The efforts of diverse groups, not just the far right, to increase polarization in the United States, illustrated in the violence at the Charlottesville, Virginia protests and counter-protests over removal of a post-Civil War era Confederate memorial, culminated, as should have been expected by organizers on all sides, in murder. It is a downward social spiral all too similar to the states of mind preceding the Civil War a century and half ago that was the focus of the events. The President blamed all sides that engaged in violence and in my opinion (I am not a GOP or Trump supporter), was correct in doing so although the MSM is criticizing him for not focusing exclusively on the right wingers involved in the protest (http://www.nbcnews.com/…/trump-politicians-condemn-white-na…). The murderer appears to be a single individual who has been captured and charged with murder.
Those that seek polarization, like the Congressmen and Congresswomen (even Tulsi Gabbard) who voted for the recent anti-Russian, Iranian and North Korean sanctions bill, and who when their efforts culminate in clearly predictable consequences (as in the current state of mutual belligerence between the United States and North Korea) do a 180 degree shift are despicable. So are those that generate crowds under circumstances likely to lead to violence.
As the President said, violence, any violence for political or civic ends is intolerable. It’s a lesson we have hopefully learned in the Republic of Colombia and one which I thought we’d learned a century and a half ago in the United States. But if power corrupts absolutely, then the quest for frustrated power seems to corrupt just as much. And the innocent are left holding the bags, the body bags. The use of every event and tragedy, no matter what, for blatant political purposes is what’s disgusting, not the President’s statement.
On the other hand, the President’s international posturing is as bad as those he is criticizing.
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2017; all rights reserved. Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.
Guillermo Calvo Mahé is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia although he has primarily lived in the United States of America (of which he is a citizen). Until recently he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales. He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies). He can be contacted at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and much of his writing is available through his blog at http://www.guillermocalvo.com.