Charlottesville provided a valuable insight into the current political turmoil in America better than anything before it. We can see in plain sight that the President is not only a lackluster joke of a leader, but he appears to be completely unaware of what he has awoken in the US.
This is not to say that there haven’t been extreme elements on the right of the political spectrum until Donald Trump arrived on the scene, there has always been a dark underbelly throughout American history, but he certainly appears to have emboldened them.
His catchy slogans that reek of closet fascism appealed to the dark underbelly of white America; A portion of the population who firmly believe they are currently being subjected to a ‘white genocide’ – Which they unequivocally are not.
He has refused outright to criticize the Alt-Right protesters who, for all to see, instigated violence that resulted in the murder of one young woman and the injuring of others. Instead of taking a strong stance in condemning the actions of these confused young men he has chosen to point the finger at the ‘Alt-Left’ – Who, to all of our surprise, even existed, let alone organise a counter-protest.
Worse still, he appears to have escalated his running feud with the media, pointing the finger at them also.
This was his opportunity to speak to the American people, to show them that he is a president for all Americans, instead he chose to showcase his own ineptitude and egotistical personality.
Obviously, as with the right, the left has extreme elements, there is no denying that. However the use of the term ‘Alt-Left’ by Trump paints the counter-protesters in the same light as their counterparts – Violent and unhinged, a fringe element.
Again, his trump card – no pun intended – is to bandy about the ‘fake news’ accusations. Thus damaging the legitimacy of accurate news portrayals of the events, and pushing his end of the camp further away into the very dystopian, insane realm that he hopes to create in America. If these reports are from fake news, then surely we have to assume that it’s the left at fault here? It’s all lies, the President said so?
The splintering of American politics has been a long process, but now the situation is so dire that it genuinely appears as if any cross-spectrum compromise or discussion is impossible. Bringing this about has been the GOP’s greatest victory so far in the 21st century, they wanted two dedicated camps of political thought in the US, but this will also lead to its downfall. In doing this they have opened Pandora’s Box and propelled America into a dark period in history.
No ‘moderate’ Conservatives can now appeal to the populism driven politics that Trump has introduced. Any hope for the political right is lost, and sadly, the centre and left will have to move further along the spectrum – either way – to even hope to appeal to Trump’s voter base.