Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.
An overwhelming majority of Republicans think Donald Trump’s response to the horrifying events in Charlottesville is right on the money, according to a new CBS poll. The survey found that 67 percent of GOP voters say they approve of Trump’s response to the attacks, while 82 percent of Democrats and 53 percent of Independents say they disapprove. The survey was conducted during a time span stretching from Monday night to Wednesday.
Asked specifically about Trump’s speech Tuesday in which he declared that racist neo-Nazis are as problematic as those who oppose them, most Republicans said they agreed with the president’s statements. Nearly 7 in 10 GOP voters, 68 percent, said that “Trump’s description of who’s to blame” is correct, while only 21 percent disagreed. Eighty-three percent of Democrats and 53 percent of Independents said that Trump was off the mark in suggesting “both sides” are equally culpable in the violence in Virginia this weekend.
It should go without saying, but only one side gathered with the explicit, stated goal of “uniting” a right that includes vocal white nationalists, KKK members and neo-Nazis. Only one side chanted “Jews will not replace us” on Friday and followed it up with “F**k you faggots” on Saturday. Mother Jones notes that only one side advised its members “to bring shields, pepper spray…fascist flags and flagpoles,” as well as guns. Only one side has a spokesperson who proudly announced on camera that he’s “trying to make [himself] more capable of violence” and indicated he’s looking for a leader similar to Trump, but who “does not give his daughter to a Jew.” Only one side mowed down innocent people exercising their right to free speech—the very right neo-Nazis keep saying they were there to defend—and killed a woman who was protesting racism and bigotry.
These are the people, and the movement, the GOP says Trump is right to defend. An entire party is telling the country and world, yet again, what they believe, who they are and why they’re a danger to the rest of us.
Kali Holloway is a senior writer and the associate editor of media and culture at AlterNet.