Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is no shrinking violet when it comes to dealing with injustice, even if it’s the kind of injustice that some on his own side fear could blowback on them.
In the wake of the violent unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend President Trump condemned “hate, bigorty, and violence” on all sides.
However, in his condemnation of the violence and the hate, the President failed to specifically denounce the racism of the alt-right, the white nationalists, and the white supremacists… many of whom supported the President in the 2018 election.
Speaking to reporters, POTUS condemns "display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides" pic.twitter.com/zDlHnlxMvV
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) August 12, 2017
Now, here’s the thing… these foolish white nationalists and white supremacists make up an incredibly small number of our population. They are barely worth mentioning in a nation of over 315 million people, and their disgusting and EVIL beliefs are only worth talking about as we repudiate them. So, I understand why the President might choose to ignore specifically denouncing them. However, he shouldn’t have. He should have denounced them as fully and loudly as he could.
We would have (and did) expect the same kind of full-throated condemnation from Barack Obama when it came to Islamic violence and leftist intolerance. We should expect the same thing from President Trump when it comes to this small but vocal group of white racists.
Which is why I believe that Senator Cruz has decided to step up and issue his own condemnation of the alt-right, the white nationalists, and the white supremacists. Cruz also called on the Department of Justice to investigate the acts of violence in Charlottesville as acts of domestic terrorism.
“It’s tragic and heartbreaking to see hatred and racism once again mar our great Nation with bloodshed. Heidi’s and my prayers are with the loved ones of those killed and injured in the ongoing violence in Charlottesville. The First Amendment protects the rights of all Americans to speak their minds peaceably, but violence, brutality, and murder have no place in a civilized society.
“The Nazis, the KKK, and white supremacists are repulsive and evil, and all of us have a moral obligation to speak out against the lies, bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred that they propagate. Having watched the horrifying video of the car deliberately crashing into a crowd of protesters, I urge the Department of Justice to immediately investigate and prosecute this grotesque act of domestic terrorism.
“These bigots want to tear our country apart, but they will fail. America is far better than this. Our Nation was built on fundamental truths, none more central than the proposition ‘that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.'”
Cruz wasn’t alone in his condemnation of the racists:
Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE):
These people are utterly revolting–and have no understanding of America. This creedal nation explicitly rejects "blood & soil" nationalism. https://t.co/TPzYnLh3OB
— Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) August 12, 2017
Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI):
.@POTUS, America's children are watching. Denounce white nationalists & their evil ideology. They are enemies of liberty & our Constitution.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) August 13, 2017
Conservative columnist Ben Shapiro:
Racists who participated and cheered today's horrifying events are moral abominations. Those who refuse to condemn them abet them.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) August 13, 2017
Southern Baptist Convention scholar Albert Mohler:
Claims of racial superiority are an assault on God's glory in creation and the gospel of Jesus Christ. pic.twitter.com/cZ66IU7Ujc
— Albert Mohler (@albertmohler) August 12, 2017
President Trump has also now, explicitly condemned the white supremacist racists – from the Daily Caller News Foundation:
A White House spokesman stated Sunday that President Donald Trump explicitly condemns all extremist groups, including white supremacists and neo-Nazis.
“The President said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry and hatred and of course that includes white Supremacists, KKK, neo-nazi and all extremist groups,” a White House spokesman said Sunday. “He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together.”
Trump was widely criticized Saturday for not specifically calling out and condemning white supremacist groups, and the camp of critics also included members close to his inner circle, particularly former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, who told ABC News that Trump should’ve been much harsher.
“I wouldn’t have recommended that statement,” Scaramucci said in response to Trump’s Saturday statement from New Jersey. “I think he would have needed to have been much harsher.”
While in New Jersey, Trump summed up the Charlottesville rally as an “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.” For many political observers, the president’s response was not aggressive enough — in light of the fact a member of the alt-right allegedly slammed a car through a group of antifa protesters, killing one person and injuring at least 19 others.
“With the moral authority of the presidency, you have to call that stuff out,” Scaramucci added.
Other Republicans pre-empted Scaramucci and publicly made their opinions on Trump’s statement known.
“We should call evil by its name,” GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch said on Twitter. “My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home.”
GOP Sen. Cory Gardner urged Trump to declare the incident an act of terror.
“Mr. President – we must call evil by its name,” Gardner said. “These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism.”