On Thursday, President Trump unequivocally denounced white supremacists for what seems like the billionth time. Only two days after he flubbed an answer to a question about white supremacists during the first presidential debate, the president categorically rejected white supremacists and their ideology.
In an appearance with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Trump discussed the matter and other issues. When Hannity brought up the white supremacy issue, Trump asserted: “I’ve said it many times, and let me be clear again: I condemn the [Ku Klux Klan]. 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.”
The story has dogged President Trump since the moments after his debate with former Vice President Joe Biden concluded. Progressives and their close friends and allies in the corporate press lambasted his response, accusing him of refusing to denounce white supremacy.
During the debate, moderator Chris Wallace asked the president if he would condemn white supremacists. The president said, “sure,” indicating that he would be willing to do so. Right after, the conversation devolved into frantic crosstalk. After Biden brought up the Proud Boys, Trump said, “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” before pivoting to Antifa’s violent riots.
After the debate, the establishment media and Democratic politicians excoriated the president for his response to Wallace’s questions. People on the right also weighed in, urging him to explain his comments. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) was subject to racists attacks for saying that the president “misspoke” and that he should clarify his remarks.
In his conversation with Hannity, Trump also criticized Fox News anchor John Roberts, who attempted to bully White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany to give a “definitive and declarative” rejection of white supremacists. Instead of taking the bait, McEnany listed off multiple instances in which Trump denounced white supremacist groups.
“He went a little bit crazy,” Trump said about Roberts. “But I saw it, and Kayleigh is this incredible person, and she was abused by John Roberts.”
On Wednesday, when asked the same question, he pointed out that he has “always denounced any form of that.” Trump has condemned white supremacy on several different occasions in the past.
But here’s the bottom line: None of these people care whether or not Trump rejects white supremacists. Wallace did not ask that question because it was relevant, he asked the question to set a trap for the president, and he was successful. No matter how often Trump answers that question, it will not be enough for the progressive left.
Because they don’t actually care about white supremacists, nor do they care about racism or any other form of bigotry. These are nothing more than a political cudgel for them. It is a way for them to virtue signal to minorities to make it seem like they genuinely care about them.
When it comes down to it, white progressives are more than happy to ignore the wishes of minorities if it means they can advance their agenda. This is why they push for defunding the police when most black Americans wish to maintain a police presence in their communities.
At the end of the day, Trump denouncing white supremacy is a smart tactical move because it takes the wind out of the left’s sails. In the next debate, he will undoubtedly be asked that question again. It would be wise to do a quick rejection of white supremacy, tout his Platinum Plan, how it labels the KKK as a terrorist organization, and then go back on the attack about Biden’s refusal to take Antifa seriously. It’s a far better way to handle it than giving more validity to a question clearly being asked in bad faith.