Babysitting the White Supremacist-in-Chief

Donald Trump’s character defects are so flagrant and his childish affect so obvious, that managing his communications is practically impossible.

Amazing as it may be in the year 2017, the proper response to white supremacist rallies continues to confound the president of the United States. Coming off his catastrophic response to the events in Charlottesville, Trump was again confronted with a response to a white nationalist event and counterprotest today in Boston. It should have been a slam dunk: the far-right rally was ill-attended and fizzled out in the face of tens of thousands of peaceful counter-protests against hate.

Donald Trump was again incapable of decency, calling counter-protesters “anti-police agitators”.

Needless to say, reactions from around the internet were harsh and swift. After saying that “both sides” were responsible for the violence in Charlottesville, the president of the United States had taken a single side: that of the white nationalists.

That tweet was posted at 12:22pm. Well over an hour later, in the face of forceful pushback, Trump was feeling and pressure and tweeted about the power of protest to “heal” (even though the initial version of his tweet misspelled “heal” as “heel” twice–telling its own story of the president’s carelessness, ignorance and poor mental state.)

Only at 1:41pm did Trump manage a tweet on behalf of the anti-hate protesters. But both the style and the content of the tweet was very obviously not authentic to Trump:

This sentiment was clearly produced by Kelly and his team.

Communications management only works when the communications team and the principal they’re representing can be credibly be aligned. But that’s not possible with Donald Trump.

Trump is a bigoted man-child, and no amount of hand-holding can make it appear otherwise.

David Atkins

David Atkins is a writer, activist and research professional living in Santa Barbara. He is a contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal and president of The Pollux Group, a qualitative research firm.