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There are many reasons this is so. Firstly, let’s look at his ability to communicate like an adult. Here is part of the transcription of the press conference he gave after the Charlottesville problems.

I didn’t wait long. I didn’t wait long. I didn’t wait long. I wanted to make sure unlike most politicians that what I said was correct. Not make a quick statement … It takes a little while to get the facts. You still don’t know the facts and it’s a very, very important process to me … You don’t make statements that direct unless you know the facts … When I make a statement I like to be correct … Before I make a statement, I need the facts … so making the statement when I made the statement, it was excellent. In fact the young woman who I hear was a fantastic young woman … her mother wrote me and said, through I guess Twitter, social media, the nicest things and I very much appreciated that … Her mother on Twitter thanked me for what I said. And honestly if the press were not fake and were honest, the press would have said what I said was very nice. I’d do it the same way and you know why? Because I want to make sure when I make a statement that the statement is correct.

This is the linguistic ability of a child.

Then he continued:

When you say the ‘alt-right’, define alt-right to me. You define it. What about the ‘alt-left’ that came charging at, excuse me, what about the ‘alt-left’ that came charging at as you say the ‘alt-right’, do they have any semblance of guilt? They do. What about the fact that they came charging swinging, they had clubs in their hands. Do they have any problem? I think that they do. As far as I’m concerned, that was a horrible, horrible day. Wait a minute, I’m not finished, fake news. That was a horrible day. I will tell you something. I watch the shots very closely. You had a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent, and nobody wants to say that, but I’ll say that right now. You had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit, and they were very, very violent.

And this is something that he confirmed even more so after this press conference. On  Tuesday, he actually synonymised the counter-protestors with the Neo-Nazis. Just wow:

“I’m not putting anybody on a moral plane. You had a group on one side and group on the other and they came at each other with clubs – there is another side, you can call them the left, that came violently attacking the other group. You had people that were very fine people on both sides.

“Not all those people were neo-Nazis, not all those people were white supremacists. Many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E Lee. So this week, it is Robert E Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”

This is amazing. You have people being very vociferous about the differences between people, and saying that one type of person is more superior (and by extension, the other type should be treated differently and discriminated against). You have another group saying that this is unfair and everyone should have equality of opportunity and rights. Violence aside, how can you synonymise these approaches? On group is going out of their way to aggressively demean a whole section of society. The other group wouldn’t  exist if not for the overtly discriminatory aggression and existence of the first group.

And that’s assuming the counter-protestors were being equally as violent!

BuzzFeed News reporter Blake Montgomery said:

“Most white supremacist and Nazi groups arrived armed like a paramilitary force — carrying shields, protective gear, rods and, yes, lots of guns, utilizing Virginia’s loose firearm laws. They used militarized defensive maneuvers, shouting commands at one another to ‘move forward’ or ‘retreat,’ and would form a line of shields or a phalanx — it’s like they watched ‘300 a few times — to gain ground or shepherd someone through projectiles. It seemed that they had practiced for this.”

Matt Parrott of Traditionalist Youth Network, a white supremacist group, said:

“With a full-throated rebel yell, the League broke through the wall of degenerates and TradWorker managed to enter the Lee Park venue itself while they were largely still reeling. Michael Tubbs, an especially imposing League organizer towered over and pushed through the antifa like a Tyrannosaurus among raptors as league fighters with shields put their training to work.”

Now, there was undoubtedly violence from both sides, and it will be difficult to work out who caused individual instances of violence, and who was defensive and who was offensive. But it still beggars belief that someone can find a moral equivalence with white supremacist, Neo-Nazi protesters armed to their teeth with civil rights activists.

UK PM Theresa May has publicly pointed this out, in saying “I see no equivalence between those who propound fascist views and those who oppose them. I think it is important for all those in positions of responsibility to condemn far-right views wherever we hear them.”

As the BBC reported of her:

Asked about Mr Trump’s response to the Charlottesville incidents, she said: “As I made clear at the weekend following the horrendous scenes that we saw in Charlottesville, I absolutely abhor the racism, the hatred and the violence that we have seen portrayed by these groups.

“The United Kingdom has taken action to ban far-right groups here, we have proscribed certain far-right groups here in the United Kingdom.

“And there is no equivalence.”

 wrote a short article in the Guardian that looked at this:

The president of the United States called a mob of people marching with torches and chanting Nazi slogans “very fine people”. Fine people don’t chant Nazi slogans. Fine people don’t surround and attack college students. And fine people don’t stand with those who do.

I was there that night in Charlottesville. I can say with certainty that the only fine people I saw were the young students who stood outnumbered and ready to defend their campus and their beliefs against an onslaught of demagoguery.

I know some of those students. They were ready to die for what they believed in. I was prepared to die, too. A man wearing a swastika pin shouted transphobic and racist vitriol at me, inches from my face.

The only fine people that night were those sprayed with mace and doused with lighter fluid from the torches that they were beaten with, afraid of being burned alive. Fine people don’t wear swastikas. Yet President Trump blamed both sides, despite the fact that only one side was run down by a terrorist….

I reached out to groups attending this event from the left, right and center to urge nonviolence. Meanwhile, the “unite the right” marchers said things like “we’ll fucking kill them if we have to” on camera.

The president can think “both sides” are to blame as long as he wants – but only one side beat a black man nearly to death with poles in a parking garage while hurling racist insults. It wasn’t our side. So why is the president blaming us along with the neo-Nazis?

It wasn’t the Ku Klux Klan and those who wave flags from the Third Reich who were urging nonviolence and trying to save lives in Charlottesville. It was leftist activists like me.

There really is no equivalence here, and to think there is is to be so profoundly naive of logic and common sense as to be deemed an idiot.

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Jonathan MS Pearce

A TIPPLING PHILOSOPHER Jonathan MS Pearce is a philosopher, author, columnist, and public speaker with an interest in writing about almost anything, from skepticism to science, politics, and morality,...