Trump has a special obligation to condemn the racist Right

Even if it were true – and the evidence is to the contrary – that Black Lives Matter and Antifa were as blameworthy for Charlottesville as the Nazis and KKK, it would still be incumbent on Trump to focus his condemnation especially on the violent racist right that claims to speak on his behalf. The hard left – which does, in part, include some violent and bigoted elements – does not purport to speak on the president’s behalf and does not claim to be trying to “fulfill the promises of Donald Trump.” To the contrary, they oppose everything he stands for.

This situation poses a delicate dilemma for Trump. He has denounced the ideology of the violent racists on the alt-right who claim to be acting in his name, though not quickly or forcefully enough. And he has declared his opposition to “racism” and specifically to “those who cause violence in its name,” who he has called “criminals” and “thugs.” He specifically included within these categories the “KKK, Neo-Nazis [and] White Supremacists,” the very groups that purport to speak in his name.