[Madison, Wisconsin, “Athens of the Midwest,” circa 1925]
Question: What could President Donald Trump do that would unite Democrats and the ruling Republicans in the U.S. to demand that he change his position on a public issue?
Answer: He could and did blame “both sides” for that violent demonstration in Virginia in August that resulted in the death of a counter-protester and further suggest that some “very fine people” were among the white-nationalist marchers.
That’s white-nationalists whose proud heritage includes Adolf Hitler who gassed six or seven million Jews and other minorities as well as his World War II fascist allies who worked the racist tool to their temporary advantage. That’s white nationalists as in members of the Ku Klux Klan who organized after the American Civil War to undo the work of post-war reconstruction and terrify the newly free slaves into not daring to vote or claim their full citizenship. That’s the KKK, which made lynchings and terrorist bombings of churches and Sunday schools a vivid memory of the 20th Century resistance to the rule of law and decent human values.
And now their ranks in this century include ‘some very fine people.’?
You don’t need to have lived through all of this to know that racism is both a universal and pervasive evil and Trump’s failure to respond with a denunciation of the Klan and its fellow travelers was too much for many members of an American Congress that has become known for a ‘see no evil hear no evil stance’ toward this president.
The Pacific got a very good taste of fascism from World War II Japan and while racism is hardly unknown throughout the region, it is mercifully free from major organized groups holding such views. It’s hard to conceive of any leaders who would be hesitant to denounce such groups if they emerged from their sewer homes to become major influences on public