This recitation makes it unnecessary to inquire who threw the first punch. And so the president did not do so. That he became the target of reproach, then, rather than the negligent (or culpable) local and state officials, speaks volumes. Anyone might credibly imagine that responsible authorities were in on the plan to exploit this occasion in order to advance an agenda that, while blaming racism, would actually serve to undermine the credibility of the public voice expressed in the election. The drumbeat for “naming and shaming” that has followed since only amplifies this appearance. And the local and state authorities have been among the loudest declaimers!

We do not need to search for previous comparisons in order to evaluate the present circumstance. We need only pay attention to the NPR or other media focus to observe the complete absence of any attention to the question of who was responsible for allowing matters to get out of control and the correlatively intense focus on what the president’s reaction says about the nation. Then we may clearly apprehend that the game here is to disorient the society, repudiate the people’s express hopes, and pave the way for a United States disconnected from the people’s legitimate authority. It is not Trump that they hate; it is us!