There are numerous statements by President Donald Trump that warrant criticism, so it is difficult to understand a persistent and widespread criticism he does not deserve.
When Trump criticized violence of both the protestors and counter-protestors in Charlottesville, Va., enraged politicians and pundits accused him of creating a “false equivalence” between Nazis and others.
The fact that one Neo-Nazi committed murder is significant, as is the fact that mentally disturbed leftist ideologues have committed murder or attempted to commit murder in the past.
However, with the exception of one individual driving a vehicle into a crowd, the level of violence appears to have been roughly equivalent on the two sides during the Charlottesville confrontation.
What Trump should be criticized for is praising what he called “fine people” who marched shoulder to shoulder with protesters displaying or wearing Confederate and Nazi symbols, chanting the Nazi slogan “Blood and Soil” and the explicitly anti-semitic “Jews will not replace us.”
Those actions do not justify violence against the protestors but they do justify an assessment that the protestors deserve our contempt and anyone who describes them as “fine people” is deluded or worse.
As far as criticizing violence on both sides of the confrontation in the same sentence, that is not a false equivalence, it is a valid equivalence.
Many Trump supporters already feel besieged by liberal politicians and a hostile press. It is unfortunate that they have evidence to support this view.