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MNUCHIN’S DEFENSE

His words marked perhaps the most vociferous defense of the president from anyone in the administration.

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Mr. Mnuchin, one of the most prominent Jews in the administration, issued the statement on Twitter in response to a letter signed by more than 300 of his 1985 classmates from Yale, urging him to step down immediately.

“Rarely, if ever, have any of us made such a request of a classmate, whatever our differences in political opinion have been,” the group wrote in the letter. “We do so today because President Trump has declared himself a sympathizer with groups whose values are antithetical to those values we consider fundamental to our sacred honor as Americans, as men and women of Yale, and as decent human beings.”

Mr. Mnuchin stood uncomfortably next to Mr. Trump in the lobby of Trump Tower last week as the president said there were “very fine people on both sides” of the Charlottesville protests. The marchers in the initial rally on Friday night carried tiki torches and chanted, “Jews will not replace us.”

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In Their Own Words: What Some of the Charlottesville Rally Participants Stand For

Recent statements from participants at the protests.

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“We call upon you, as our friend, our classmate and as a fellow American, to resign in protest of President Trump’s support of Nazism and white supremacy,” Mr. Mnuchin’s classmates wrote. “We know you are better than this, and we are counting on you to do the right thing.”

Mr. Mnuchin responded that he was focused on a tax overhaul and stoking economic growth.

“I don’t believe the allegations against the president are accurate,” Mr. Mnuchin said of the denunciations of the president, “and I believe that having highly talented men and women in our country surrounding the president in his administration should be reassuring to you and all the American people.”

Mr. Mnuchin and Gary D. Cohn, the president’s top economic adviser, who is also Jewish and who was also at the news conference in Trump Tower, have come under public pressure to resign in the past few days.

Many of Mr. Trump’s advisers have privately said they are wrestling with whether to remain working for the president. But most say they believe they are fulfilling a duty by serving.

Donald Trump’s failure of character emboldens America’s far right

The only principle guiding the president seems to be to support those who support him

LAST weekend white supremacists flocked to the picturesque college town of Charlottesville, Virginia to protest against the planned removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, a Confederate general, from a city park. They marched on the University of Virginia on Friday night, chanting “Blood and soil!” and “Jews will not replace us!” On Saturday morning, carrying Nazi and Confederate flags, they tussled with counter-protesters. And then, after brawls forced police to clear a city park, Heather Heyer was killed (see our Obituary) and 19 others injured when a car ploughed into a crowd of chanting counter-protesters. James Alex Fields junior, a 20-year-old from Ohio whom a former teacher recalled having “sympathy toward Nazism…idolisation of Hitler [and a] belief in white supremacy”, was arrested and charged with murder.

Politicians have few easier tasks in their careers than condemning Nazis. Sometimes talking about race in America can feel like trying to pirouette across a minefield. This is not one of those times. An overwhelming majority of Americans from across the political spectrum agree that brandishing the flag of a regime that systematically murdered millions, against whom America fought a war, is a bad thing. Not only liberals but dozens of congressional Republicans managed, in the words of Cory Gardner, a senator from Colorado, to “call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism.”

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And yet Donald Trump seemed to find this task difficult. On Saturday night he managed a mealy-mouthed condemnation of “hatred, bigotry and violence—on many sides, on many sides”, even though only one side appears to have paraded with heavy weaponry and murdered one of its opponents. Not until Monday afternoon, and then only after crowing over his administration’s economic triumphs, did Mr Trump manage to admit that “racism is evil”. And, he added, “those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.” Even then, his advisers reportedly had to cajole him into it.

His efforts at moral clarity proved fleeting. Asked about Charlottesville at a bizarre, combative press conference a day later, Mr Trump fulminated over leftist counter-protesters “charging with clubs in their hands…without a permit, and they were very, very violent.” To be sure, some left-wing protesters came to Charlottesville ready to fight—but so did the white supremacists, who were armed with swords, flagpoles, shields and guns. Mr Trump insisted that there is “blame on both sides”, and that on both sides—among those marching in support of ethnic cleansing and white supremacy and those who opposed both—there were “very fine people”.

Some of the marchers, he claimed, were just there to protest against the removal of Confederate statues, a trend opposed by some of the president’s supporters. He worried that removing more Confederate statues could lead to removing statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, seemingly indifferent to the distinction that Washington and Jefferson founded the Union, while Lee and other Confederates took up arms against it. From the sidelines his new chief of staff, John Kelly, hired to bring discipline to the White House, stared at the ground dejectedly, his arms folded in front of him.

Mr Trump defended his tepid first statement by claiming he had not then had all the facts, displaying a previously unrevealed concern for accuracy. He has never shied away from attacking his enemies quickly and viciously. When Ken Frazier, the CEO of Merck, a pharmaceutical company, resigned from Mr Trump’s manufacturing council in protest at his reaction to what happened in Charlottesville, it took the president less than an hour to start attacking him on Twitter. Several others followed Mr Frazier off the council (see article) before Mr Trump disbanded it. But to Mr Trump the violence in Charlottesville was authorless and disembodied, a sad but inherent part of life, like bad weather. “It’s been going on for a long time in our country,” he sighed. “It’s not Donald Trump, it’s not Barack Obama.”

Racist violence certainly predated Mr Trump: for most of American history, African-Americans were either enslaved or de jure second-class citizens. But Richard Cohen, who heads the Southern Poverty Law Centre, which tracks the activities of extremist groups, says that the Charlottesville rally was the largest white-supremacist gathering in more than 40 years. Mr Trump, he says, “has energised the white-supremacist movement…We’re seeing a revival of street activity.”

America has rarely undergone a period of racial retrogression as acute as that which accompanied Mr Trump’s assumption of the presidency. One year ago, America had a black president; his successor brought white nationalists into mainstream politics for the first time in living memory. One century ago Ku Klux Klan members felt obliged to hide their identities beneath white hoods; last weekend white supremacists in Charlottesville felt bold enough to march unmasked. David Duke, a former Klan leader, said he and his fellow nationalists came to Charlottesville to “fulfil the promises of Donald Trump” and to “take our country back”. Mr Trump’s equivocation on Saturday thrilled the Daily Stormer, a racist website: “No condemnation at all…Really, really good. God bless him.” His performance on Tuesday earned rave reviews from Mr Duke (“Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage”) and his ilk.

Most politicians would have found it easy to condemn political violence and the alt-right without equivocation. Most presidents at least try to bring the country together at a time of national tragedy, as Bill Clinton did after the Oklahoma City bombing, George W. Bush after September 11th and Mr Obama after the murder of nine black churchgoers in South Carolina. Mr Trump is not most presidents: he seems driven by no principle higher than supporting those who support him and opposing anyone who fails to give him the glory he believes to be his due. The nationalist right like him, so they must be “fine people”; the left does not, so of course they are to blame.

One nationalist in Charlottesville boasted to a reporter from Vice News, “We are stepping off the internet in a big way…We greatly outnumbered the anti-white, anti-American filth. And at some point we will have enough power that we will clear them from the streets for ever.” That seems unlikely: the far right’s numbers remain mercifully small—the Charlottesville rally seems to have drawn around 500. But the far right is getting the attention it craves. There will be more rallies, and where they happen, counter-protesters will inevitably follow. The nationalist right may remain an outnumbered fringe, but it is emboldened. It has friends in high places.

You can read the Economist article yourself.  Pence went to Latin America and everyone condemned threat of military in Venezuela and he spoke about lemons, pork, beef and other small potatoes.  Trump’s contempt for Mexico was not a good opener.  His claims of being able to make one-on-one deals before elections seems unachievable now that on top of everything he is going to be under pressure for his lukewarm-at-best criticism of neo-Nazi white supremacists.  This alone will alienate the leaders of all countries and not just Latin America.  No sane leader in the world will want to touch this toxic stuff because it is political death everywhere including in America and only palatable to the hard-right in Europe.  Whatever he might think, Europe is still healing from the Nazis and the fascists.  This is toxic there since the Second World War.  Thia ia by far the worst and most ineffective Presidency in the the history of the United States.

This is completely obvious.  Imagine an American company with a White Supremacist CEO.  The employee pool immediately shrinks because the non-whites will avoid the company like the plague; being a non-white employee would be identical to being a black slave in a cotton plantation.  It would repel a large part of potential white employees who would be insane to taint themselves with association with such a company if they cared about future employment.  With a smaller pool of talent, such a company would be pummeled by other companies.  There would be zero hope of an IPO so such a company would have to be a private resource drain, at best some vanity project of a rich white supremacist.  One can conclude that White Supremacy is a Darwinian loser for corporate America.  However, in politics, Trump has shown that it has some epsilon amount of life.  It got him elected but now it will be interesting to see how long he can be EFFECTIVE as a President.

When Hitler was successful in grabbing power by hatred and bigotry, Germany was in an economic mess and Germany was a relatively homogeneous country.  United States of America of 2017 by contrast is a global empire with a an extraordinarily diverse mix of race ethnicities and it is the richest country in the world.  An American President that embraces hatred and bigotry is a suicidal fool.  This is probably obvious by now but there is a nontrivial prediction that I can still make here:  Donald J. Trump has permanently crippled his own ability to do anything substantial by embracing hatred and racism and white supremacy.  Maybe in the real estate business one can get away with this nonsense but corporate America would completely destroy itself if its CEOs suddenly supported white supremacy.  For that matter, the institutions of American government will implode if their heads supported white supremacy or any other hate and bigotry.  What kind of a fool would publicly embrace divisive bigotry at the helm of a nation that is not homogeneous racially?  He now has no moral authority whatsoever with either the American or the global public.  He will not be able to push any serious agenda at all for the next four years.  It’s very very funny.  This has never happened in America’s 250 odd year history that an American President decides not only to commit political suicide but do it with great deal of conviction.  He will accomplish more or less nothing of consequence and will go down in the history books as the Klansman in chief without any troops.  It’s possible that white supremacy is secretly adhered to by a large part of white America, but I doubt that since it’s anachronistic and irrational in a global economy.

Just turn back the clock to before Bush invaded Iraq and draw a straight line from the state of America and the world then to now. Do you see how from the loftiest heights of optimistic future the entire discourse has descended into total sewage? America is being totally destroyed by these incompetent tribalists while they look for enemies all around the world.
Trump is a very very dangerous President because he’s a narrowminded ghetto guy with a gigantic ego and no knowledge of American or world history. He is incapable of reaching the intellectual level required to even think like a real President (such as Roosevelt). The best thing he can do is NOTHING for 4 years.

To make a sad comparison, I USED to think that Bush Jr. was the worst it could get, but Bush Jr. was intelligent enough to know his own limitations and surrounded himself with trusted advisors. Trump is intellectually far inferior to Bush (which is why he is a white supremacist) who has too much of an ego to listen to advisors. What the Hell sort of leader of the most powerful state in the world has news coming out about his inability to know what the issues are and all the news are about his temper tantrums and need to do what he wants and problems with making judgments about whether white supremacists should be embraced or not? He’s not emotionally developed enough for this role obviously. America is in extremely grave danger.

United States of America is in incredible danger from these racist fascists. Those who don’t embrace universal ideals will completely cripple the United States. I am sorry but without racial diversity and equality, America is nothing. America’s greatness is ONLY this and NOTHING else. Robert E. Lee is gone as is the Confederacy for a very good reason. They played no part in making America great. They were the failed experiments.