As of Saturday, August 19, 2017
To the editor:
As military leaders, corporate leaders, members of Congress, and countless others of all political persuasions denounce the violence, racism, hatred and intolerance of alt-right/neo-Nazi/white supremacy/KKK demonstrators in Charlottesville last weekend, there are a few voices not speaking out with convincing conviction.
First and most obvious is our president, who cannot bring himself to condemn these racists with anything close to the same degree of disgust he has used against an endless list of decent human beings, including members of his own cabinet and party. This is inexcusable, yet I am relieved that finally, even Republicans are speaking out against President Donald Trump’s failure as a leader, and his failure as an American. There is no place in America for Nazis. There is no place in America for bigots. There is no place in America for white supremacy. For the president to equate these hate groups with counter-protestors who had the courage to stand up against them is by far the most shameful thing I have witnessed in what has been an abysmal presidency thus far. As one internet meme noted, “It’s a bad week when threatening nuclear holocaust is only the second worst thing the president did.”
Sadly, NOT among those leaders showing the courage to call the president out is our own congressman, Greg Walden. Yes, he tweeted and spoke with NBC in Medford to condemn the “fringe extremist groups like white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and KKK” as a “scourge on society” which have “no place in our country.” I couldn’t agree more. But now is the time for Mr. Walden to show real courage, to stand up to Trump, who emboldens such groups with his refusal to acknowledge that perhaps the greatest threat to our democracy lies within, rather than outside of our borders. Can he do it? I think not. I’m betting it will be business as usual for Mr. Walden, standing right beside Trump to the very bitter end.