Nothing President Trump can say will satisfy the mob. Scheming since the morning after the November election to reverse the result, the mob is on a holy crusade to destroy Trump the interloper, and the president himself keeps assisting the project.
He was at it again Tuesday, saying once more that “many sides” were responsible for the violence last week in Charlottesville, that two of the sides came after each other with blood in their eyes, eager for a fight. “They came at each other with clubs it was a horrible sight,” the president told reporters at a contentious press conference in Trump Tower in Manhattan. Indeed it was.
The reporters were playing tag team with the president, and he took the bait. But it has to be remembered, which Mr. Trump did not, that it was someone blinded by cultivated hate who brutally killed a young woman asserting her right to protest, and wounded several other demonstrators.
The president, for his part, is right that “many sides” have been working over the months to stir discontent, resentment and even hate in the land. On one “side” certain newspapers take a certain pride in righteous guilt of the sins they say they abhor. This does not change the fact that the planners and perpetrators of the riot were indeed, as the president himself said, white supremacists, neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and assorted hangers-on.
The president should have resisted the temptation to get in the last word. The mob — the media, the alt-left, many Democrats and others who cannot reconcile themselves to a new reality in American politics — can’t resist the temptation to taunt the president in the expectation of teasing him into saying something foolish.
An honest and accurate examination of the “other side” of the struggle over these past few months would not fit the media narrative leading to Charlottesville as a symptom of what ails America in this summer of anger and vexation. The president’s talent for saying things to inflame the public conversation is matched by the leftmost elements of the liberal establishment, backed by the compliant media, to undermine and chip away at the authority of the national government. One U.S. senator even declares that Mr. Trump “is not my president,” whatever that may mean. U.S. senators could once be counted on for maturity and cool heads, to lead rather than follow in moments of crisis.
The left has been in hot pursuit of racial strife since it made a hero of a petty thief who was killed when he tried to disarm a policeman in Ferguson, Mo., and the left declared war on the police everywhere.
If the media, particularly the big newspapers, survives as we have known it, it will recall with shame and rue this era when the authority and gravitas of the press was traded for the cheap thrill of bathing for a season in hysteria. Somewhere in the Valhalla of newspapers, if there is one, Ben Bradlee of The Washington Post and Abe Rosenthal of The New York Times are weeping over what interlopers have done to the once-mighty newspapers they presided over. The damage is done to us all.