It was inevitable that the anniversary of last year’s racist march in Charlottesville, Va., would be treated as a watershed. The horrifying torchlight parade of neo-Nazis and Klansmen shouting racist and anti-Semitic slogans was straight out of our collective nightmares about the past.
Yet its significance stemmed not so much from those scary images but from the idea that it was all President Trump’s fault. This theme of Trump as the enabler and inciter of racist hate confirmed everything his opponents believed about the populist revolt that put him in the White House.
Worse, Trump’s comments about the incident, in which he attempted to draw a moral equivalence between the marchers and the countermarchers, strengthened arguments that he was promoting hate.
But when only a couple dozen white nationalists showed up for the much-ballyhooed “unite the right” rally and were overshadowed by the presence of many thousands of counterprotesters — including some Antifa far-left activists clearly looking to initia