What will it take for Anderson County Republicans to denounce Donald Trump? by Eric Keller
Photo: Edu Bayer for The New York Times
The photo above shows about 150 white supremacists converging on a small group of about 20 students who linked arms around the statue. The students were there to protest against racist and anti-Semitic actions taken by the white supremacists. The Tiki-bearing neo-Nazis, KKK, alt-right, and white supremacists (really- all are sort of merged together into one hate-filled group) were there to protest the renaming of the Lee Park to Emancipation Park as well as the plan to take down the Robert E. Lee statue. This is Friday night. Saturday erupted and culminated with a neo-Nazi driving into a crowd of people who gathered for inclusion. One dead and more than thirty injured were the results of that act of domestic terrorism. Trump first blamed "both sides" as if they are somehow equally to blame and after two days of intense blow back from even his own party, he managed to read from a tele-promoter words that condemned the white supremacists. He had all the enthusiasm of a prisoner forced to read a letter by captors. When the Merck CEO stepped down from Trump's business council, it took less than an hour for Trump to ridicule him. It took two days and strong pressure to get a sullen president to say the words.
Really- what will it take? When will Chuck Fleischmann, John Ragan, Terry Frank, and all the other Anderson County Republicans actually stop enabling this madness and begin calling it for what it is? A recent Qualrics poll (June 2017) shows 52% Republicans would support putting off the 2020 presidential election due to "voter fraud". Despite the Constitution saying otherwise. What will it take? Trump to declare himself "President-for-life" with an adoring Pence gazing in admiration at him? Trump to fire anyone investigating his presidential plundering and collusion with Putin? Trump to close down the free press as "enemies of the state"? Or maybe this will do it. Trump showing his willingness to support white supremacists so he won't alienate his base. As if that is a base to be proud of and want to keep.
To be fair- I went to the Anderson County Republican Party website to see what if they responded to this horrific series of events. Nothing. Nothing from the Republican county leadership and nothing from Republican elected officials. Silence is consent in a situation like this. To be silent is to essentially endorse those who preach such hate. Maybe- again to be fair- they are very busy people and do not have time to read the news or write about it as Republicans. So I will wait. I challenge them to respond. Speak against white supremacy or be silent, which is a message in itself.