donald Trump the president has singularly failed to do: unite the nation." Thus begins Guardian columnist Richard Wolffe's reaction to Trump's now infamous press conference comments on Charlottesville, in which the president declared that there were some "very fine people" who took part in the neo-Nazi rally.

Later, Wolffe notes that Trump's sympathy for neo-Nazis is consistent with previously racist pronouncements and behaviour, and is arguably "no more shocking than his pussy-grabbing boasts, his continued profiting from the presidency, his coddling of (and alleged collusion with) the Russians and his obvious obstruction of justice by firing the FBI director". True enough - but even then it does seem like a triumph for someone whose personal mission appears to be to plumb new depths daily.

That the US is now even more of a tinderbox than normal is all thanks to Trump. As John Oliver put it, "Nazis are a lot like cats: if they like you, it's probably because you're feeding them". In case you need a reminder of what those to whom Trump has been giving succour look and sound like, Vice News' coverage of the events in Charlottesville, and the individuals involved in them, is essential viewing.

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