Ken Blackwell is Senior Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance at Family Research Council. This article appeared in The Daily Caller on October 13, 2020.
No matter how loudly or how clearly President Trump condemns racists and extremists, his critics obnoxiously insist that he is somehow encouraging them.
The latest example came just hours after the FBI foiled an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who took advantage of the attention she received to accuse the President of being “complicit” in stoking violence.
“Just last week, the president of the United States stood before the American people and refused to condemn white supremacist and hate groups like these two Michigan militia groups,” Whitmer lied. “Hate groups heard the president’s words not as a rebuke, but as a rallying cry, as a call to action.”
Of course, anyone who paid attention to the president’s actual remarks knows that there is not an ounce of truth in Whitmer’s statement. The only “rallying cry” for extremists has come from the left, in the form of Democrat governors and mayors marching side-by-side with the so-called “peaceful protesters” who suddenly morph into violent rioters as soon as the sun goes down.
During the first presidential debate, moderator Chris Wallace completely ignored the leftist riots that have taken place in cities all over the country, and instead asked President Trump if he would “condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down.”
Not only did the president immediately reply in the affirmative, he even asked for an example of a specific group that Wallace and Joe Biden would like him to condemn.
That wasn’t enough to satisfy his critics — nothing ever is — so the president sought to elaborate and clarify in a subsequent television appearance.
“I’ve said it many times, and let me be clear again: I condemn the [Ku Klux Klan],” the president said in an interview with Fox News. “I condemn all white supremacists. I condemn the Proud Boys. I don’t know much about the Proud Boys, almost nothing. But I condemn that.”
A “rallying cry” for hate groups? Hardly.
Likewise, Whitmer seems to have just assumed that the radical militia group that allegedly planned her kidnapping even looks up to Donald Trump as a leader when, in fact, the leader of the anarchist militia reportedly considers the president a “tyrant.”
Despite the factual inaccuracies in Whitmer’s accusation, the mainstream press eagerly amplified her attack without putting it in the proper context. President Trump, of course, was not about to let Whitmer get away with her outrageous smear.
“The Federal Government provided tremendous help to the Great People of Michigan,” the President wrote on Twitter. “My Justice Department and Federal Law Enforcement announced today that they foiled a dangerous plot against the Governor of Michigan. Rather than say thank you, she calls me a White Supremacist…”
The president went on to emphasize that, unlike his political opponent, he has consistently condemned the violent extremists and hate groups that are spreading chaos and destruction in our streets.
“[W]hile Biden and Democrats refuse to condemn Antifa, Anarchists, Looters and Mobs that burn down Democrat run cities, I do not tolerate ANY extreme violence,” he said. “Defending ALL Americans, even those who oppose and attack me, is what I will always do as your President!”
That’s not just political rhetoric; wherever possible, Donald Trump has brought the might of the federal government to bear against lawlessness and anarchy, the overwhelming majority of which has come not from white supremacists — who derive most of their notoriety and influence from the attention they receive from the left — but rather from Antifa and other far-left anarchist groups. Federal agents had to be deployed to Portland to defend a federal courthouse from mobs who sought to burn it down with molotov cocktails, and when Antifa riots threatened Kenosha, Wisconsin, with destruction, Trump sent in National Guard troops who quickly restored order,
The alleged plot against Michigan’s governor doesn’t indemnify her against criticism for her own lack of leadership, either. As the president pointed out, she has “done a terrible job” with managing the pandemic, and “locked down her state for everyone, except her husband’s boating activities.”
Indeed, the revelation of the alleged kidnapping scheme actually gave Whitmer a welcome reprieve, drawing attention away from the fact that the Michigan Supreme Court had just ruled her orders unconstitutional.
Of course, Whitmer’s recent attack against Donald Trump was just a particularly clumsy example of a dishonest narrative that Democrats have been pushing non-stop for years. During the vice presidential debate, for instance, Senator Kamala Harris also repeatedly brought up the threadbare lie about the president’s stance on white supremacists, shamelessly telling the American people that Donald Trump — who has Jewish grandchildren — supports neo-Nazis.
The Democrats and their allies in the media simply will not allow facts, reason, or common sense to deter them from their mission of slandering President Trump.
Ken Blackwell, is the former Mayor of Cincinnati, Treasurer and Secretary of State of Ohio.