In Trump’s first speech he gave in response to the tragedy in Charlottesville, he condemned the hatred, bigotry and violence on “many sides.” The press excoriated him for not explicitly calling out the Nazi and the white-supremist organizations. The Press also denounced Trump for claiming there was hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides. The Press would have you believe that Trump is siding with the racist when he attributes culpability to all sides. The Press claims that Trump views the goals of the Antifa counter-protesters to be morally equal to that of the hate-filled bigots. Thus, because Trump won’t condone as justified the violence of the Antifa, he is not only a racist but unqualified to be President.
Trump grave a second speech in an attempt to placate the Press. In that speech he condemned the racist protesters in no uncertain terms. However, if Trump had only condemned the racist protesters as he did in his follow-up speech, what message would he be sending? If he acquiesces to the violence of the Antifa, isn’t he is saying that vigilante justice is acceptable, perhaps even desirable, in a lawful society? Think about that. Do we want self-appointed posses riding around imposing their own idea of justice, of course not. We want to live by laws that are derived from a democratic process. We want all to be treated equally under the law. If the violence of the Antifa is not addressed or equated with the hate of racism, aren’t we are the ones being unjust.
Trump had to denounce the violence on all sides, for to allow violence sometimes and not others is the opposite of justice. We have a Constitution that allows freedom of speech. That means no one can be prosecuted for what they believe no matter how heinous, evil or racist it might be. However, when thought becomes unlawful action, when threats of violence are uttered, it is the role of lawfully authorized personnel to enforce the law and protect citizens from harm. Trump has been criticized for calling people on both sides “good people” but isn’t that a description of people who follow the law.
It is the Constitutional role of the President of the United States to see that laws passed by Congress are administered faithfully. As President, it is Trump’s sworn duty to make all people accountable, not for what they believe or think, but for what they do. That’s the law. If you want to create a hierarchical list of threats to peace, violent action always trumps evil thought.