Most of us recognize the old bromide “If you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?” Based on the context of many of President Trump’s reported remarks, his tweets, and his speeches since he took office, he seems to be proving the corollary to that old saying, and it makes those of us who voted for him very uncomfortable because he seems to be increasing the division in our country and supporting the opinions of those who believe he is unfit to be our president.
I’m sure I’m not alone among his supporters in wishing he would take more time to engage his brain first and think about what he really wants to say before he stumbles over his own tongue. His staff does too. I wish he would offer measured responses in addressing issues like the Charlottesville demonstration, for example. If he were to have really thought about what he wanted to say before he said it, he would have responded to that tragic demonstration by following the text of what the senior editor of The National Review, Jonah Goldberg stated in a recent syndicated article on this issue.
The president should have said what Goldberg said, “Fighting racism is a good thing, but fighting Nazis doesn’t necessarily make your cause good.” Goldberg goes on to say that communism under Joseph Stalin helped defeat the evil of Hitler’s fascism, but that of course doesn’t mean communism is good. In other words, “The alt-right’s despicability doesn’t make ‘antifa’ the good guys.”
In implying that both sides were to blame for the violence that erupted in Charlottesville, I believe the president meant that of course we oppose the alt-right’s objective to replace the traditional conservative viewpoint with their own racist agenda. That’s a given. But he should have explained that, in opposing free speech, celebrating violence, despising any dissent and anything that stands for the American political tradition, the anifa folks have a similar agenda to those they oppose. They want to replace traditional liberalism with their own way of doing things. I wish my liberal friends would see how their ideology is being hijacked by groups like this, and not be so quick to support a cause they have claimed they don’t believe in.
President Trump should have responded with Goldberg’s words, but of course he obviously didn’t. As he has in a number of other such incidences, the president again reacted without thinking about what he really wanted to say. If he’s so rich, why ain’t he smart. He doesn’t seem to understand that only on rare occasions does his knee-jerk thoughtless responses work best for anyone, much less suffice for the most powerful man in the world (after Putin, according to Forbes Magazine).
But that doesn’t make what the president was trying to say (or what he should have said) wrong. Regardless of how misunderstood the president is by those who would want him out of office, and how he supports their negative opinion of his character with responses like his latest gaff, Goldberg’s conclusion makes sense. “This is America. You’re free to denounce totalitarians wherever you find them…even if they (anifa) might hate the right people.” In my opinion, that’s the point we all should really take from our president’s remarks. With this president, I think it’s important to try and always see the glass as being half-full.