Editorials Roundup: “America’s bigot in chief”

President Trump once again showed his true colors this week in the aftermath of a domestic terrorist attack in Charlottesville, VA that led to death of 32 year-old Heather Heyer. Instead of strongly denouncing the acts of terrorism committed by white supremacists and neo-Nazi sympathizers, Trump equated the racist white nationalists, KKK members, and neo-Nazis who marched in support of a Confederate monument to the peaceful counter-protesters like Heyer who came to show the world their city is not hateful.

Of course, this isn’t new behavior from President Trump. He has long shown us who he is,what he represents and whose side he’s really on. Nevertheless, editorial boards across this country urged their readers this week to stand up and condemn the misplaced hate and flagrant racism that Trump and his white supremacist followers are spewing.


Chicago Sun-Times: Why won’t Republicans call out Trump on North Korea?

And a few days later, Trump doubled down rather than calmed down. “If anything,” he said, “maybe that statement wasn’t tough enough.”

And what did the United States get for all that? Kim, another man-child, promised to launch test missiles near the American island of Guam.

Any hope that Trump’s new chief of staff, the respected Marine Gen. John Kelly, could restrain the president evaporated quickly. And Secretary of State Rex Tillerson doesn’t have the president’s ear.

Los Angeles Times: Trump’s even more mixed message on North Korea

To be fair, Trump also mentioned that he remained open to negotiations with North Korea, even as he noted that talks over many years had failed to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons. His dominant theme, however, was the devastation that would be visited on North Korea for bad behavior, as he had so melodramatically threatened a few days ago. Vagueness about what constitutes such conduct, coupled with inflammatory rhetoric, runs the risk of increasing tensions and making a devastating miscalculation more likely. The administration needs to clarify its position as well its messaging, and do it now.

Central Jersey Courier News: Opioids a national problem — and so is Trump

Trump’s supporters like to rationalize the president’s whims by talking about learning curves and differing presidential styles. Trump, however, is loath admit any weaknesses. A leader who refuses to acknowledge he has a lot to learn is dangerous. The health care blundering is bad enough. But we certainly can’t afford him stumbling his way through diplomatic efforts with a volatile North Korean dictatorship beating its nuclear drums.

Akron Beacon Journal: Beacon Journal editorial board: Trump and the opioid epidemic

As a matter of simple politics, a clear, directed White House strategy makes sense. The president carried Ohio, and many of the counties where he prevailed are among the most deeply affected by the opioid epidemic. Put aside a re-election run. Doesn’t the president have a duty ensure that his administration is more responsive than he showed at his briefing?

Newark Star-Ledger: Trump declared opioids a national emergency. But will he act to save lives?

Unless the president dramatically changes course, his emergency declaration will be mostly symbolic. What Trump described earlier this week was a two-pronged approach: Warning young people that drugs are “bad,” and arresting our way out of the problem.

It sounded like a flashback to the 1980’s era “This-is-your-brain-on-drugs,” and the harsh sentencing of the drug war; scare tactics that have failed us for decades. On both fronts, the overwhelming evidence shows that it doesn’t work.

Minneapolis Star Tribune: Trump should strengthen Medicaid if he’s serious about opioids

Regrettably, Trump didn’t stress Medicaid’s connection to the fight against opioid addiction in his public appearances this week. Nevertheless, his announcement that opioid abuse is a “national emergency” signals his strong concerns. Trump declared the emergency on Thursday after questions about whether he had done so lingered from a Tuesday press briefing.

Springfield Republican: Trump-McConnell dustup shows president’s cluelessness

This summertime dustup, of course, may soon enough fade away, overtaken by another silly battle that the president picks for no good reason. Or perhaps by something of real significance.

But it demonstrates, once again, that Trump has no actual plan, no agenda, no clue. He’s just wandering about, turning hither and thither, waiting for someone to do or say something that offends, something that will provide him with cause to punch back.


San Jose Mercury News: Is Trump lying or clueless about condition of U.S. nuclear arsenal?

To be picky, his first order was not about nukes. But to the larger point — Trump has done nothing in his seven months in office to build up America’s nuclear arsenal. In fact the action he did take is most likely delaying a $400 billion upgrade that was ordered by President Obama.

The arsenal is not “modernized.” It is quite the opposite.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Too much tough talk. Someone has to be the adult in the room

Trump holds the upper hand with a nuclear-backed military second to none. We know he also is a showman, but this is precisely the time when he must tamp down the urge for theatrics and consider the consequences of the “fire and fury” he threatens to unleash on North Korea.

Let Kim huff and puff. It’s time for the United States to be the adult in the room instead of stooping to these childish antics.

Los Angeles Times: Trump bears some responsibility for the racism on display in Charlottesville

Trump, to his detriment, has emboldened this rise. He missed a sterling opportunity to strike a different, more presidential, note Saturday with a milquetoast condemnation that failed to call out the racism that propelled Friday’s march and Saturday’s violence. We are a nation increasingly divided politically, economically and ethnically, divisions he has exploited and thus helped exacerbate. The weekend’s skirmishes and utterances ring of 1930s Berlin — though the nation is far from descending into fascism — and the 1950s desegregation battles across the South. They also mark a failure of political discourse and the political system, which is supposed to mediate our political differences, not accentuate them.

Kokomo Tribune: Trump fails to call out Nazis

This isn’t hard, Mr. President. Nazis are bad. You can say it.

Newark Star-Tribune: Trump was a bad bluffer before North Korea

Among our European allies, there’s stunned disbelief that a political greenhorn like Trump could be given the reins of the most powerful military and economic power on earth, as its principal promoter and protector of order and democracy.

They’re struggling to live with the reality of Trump, as are we. If there’s a lesson for us as Americans in his rise to power, it’s a simple one: we must never let this happen again.

Portage Daily Register: Sessions needs to back off on press threats

For now, we’ll withhold our trust. Given the fury of a White House frantic to silence reporting on topics that embarrass the Trump administration, Americans who rely on a free press should be angry that Justice’s top two officials are playing bad cop-good cop with crucial First Amendment principles. President Donald Trump fulminates bitterly against every story that puts him in an unwanted light. He has denounced the “fake news media” as “the enemy of the people.” Senior White House adviser Stephen Bannon has said, “The media should keep its mouth shut.”


Dallas Morning News: Amid the violence in Virginia, President Trump failed in a test of leadership

The country needed to hear the president specifically condemn white supremacists and make clear to them that while they have a First Amendment right to express their views, their hatred and bigotry run counter to the values of the United States. There will be no toleration of violence.

On Saturday, President Trump failed his country.

Boston Globe: Robert Mueller needs bulletproof protection

Still, the Booker-Graham and Coons-Tillis bills — or whatever combination emerges — ultimately only put up speed bumps. If the president is truly determined to derail Mueller’s investigation, he’ll probably find a way to do it — with defunding, pardons, firings, or all of the above.

By all means, Congress should go ahead and pass a bill to protect Mueller. But if they want that law to achieve its goal of ensuring a full investigation into Russian meddling, lawmakers will need to send the message that they’re also prepared to use the power that they already have if the president stands in the way of justice.

Guam Daily Post: We Guamanians can keep our nerves together even if Trump can’t

Now, a renewed challenge exists that will test our resilience and ability to keep our nerves together when the North Koreans have a supposed date – Aug. 15 – for launching missiles to Guam.

We won’t panic even when it doesn’t help to soothe our worries when President Trump essentially dared Kim Jong Un, as Reuters reported, with, “Let’s see what he does with Guam. … He does something in Guam, it will be an event the likes of which nobody’s seen before, what will happen in North Korea.”

We hope the military’s assurances that in the event of a North Korean attack, we will be protected. And we can count on the military to be as quick and precise as they said they would be, to stop a missile attack.

Chicago Sun-Times: Does Trump think his own fans are a bunch of bigots?

Hey, Donald Trump supporters, the president apparently thinks you’re a bunch of racists.

Why else did he decline to call out the white supremacists — the creeps with the torches who chanted “Jews will not replace us” — who were most responsible for the violence this weekend in Charlottesville, Va.?

How hard is it to condemn the hate of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke and white nationalist Richard Spencer?

What’s so tough about calling a bigot a bigot?

Central Jersey Courier News: Trump won’t rile alt-right

Trump is right about one thing: The bigotry underlying Saturday’s violence has been a stain on this country for a very long time. But Trump’s campaign and his presidential actions to date have empowered white supremacists — or white nationalists, if you prefer that euphemism — to a degree they haven’t felt for decades. That’s dangerous, and it’s part of the Trump package, something all of his supporters need to recognize.

Spokane Spokesman-Review: Trump must clearly condemn white supremacists

Many white supremacists believe they have support in the White House. True or false, Trump hasn’t done much to dissuade that belief. When mosques are attacked, the president says nothing. When a Muslim attacks, he is quick to comment. White supremacists liked it when Trump promoted “birtherism” against President Barack Obama, and when he highlighted the Mexican heritage of a judge who ruled against him in an immigration case. White nationalists believe they have allies in the White House in Stephen Bannon, Stephen Miller and Sebastian Gorka.

If racists are getting the wrong idea, then the president should set them straight. Some rhetorical fire and fury against white supremacy would be a good start.

Boston Globe: The terrorists Trump is afraid to name

Long before Trump, his Republican Party has maintained a sick alliance with white racism, courting racist voters with coded appeals to prejudice. Trump’s accomplishment, if you can call it that, is to force that relationship out into the open. The wink-and-nod relationship is no longer tenable. The GOP controls both the White House and Congress as the tide of extremism grows. Responsibility for countering it is theirs. Either Trump and the Republican Congress turn on their supporters now, and fight back against this surge of hate in words, actions, and policies, or they let it engulf their party, and their country.

Newsday: Nation needs to hear President Trump denounce racist terrorism

Trump can neither escape nor forswear the legacy of his campaign. His Make America Great Again slogan served on another level as a vehicle for expressing white grievance in a nation becoming more diverse and more inclusive. Trump’s responsibility in emboldening that view was made clear Saturday by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, who said, “We’re going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump,” with Duke defining that vow as one to “take our country back.”

Everett Herald: Facing 37 opioid overdoses in one week

President Trump now needs to follow through on his verbal declaration by signing a document that directs FEMA and HHS to begin the recommended work. Trump also can lift doubts about adequate funding by rescinding proposed budget cuts to Medicaid and Health and Human Services.

As he stated earlier in the week, Trump is correct to seek increased funding for law enforcement that goes after those dealing heroin and the most addictive drugs and strangles the supply of heroin and its synthetic — and deadlier — cousin, fentanyl. But enforcement also has to be joined by funding and support for treatment, intervention and education at the local level.

Lancaster Newspaper: As Lancaster County residents know all too well, opioid addiction is indeed a national emergency

You may note that what the coalition does not recommend is the widespread jailing of opioid users.

And that’s our concern with Trump’s approach to the opioid crisis, and that of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Their stated focus before Thursday’s announcement had been on law enforcement.

While we wholeheartedly endorse a vigorous law enforcement effort targeting high-level opioid dealers, imprisoning users is not the answer — something Ephrata Mayor Ralph Mowen knew 20 years ago when he declared a heroin crisis in his community.

North Jersey News: Protect voters’ rights first and foremost

New Jersey should stand up for voters, not to mention its own sovereign right to lawfully conduct and monitor elections, and respond in the negative to the voter fraud commission request for personal voter data. If it is not going to do that, if it is going to participate in this charade, then state voters should be informed of that fact, as well, and be made to understand why that is the case.

Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier: We can’t ignore the climate study warnings

Instead, the Trump administration is championing the resurgence of coal, which emits twice as much in greenhouse gas as lower-cost natural gas increasingly favored by utility companies. Given that U.S. coal consumption is down 27 percent since 2005, the administration wants to export the coal overseas.

Thirty states have enacted healthier positions — standards requiring utilities and power companies to sharply increase reliance on renewable energy. Even Texas, which has an abundance of fossil fuels, is increasingly powered by wind — a record 45 percent of its Nov. 27 energy usage.

We have been entrusted with one planet. For the sake of generations to follow, warnings not to screw it up should be heeded.


Springfield Republican: Trump bungled opportunity to denounce racists, haters

Rather than calling out the white supremacists, he spoke in the vaguest terms, establishing an equivalence between those who preach hate and those who demonstrated against their evil ways. He said Saturday’s events in Charlottesville showed an “”egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.”

When Trump had an opportunity to attempt to heal, to bring people together, he failed, and failed badly.

Though all right-thinking Americans could see this clearly, easily, there was one group that was pleased with the president’s remarks.

Newark Star-Ledger: Abstinence-only sex ed gets an amen from Trump, N.J. congressman

Because irony is dead, our groin-grabber-in-chief, Donald J. Trump, is seeking to eliminate evidence-based programs to prevent teen pregnancy — ushering in a likely return to abstinence-only education.

It’s a multi-faceted attack. First, he tapped an abstinence-only advocate, Valerie Huber, to a top role overseeing adolescent health. Then his officials abruptly halted $89 million in annual project grants to 81 organizations, leaving researchers unable to analyze the data they’ve spent years collecting.

Racine Journal Times: Nursing-home residents should retain legal rights

There’s no circumstance under which you should obligated to waive your right to go to court to seek justice. Certainly not when that circumstance is the effort to get a loved one admitted to a nursing home. For that reason, we’re dismayed at President Donald Trump’s administration’s plan to do away with a rule, enacted by President Barack Obama’s administration, that ensured nursing home clients’ right to litigate.

The Obama administration mandated that nursing homes which receive Medicaid or Medicare dollars were prohibited from including language in resident contracts requiring that disputes be settled by a third party rather than a court, TheHill.com reported Aug. 6. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced plans in June to do with that rule.

San Francisco Chronicle: Trump’s resounding silence on bigotry

On Monday, at long last, President Trump named “the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists” and other tiki-torch-brandishing dead-enders whose Robert E. Lee rally escalated to murder in Charlottesville, Va. “As I said on Saturday,” he declared, “we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence.” The trouble is that Trump said no such thing on Saturday.

What Trump condemned Saturday was “hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides — on many sides,” which is another way of condemning no side. That it took him two days to correct this allowed German Chancellor Angela Merkel, among others, to beat him to it. So the head of the country that invented Nazism was quicker to condemn it than the president of the country that finally defeated it.

Tampa Bay Times: Trump missed chance to unite country against racism

Yet it took Trump two days to even approach such directness. He flew back to the White House Monday from a working vacation at his New Jersey golf club. In a clumsy appearance, after praising the stock market and job growth, he denounced the “racist violence” on Saturday and called out the KKK, neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups as “repugnant.” It was a hasty redo, woefully late and the absolute minimum the nation needed to hear.

Los Angeles Times: Trump’s first response to Charlottesville was tepid and mealy mouthed. His second was too late

Even his more forceful statement Monday, in which he finally said the obvioTrump’s reluctance to acknowledge the dark stain of racism among some of his supporters is compounded by his inability ever to acknowledge that he is wrong. us — that racism is “evil” and that the Klan, white supremacists and other hate groups are criminals and thugs — was prefaced by so much throat-clearing and self-congratulations that he seemed more concerned about appearing to admit failure to lead than to actually lead.

Morehead News: Are Trump’s chickens coming home to roost?

President Donald Trump openly embraced the white nationalist movement during his campaign for the White House, including endorsing violence against protesters at his rallies.

He hired Steve Bannon, a leader of that movement, as a senior advisor. Bannon is the former publisher of Breitbart News, which claims to be the voice of white nationalism.

At press time Monday afternoon, Trump had yet to personally denounce white nationalism – which we feel is simply another term for white supremacy – as a result of Saturday’s deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Hartford Courant: The Wink-And-Nod President

The nation needed to hear a clear condemnation of the neo-Nazi and Ku Klux Klan sympathizers who waved swastikas and Confederate flags and incited deadly violence over the weekend. Mr. Trump instead gave them a wink and a nod. He cravenly spoke of hatred “on many sides, on many sides” — as if the torch-bearing, epithet-spewing white nationalists in Charlottesville were no more deplorable than the people protesting them.

Syracuse Post-Standard: No equivalence between a group that hates and a group that protests hate

Days later, he sought to repair what did not roll off his tongue so easily Saturday. For many, us included, this suggested an orchestration Monday to try and make right what was obviously so wrong. It should have been easy to condemn those spewing hatred and vitriol against other humans merely because of their skin color or ancestry. Not because they didn’t have the right to speak, but because there is an obligation to protect our equality as Americans.

This president has not been slow in voicing clear criticism – or in taking police actions when they fit his philosophies. Just witness, ICE raids and removals of illegal immigrants.

Delaware News Journal: America’s version of ISIS is just as horrifying

But, whether or not by design, President Trump has given hate groups an advocate not seen in the White House since Andrew Johnson.

Before you call Trump’s endorsement of hate tacit, re-watch campaign rallies in which he overtly cheered on hateful chants.

Akron Beacon Journal: Expectations of a president

On Saturday, the president condemned the “hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.” In doing so, he suggested a moral equivalence, that those protesting against the white supremacists were equally responsible for the horrible events. The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website, applauded the president’s words, noting that “he didn’t attack us” in any specific way.

Such are the dog whistles the candidate and now president has deployed to the white fringes of his support. The wish has been that as president, he would learn, and not just to take more care in getting the tone and approach right the first time but in rising to the moment as the leader of the whole.


Baltimore Sun: The scorpion on America’s back

That’s part of a pattern of bullying not just corporations that displease him — Carrier over outsourcing to Mexico, Boeing and Lockheed Martin over prices of new planes — but of anyone who dares hold any value, priority or principle beyond the glorification of Donald J. Trump. James Comey insisted on pledging his loyalty to the truth rather than Mr. Trump, so he was fired and buried under a barrage of tweets. Attorney General Jeff Sessions attempted to maintain a shred of integrity and recused himself from the investigation into Russian interference into the presidential campaign, so the president publicly berated him as “weak.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sought to move on from the disaster that was Trumpcare, so the president repeatedly called him a failure and demanded he “get back to work.”

Greenfield Recorder: Trump continues to divide country

The message sounded clearly in Northampton and scores of other communities across the country during the weekend: there is no place in America for the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and other white supremacist groups that spew hatred and breed violence.

Unconscionably, it took President Donald Trump until Monday afternoon — two days after the tragedy in Virginia and only after intense criticism of his previous tepid remarks — to explicitly condemn those groups as “repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”

Asheville Citizen-Times: With or without leadership, we must all call evil what it is

Among the most chilling and illuminating responses to the President’s words came from The Daily Stormer, a white supremacist website.

“He didn’t attack us,” the website claimed, about Mr. Trump’s statement after two days of racist demonstrations. “Refused to answer a question about White Nationalists supporting him. No condemnation at all. When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room. Really, really good. God bless him.”

It is a time for bold repudiation, specific denunciation of hate groups and a strong message that will not allow hate to spread its evil seed. It is the absolute least we can do now.

Colorado Springs Gazette: More than troubled by President Trump’s muddled response to Charlottesville terrorist attack

Going forward, we hope Trump will consistently and swiftly denounce acts and expressions of racism with vitriol no less clear and specific than what he has rightly directed at Islamic terrorists and other threats to peace.

To make America great again, the president cannot be vague or late in condemnations of prejudice, bigotry and other forms of irrational hate.

Chicago Sun-Times: Donald Trump, America’s bigot in chief

Trump was so eager to spread the rumor Barack Obama was not a legal American. He is determined to slam the door on desperate refugees who, God forbid, are Muslims. He so wants to build that stupid “wall.”

The haters who marched in Charlottesville carried photos of Trump.

A better president — a better man — would have cried at the sight.

This is how Donald Trump will go down in American history, as our bigot in chief.

Asbury Park Press: Trump, and the power of hate

We can speculate on Trump’s motivations, and what lies in his heart. What we KNOW is that Trump ran a presidential campaign steeped in bigotry and misogyny. He spent years championing the racist falsehood that President Obama was born in Kenya and not eligible to be president. He has pushed forward with anti-immigration policies targeting both illegal and legal immigrants. He has continued to foster a culture of divisiveness, and now, when hate groups inevitably struck in Virginia, he says there are good people involved in those groups and those who challenge neo-Nazi philosophy share equal blame for violence.

Los Angeles Times: Trump doubles down on his irresponsible, inexcusable comments about Charlottesville

What a ridiculous statement. Can the president really not distinguish between Washington and Lee? Washington was a slaveholder, to be sure, but that’s not what statues of him celebrate; they recognize him as the nation’s first president, a hero of the Revolutionary War. Lee, by contrast, left the U.S. Army to lead a rebel force that sought to dismantle the nation in a misguided and unsuccessful attempt to defend the slave system.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: White House staff chaos should alarm Trump — and everyone else

Bannon should never have been hired and deserves to be booted. It would cause blowback from the ultra-right part of Trump’s base. But Trump can’t pretend to believe what he said Monday while allowing Bannon to remain just a few steps down the hall — especially as business leaders keep dropping off his American Manufacturing Council in the midst of the turmoil.

Newsday: Donald Trump is his presidency’s worst enemy

The news media are obliged to dig for facts, present them honestly, fairly and respectfully. They deserve to be called out when they’re wrong, superficial or invasive. But don’t be suckered by Trump’s argument that the media are what’s stopping his agenda. As yesterday’s debacle proved, he is his presidency’s worst enemy.

Lancaster Newspapers: We must take a side against bigotry and hatred

Instead, Trump pointedly avoided casting blame, and said the bigotry and hatred was “on many sides. On many sides.”

He refused to call the alleged use of a car as a weapon what it clearly appeared to be: an incident of domestic terrorism.

In moments of sorrow and pain, we Americans look to our president for leadership, for the unequivocal affirmation of right over wrong. We don’t expect to wait 48 hours for the president to come around to saying what he should have said in the first instance, to need to be shamed into doing so by members of his own party.

Albuquerque Journal: Nation must learn from Charlottesville violence

The rub is, the constitutional protections go out the window when things turn violent, which they did last weekend. The carnage is a result of the largest demonstration by white supremacists in recent history – though that’s not saying much; it is dwarfed by the Million Man March in 1995 and the Million Women March earlier this year. Yet it demanded swift condemnation from the White House.

Instead, President Donald Trump – who refused to denounce support from former Ku Klux Klansman David Duke during the 2016 presidential campaign – made this anemic statement: “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides.”

Palm Beach Post: After Charlottesville, speak truth to power about hate

But if Trump has forfeited the moral authority to heal the nation, at the least he can stop signaling encouragement to the bigots. He can start by immediately firing advisers Stephen K. Bannon, Sebastian Gorka and Stephen Miller.

With the White House unwilling or unable to lead, however, it is up to the rest of us to push back against this racist, intolerant tide by declaring our own clear opposition to such hatred.

Times of Trenton: Trump’s Justice Department works to take rights away

The path the Justice Department would take us down reflects a horrible time, a time when members of the LGBT community feared for their jobs, their livelihoods, even their very lives. We’ve come way too far to sit back and let that happen.

North Jersey Record: ACA instability will cause premiums to spike

The proposed insurance premium hikes in New Jersey would be devastating to tens of thousands of people. And this is just what is happening in one state.

The president can still be a tough negotiator with Congress, but he cannot gamble with millions of Americans’ health.

You cannot lead people into a better built boat, if you allowed them to drown in the damaged ship.


Delaware News Journal: Trump’s America is for whites only

Mr. Trump, you are not a victim. You were elected president. You are said to be worth $3.5 billion.

Yet in your usual rush to play the victim, you have told the country you “lead” that hate is acceptable.

Mr. President, you are not the victim.

America is.

Newark Star-Ledger: Trump’s warped sense of history emboldens white nationalists

At least two dozen Confederate memorials now reside in areas that weren’t even part of the United States when the Confederacy existed. Context matters, as white supremacists vow to oppose Confederate statue removals in other states.

And when the President of the United States defends their objectives, he distorts both history and reality.

Akron Beacon Journal: Trump fails the moral authority test

At one point, the president insisted that many “fine” people participated in the protest against removing the statue of Robert E. Lee, looking to preserve part of a heritage. What fine person remains amid slurs against Jews and lighted torches signaling darkness?

The president wondered: “Where will it stop?” He suggested that removing the statues of Lee and other Confederate leaders could result in the same for George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Again, he fails to draw the obvious distinction. Washington and Jefferson founded the nation. They did not seek to destroy the union to keep slavery.

Richmond Times-Dispatch: Donald Trump dismays the country – again

Trump has made no such pilgrimage to Charlottesville, and the tone of his statements about the events there could not be more different. Now he is engaged in false moral equivalency to such an extent that he is receiving praise from David Duke and white supremacists around the country, and he is acting like a cable-TV shouting head instead of offering words of courage and comfort to a saddened country.

San Francisco Chronicle: Feds go too far against anti-Trump protesters

The overwhelming majority of those who protested Trump’s inauguration did so peacefully. Also, it’s important to note that many of the people who visited the website did not even go to Washington. The government has no right to track the online activities of Americans in either category.

The courts should put a halt to this government overreach.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: White supremacists arm up, but Justice Dept. pursues anti-Trump protesters

The Justice Department would seem to have more urgent business, given the threat posed by neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan supporters such as those who attended a violent protest in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday. In an HBO/Vice News video aired Tuesday, white supremacist Christopher Cantwell stated the group’s intent to carry and potentially use firearms in Charlottesville.

“I’m trying to make myself more capable of violence,” he told an interviewer. Ladue High School graduate Clark Canepa marched with him.

East Bay Times: Sessions should back off of change in reporter policies

The Founding Fathers established a free press so that it could hold the people’s government accountable — revealing, at times, what the government is up to but doesn’t want the people to know about. Threatening journalists with subpoenas, search warrants and even jail diminishes their ability to inform the people about their government’s activities.

Philadelphia Inquirer: A president who can’t put aside ego and personal gain has no business being president

As president, Trump should want no part of the lie that the Confederate statues dotting the South and elsewhere try to tell. He should abhor the affection of alt-right groups. Instead, he goes out of his way to shift attention from the latest deplorable act that can be laid at their feet.

A president who can’t find the strength within himself to put aside ego and personal or political gain for the good of his country has no business being president.


Springfield Republican: Trump loses business leaders as he digs ever-bigger hole

Again and again and again, during the presidential campaign and through the first nearly seven months of Trump’s time in office, it’s been easy to imagine that a certain comment, some bit of particularly bad behavior, would be the straw that would finally break the camel’s back. But nothing stuck. Nothing knocked the real-estate mogul down and kept him down permanently.

Until now, that is.

If this feels different, that’s because it is different.

A Republican president ought to be able to count on business leaders as his natural constituency. But not a president who is a neo-Nazi sympathizer.

Harrisburg Patriot-News: Given the choice to confront hate, Donald Trump folded

But when it comes to condemning racists and fascists, there is only one appropriate response: It is an evil that must be banished from our midst and resisted at every opportunity.

That Trump is either unwilling or unable to recognize that basic truth speaks to his weakness as a leader and the magnitude of his failing Tuesday.

Norfolk Virginian-Pilot: Charlottesville tragedy offered Trump a chance to show compassion. He failed.

He rose to fame as an abrasive, combative real estate developer, and launched his political campaign with a speech that attacked Mexican immigrants as drug dealers, criminals and rapists. His campaign rallies were plagued by sporadic violence, his followers sometimes encouraged by the candidate himself.

But if there was any hope that Trump would show a more compassionate side when it was required, the president effectively quashed it with his performance after the tragedy in Charlottesville.

East Bay Times: Mr. President, words really do matter, so do actions

That did it. Many of the CEOs who had remained on the councils repudiated his comments about the violence and resigned. The exodus was so great that Trump was forced to shut down the councils. Mind you, these councils were the crown jewels of the Trump administration. They were to be the gathering of the great corporate minds that were going to help him solve all of the nation’s economic problems. Poof, gone.

We can only hope that a mass defection by so many of his peers may be enough to convince Trump that words really do matter, especially when they are uttered or written by the president of the United States.

Glen Falls Post Star: Condemning white supremacists is up to all of us

These rats are used to being attacked from all sides, so they take comfort from any hesitation. Having the president say some of them are “very fine people” is praise they could not have dreamed of.

Since the president is not categorically condemning the white supremacists, the rest of us must. Events like the march in City Park matter. We will always have hateful people among us, but we can isolate them. We can make it clear their views are not respected.

York Dispatch: Leadership void on racism

As more than one observer has noted in the wake of Charlottesville, it is no longer sufficient that a vast majority of Americans are not racist; they must be actively anti-racist. That requires calling out racist acts and those who commit or support them.

To do otherwise is to quietly acquiesce to intolerance, bigotry and hatred.

By failing to directly confront President Trump for mischaracterizing the events in Charlottesville — and, by extension, mishandling the issue of race — GOP lawmakers are similarly quietly acquiescing. Not to racism  — we do not accuse the president of that — but to comments and attitudes that can embolden racist acts.

Baltimore Sun: Alternative Fact of the week: Alt-right alt-facts full meltdown edition

“Not all of those people were white supremacists, by any stretch. … Those people were also there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue of Robert E. Lee.” Mr. Trump also claimed there were many “fine people” in the group, but if they weren’t all white supremacists, they were people perfectly happy to march shoulder-to-shoulder with large numbers of white males shouting, “Jews will not replace us” or the Nazi slogan, “blood and soil.” Is there really much of a distinction there?

Chicago Tribune: Others will have to provide the leadership Trump has not

Last year Trump electrified a movement and won an election. But he fails a fundamental test of character. He can only be trusted to represent his base of supporters. That could have made him a competent member of the U.S. House, but it’s a disastrously narrow mindset for a president.

Minneapolis Star Tribune: Trump’s reckless threat on Venezuela

Latin Americans, long wary of U.S. intervention in the region, are united on that point. They also seem in agreement that Trump’s threat dented the regional unity on the need to pressure Maduro to end his power grab and pursue a peaceful end to a spiraling crisis that has cost more than 120 lives and threatens to inspire a refugee exodus to Colombia that could destabilize that nation as it tries to implement a historic peace accord within its own borders.

Trump was already deeply unpopular in the region because of his questioning of the Cuban diplomatic breakthrough under the Obama administration and for his shoddy approach to Mexico. But most leaders were willing to give the U.S. president the benefit of the doubt due to the severity of Venezuela’s situation. But that may be more difficult since the regional focus has shifted to Trump’s threat.

San Francisco Chronicle: The see-no-evil president

It is a sad day in America when our president sees only beauty and a celebration of culture and history when he looks at Confederate monuments.

It is important to remember that statues such as the one of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in that Charlottesville, Va., park were put up long after the Civil War. The Lee statue, for example, was dedicated in 1924. They went up when slavery was banned but racism still pervaded the law and the culture in everything from segregation to criminal justice to suppression of voting rights.

Newsday: President Trump needlessly inflames debate over race and statues

The Charleston killings intensified the discussion already going on in many communities about these memorials. There and in New Orleans, Birmingham, Nashville, Jacksonville and scores of other places, residents have been working together to make sensible, difficult decisions about the future of such monuments. In Charlottesville, a decision was made to sell the Lee statue and rename the park.

The subject did not convulse the nation until Trump emboldened racist agitators, often from elsewhere, who want to bring fear and hatred to these sites. Theirs is, by all estimates, a tiny movement. But the president of the United States is lending cover to them.

Now our history has a new, shameful chapter.

San Francisco Chronicle: Trump’s hard-line border policy creating havoc, legal resistance

In the swirl of President Trump’s self-created missteps, don’t overlook what he’s getting done. One example is an immigration policy that is breaking up families and threatening cities that want to protect these people from deeply unfair federal rules.

Amid tears and hugs, an Oakland family was pulled apart this week by an inflexible immigration system, obliging the parents and one child to leave while three daughters remained here. The parents didn’t have legal status despite years of effort and the intercession of Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: New climate change report likely to be ignored to death

These groups would rather not argue against the scientific consensus that man-made global warming is a growing threat. They want to roll back environmental regulations anyway without getting into debates that might hurt moderate Republicans. It’s an amazingly cynical strategy: Don’t argue the evidence or address the problem. Just ignore it.

The Trump administration has another chance this week to consider the choice between deny and ignore. Friday is the deadline for the heads of the 13 federal agencies that study various aspects of climate change to sign off on a draft of the Climate Science Special Report compiled by the scientists who work for their agencies. The report is part of the quadrennial National Climate Assessment mandated by Congress in 1990.

Omaha World-Herald: We must unite to battle the scourge of white supremacy

White supremacists’ evil ideas survive by feeding on the human mind, tempting it with tribalism.

Mankind has found no cure for this illness. But responsible leaders have worked to quarantine those with the disease, limiting opportunities for outbreaks and educating others on how to stay healthy.

President Donald Trump, in his effort to defy political convention and avoid admitting errors in judgment, risks upending decades of this important work with sloppy rhetoric and undisciplined, ill-tempered bile.


Newark Star-Ledger: While bolstering Nazis, Trump demolishes flooding protections at the Shore

Trump has vowed to spend more on defense, but is he even protecting the investments we make?

Now, with this latest rule-gutting, he’s putting many more people in harm’s way, who we might not be able to get out when a storm hits – including first responders. A lot of Sandy victims still haven’t returned home. When they finally do, shouldn’t we make sure they’re safe?

Let’s hope our next governor finds a way to rectify this, at least for New Jersey. If Trump won’t prepare for climate change, we have to.

Everett Daily Herald: Finding our voice to oppose bigotry, hatred

Ostensibly there to protest the removal of a statue to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, the gathering’s actual purpose was a coming-out party for racists — complete with tiki torches and screams of the Nazi slogan, “blood and soil” — those who think it’s now safe to bring their beliefs out into the open.

Encouraged by the dog-whistles sounded during Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, they have been further emboldened this week by President Trump’s tweets and statements following the weekend’s events.

Arizona Republic: Charlottesville’s candles shine brighter than its torches

The nation is horrified by Donald Trump’s inability to fully comprehend the damage being done to America by his moral equivalency between white supremacists and those who protested their message of hate.

As the president of all the people, he should know there is no comparison.

Trump gives comfort to the racists. And they know it.