Reporting Live from Salem, Massachusetts

Due to a combination of intense competition between the two major parties, national polarization among the citizenry, and the press’ insatiable appetite for “news” to report, the U.S. is now in the midst of what can only be described as a case study in hysteria, sparked by the tragic events of Charlottesville.

President Trump is getting pilloried over absurd details of his response to the killing. Let’s look at his initial tweet on August 12 (limited, note, to 140 characters):

We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!

What could possibly be wrong with those remarks? In ordinary times, with an ordinary president, that language would be standard and received with approbation. Trump’s “crime,” in the current hysteria, is that he did not explicitly use terms like white supremacist. But wasn’t it implied in the phrase “all that hate stands for”? Has common sense (not to mention decency) gone out the window?

Later on the same day Trump said,

We want to get this situation straightened out in Charlottesville. And we want to study it. And we want to see what we’re doing wrong as a country.

Let me ask this: What if Hillary had been president and had made exactly the same statement? Would the press be attacking her 24/7? I claim there is empirical evidence that the answer is No, as follows.

In June 2015 a white supremacist opened fire in an African-American church in Charleston, SC. As far as I can tell, Hillary never used the term white supremacist in her remarks condemning the killings. According to this report in TIME, she said,

How many people do we need to see cut down before we act [on gun control]?…So as we mourn and as our hearts break a little more, and as we send this message of solidarity that we will not forsake those who have been victimized by gun violence, this time we have to find answers together…In the days ahead, we will again ask what led to this terrible tragedy and where we as a nation need to go. In order to make sense of it, we have to be honest. We have to face hard truths about race, violence, guns and division…The shock and pain of this crime of hate strikes deep

The similarity between Hillary’s and Trump’s messages is striking: Hillary’s points, “find answers together,” “ask what led to this terrible tragedy,” “the shock and pain of this crime of hate strikes deep” and so on are echoed in Trump’s tweet. In fact, a cynic might even suggest that Trump borrowed from Hillary’s message in composing his tweet.

And again, look at what is missing from Hillary’s remarks: The term white supremacist.  In fact, one almost gets the impression that she viewed the killing primarily as an issue of gun control, with race coming in second. (I too support gun control, but tragically, Charlottesville showed that there are other weapons besides guns.)

Yet there was no uproar over Hillary’s remarks.

Trump has also been castigated for saying that there are “many sides” to the issue of the statue of Robert E. Lee. While that might not have been a wise point to make at the time, it is true. It is entirely possible to oppose dismantling the statue while supporting fair, just and amicable relations between the races. That’s middle ground. Then there are the extremes of keeping the statue up at all costs (and among some, for hateful reasons), and tearing it down ASAP. A statue, by the way, of a man who wrote that slavery is “a moral & political evil.”

Mind you, if Hillary had won the election, the Republicans and the right-wing press would be just as hostile and unreasonable to her as the Democrats (and some grandstanding Republicans) and the liberal press are to Trump now.

This is inexcusable.

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25 thoughts on “Reporting Live from Salem, Massachusetts

  1. I believe Hillary made her remarks less than one day after the shooting and before it was clear Dylan Roof embraced white supremacist ideology. In contrast, white nationalists, supremacists, etc. descended on Charlottesville bringing with them a clear ideology built on hate.

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    • Hillary used the word “hate” and “race” many times in the remarks I posted here. It’s quite clear that she meant the killer was a racist. She just didn’t use the now-requisite term.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. >Yet there was no uproar over Hillary’s remarks.
    Depends what you read, doesn’t it. If you’re still wasting your effort with the fake news media, then no, but there were plenty of raspberries about Hillary’s attempt to bend the tragedy to her purposes in more objective venues.

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  3. There were 2 sides in Charlottsville. Both were there to make trouble. The alt-left gets a pass, the alt-right does not.

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    • Perhaps the alt-right placed some their people in the alt-left protest area and told them to act violently towards the alt-right crowd in order to start a fight.

      The guy who mowed down alt-left people with his car is likely to use the defense that he was in fear for his life. Perhaps alt-right people pretending to be alt-left people acted violently towards the driver in order to give him an excuse for what he did.

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  4. “Due to a combination of intense competition between the two major parties, national polarization among the citizenry, and the press’ insatiable appetite for “news” to report, the U.S. is now in the midst of what can
    only be described as a case study in hysteria…”

    It was inevitable that it would come to this, and you hit the nail on the head Norm. The polarization in society is a product of the news media and its insatiable appetite for conflict. Conflict sells. Specifically, it sells air time. The media -always- tries to gin up cage matches. THIS is why there is no more middle ground, either in politics or society.

    And its going to get a LOT worse before it gets better.

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    • By the way, Bill Clinton has claimed that Hillary would have won except for the media’s hounding her on the e-mail server scandal. Could be true, but there was so much hounding on both sides that it’s impossible to tell.

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      • Hillary Clinton would have won if she just hadn’t been Hillary Clinton. She had so much baggage that she couldn’t even beat the most offensive loudmouth narcissist in the history of American politics. (Her waffling on TPP proved that… just like Trump… she had no real convictions, only ambitions.)

        I blame her and her misguided groupies (Schultz, Brazil) for this fiasco of a Presidency the same way I have always blamed Al Gore for sticking us with George W. Bush (and a war we should never have gotten into).

        These people should take some personal responsibility for being perfectly lousey candidates.

        (Saw a commercial for Gore’s new film today. I think he’s already bleaching his teeth in preparation for 2020.)

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        • Absolutely agree with you. I left the democrat party because of the Clintons, after having voted for him the first time. Hillary lost both elections when she was first lady(yes, I know it should be capitalized, but she doesn’t deserve the distinction of the title).

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  5. I voted for neither candidate. But I agree with you 100% on the media’s and their cronies’ response.
    Earlier today on LinkedIn I posted a photo of Seattle’s statue of Lenin, along with the number of civilians he ordered murdered, then asked if anyone protesting Trump’s words would try to attack me when I tear down the statue.

    The Leftist lemmings went nuts.

    As I stated here earlier, I have little faith in the future of the USA and am actively moving my company out.

    Thank you for your honest insights. We disagree on much when it comes to government’s place in our lives, but you’re thoughtful, measured, civil and respectful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Do you have a URL for the lemmings’ attack? Would make interesting reading.

      Where does it stop? Washington and Jefferson were slaveowners. Wilson was a racist, maybe FDR too. JFK and Bill Clinton were womanizers (Trump too, but no statues yet to tear down).

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      • Yes, during yesterday’s presser (witch hunt?) Pres. Trump made the exact same analogy with Washington and Jefferson. The Left would like to erase history and replace it with propaganda, just like in the USSR.

        Admittedly, the Right’s record on history is weak as well. So many contributors to our modern life that I never knew about until well after finishing school.

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  6. As the daughter of a holocaust survivor AND a regular German, and as a USAF veteran, I am no longer paying attention to you, Sir.

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    • That is unfortunate emmphx.
      We can’t throw civil rights under the bus, as a means to address ideology we don’t want to hear.
      Nor do I accept MyTeamRightOrWrong – which is how we got to where we are.

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  7. There were white slaves as well as blacks. I have two books on the subject on my desk this very minute: “They Were White and They Were Slaves” by Michael A Hoffman II and “White Cargo” by Don Jordan and Michael Walsh. I am saving them for my grandchildren since they are descended from one kidnapped off the streets of London and brought to the New World before the Africans.

    As people criticize Robert E Lee, they fail to look at the whole man and his accomplishments. His association with the Confederacy was not due to his support for slavery but for his state and his neighbors. In my city they are up in arms to rename a school bearing his name. Which will be next? Will it be the one named for the Navy hero? The general? The painter that shares a name with a gun maker?

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  8. It takes at least two to fight. With my children I took the approach that there was the person who started the fight and the one that did not duck. I did not listen to “who started it”. They both went to their rooms. They could come out when they could be civil to each other and not tattle to me. And the problem of the door slammer was solved by him losing the door to his room:)

    In the case of the extremes on both sides, I am tired of the rhetoric. We have problems that need to be solved and all of the fighting is distracting. I blame the news media that is deliberately stirring up trouble. I am tired of outsiders coming to my city to deliberately escalate a bad situation; I think they want a riot to prove a non-existent, at least prior to their arrival, point.

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  9. I fully agree with your excellent statement on this issue.

    After reading the text of Trump’s statement about the incident, I find it appalling that it was condemned by so much of the mainstream media. I voted for Stein, not Trump, and greatly oppose his views on the economy and on the environment. But, unlike Clinton, he consistently advocated peaceful relations with Russia, and he is the only candidate who, even if crudely, defended the jobs of Americans by opposing the concept of open borders.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. ‘Hate speech’ is the new heresy.

    This is the tension between the rising city-state and the ‘organic’ nation state.
    Between American citizens born to Democracy and as Geoffrey West calls them , ‘urbanocenes’ born to binding social constructs created by technology and corporate life cycles or what we mistakenly call ‘innovation’.
    The purposeful forcing of interaction between these groups is to further diminish the power of the nation in favor of the global city state model and its mistaken dependence on global labor arbitrage as its primary driver of that innovation.
    ‘Hate’ fueled by the fanning flames of bad government, appallingly complicit media and a city state growth model that nobody really understands or has even developed the science for understanding, is ‘resonant’ with a majority of the inhabitants of this country and this planet.
    “I don’t have a clue whats happening but hate makes me feel better about that and pointing my finger at someone and blaming them gives me hope”.
    If we continue to mire in the ‘feel good’ of hate, and continue to feel obliged to not discover the underlying principles of growth and decay of our institutions, we will continue to decay.
    That decay ends up with people whacking each other over the heads with sticks sooner or later. That action concept is 1 billion years old and cant be over come by a 30 year old social-political construct.

    Enjoy the heat.

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  11. There was another witch hunt. People trying to identify members of the alt-right from images and video. A biomedical engineering professor at the University of Arkansas was wrongly identify as being one of the torch-bearing white nationalists. The professor was harassed.

    Like

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