Saturday, August 17, 2019

What did Donald Trump do today?

He warned people protesting white supremacists that he was watching them.

The Proud Boys, an all-male white nationalist group that has enthusiastically supported Trump, held a rally in Portland, Oregon today. The group advocates violence in the name of protecting "white culture," and has been trying to incite violence at its demonstrations by baiting their counter-protestors. The group did draw huge crowds of people opposed to their neo-fascist ideas. Thirteen arrests were made and six people were injured.

As the Proud Boy rally unfolded, Trump went on Twitter and warned that he was considering designating the counter-protestors as a terrorist organization.

Specifically, Trump said he was giving "major consideration" to designating Antifa as a terrorist organization. Antifa, short for "anti-fascist," isn't really a specific group of people so much as an organizing strategy that arose in the 1980s to stop neo-Nazi groups from recruiting. 

The Proud Boys were thrilled by Trump's tweet, and immediately celebrated his support.
Trump did not mention the white nationalist groups in Portland today. He's often shied away from even mild criticism of racist or right-wing militant groups, for fear that he needs their political support to stay in office.

Why should I care about this?

  • A president too cowardly to offend violent white nationalists is unfit for office.
  • A president who just doesn't care about violent white nationalists is also unfit for office.