The GOP Bears Full Responsibility for the Havoc in Virginia

The madness in Virginia is the natural consequence of decades of GOP normalization of hate and rationalization of racism.

Hey, Donnie, you’re not fooling anyone today.

The man who questioned Barack Obama’s legitimacy as a United States citizen, and who incited all manner and manifestation of hatred before and during his presidential campaign, has no standing to call for unity. It was his supporters who are responsible for this weekend’s viciousness in Virginia:

After a morning of violent clashes between white nationalists and counterprotesters, police ordered hundreds of people out of a downtown park, putting an end to a noon rally before it even began.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency shortly before 11 a.m., blaming the violence on “mostly out-of-state protesters.”

“I am disgusted by the hatred, bigotry and violence these protesters have brought to our state over the past 24 hours,” McAuliffe (D) said.

Other elected leaders in Virginia and elsewhere also urged peace, blasting the white supremacist views on display in Charlottesville as ugly. U.S. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) called their display “repugnant.”

Repugnant, Paul? Was it any more repugnant than when your hero, Ronald Reagan, held his own hate rally in Philadelphia, Mississippi, 37 years ago this month, where he proclaimed his belief in “state’s rights?” Was it any more repugnant than when George H. W. Bush shamelessly stoked racial fears in his 1988 presidential campaign? Was it any more repugnant than when Jesse Helms convinced white voters in North Carolina that nonwhites were taking all the good jobs in 1990? Was it any more repugnant than when Rush Limbaugh proclaimed in 2010 that the Affordable Care Act was a form of reparations?

No wonder Republicans like Ryan are embarrassed by the chaos in Charlottesville. Their party stoked this hatred for decades, going all the way back to Barry Goldwater’s resistance to the Civil Rights Act 53 years ago. The madness in Virginia is the natural consequence of decades of GOP normalization of hate and rationalization of racism. This is your legacy, Republicans. As you sow, you shall surely reap.

UPDATE: Trump’s truly pathetic remarks about today’s deadly act of terrorism in Virginia.

D.R. Tucker

D. R. Tucker is a Massachusetts-based journalist who has served as the weekend contributor for the Washington Monthly since May 2014. He has also written for the Huffington Post, the Washington Spectator, the Metrowest Daily News, investigative journalist Brad Friedman's Brad Blog and environmental journalist Peter Sinclair's Climate Crocks.