Let’s take a look at two Republicans, President Donald Trump and New Mexico’s own Roman Jimenez, and their remarks in the aftermath of the Charlottesville violence.
In case you missed it, Jimenez was chairman of the Doña Ana County Republican Party up until last week, when he was pressured into resigning after a rant he posted on social media. Here’s what he wrote on Facebook, exactly how he wrote it:
“These violent, leftist protesters are the brainless robots that are created by evil Soros money. The white ones have been taught to hate their color, the women are taught to hate men, black and minorities want to kill whites and police. They then have the audacity to call conservatives racist. Their own racism, hate and violence has created the divide amongst those that refuse to be bullied on anymore. They’re getting exactly what they asked for. A segregated society of groups that they’ve created and even labeled themselves.”
That’s his entire tirade, which was taken down soon after it was posted, but not soon enough. I saw it as a screenshot about six hours into its viral afterlife.
As for Trump’s comments after Charlottesville, surely you’ve heard it yourself by now. Over four days, he blamed “both sides” for the violence, then condemned white supremacists and other hate groups, then doubled-down on his original statement at a news conference that was supposed to be about an infrastructure initiative his administration wants to launch.
Obviously, Trump and Jimenez share an enormous resentment for people on the left side of the political spectrum—the “alt-left” as Trump named them. They blame them for the deepening schism in these “United” States, even though Charlottesville showed the world very clearly that neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and other white nationalists are boldly coming out of the shadows, pitchforks in hand, and into the American mainstream. Nevertheless, to both Trump and Jimenez, the far left is much more dangerous than the alt-right.
Beyond the rhetoric coming out of Trump and Jimenez, there’s scant evidence that either of them are white supremacists themselves. Trump allowed his daughter to marry into and convert to Judaism, so there goes his Nazi credentials. And Jimenez, by virtue of his name, can’t be all Anglo, a disqualifier for Klan membership if there ever was one.
Nevertheless, their words are certainly allowing these fringe groups to get their messages out there more effectively, so much so that any valid point that Trump or Jimenez seek to make about the anti-fascists on the far left (who are clearly not averse to violence themselves) is lost in the noise. People who accept white supremacists into their fold have no moral authority whatsoever—and at least two-thirds of the American populous understands that.
Of course, there’s a big and obvious difference between Trump and Jimenez. Jimenez’s rant quickly cost him his leadership position in the Republican Party, while Trump is still president. However, I’m beginning to wonder how long President Trump will last.
The opposition to Trump is growing more pronounced every day—not so much over what he does, but what he says. His tweets are making his presidency impotent. If it weren’t for his executive orders and a still-right leaning Supreme Court, he’d have nothing but noise to show for his first seven months in office.
It’s become so bad, I’m not sure he’ll be able to make it through a full term in office. People are not just questioning his ability to lead, they’re wondering about his mental state as well. What has widely been considered to be extreme narcissism and hyperbole, not uncommon among politicians, is now beginning to look like a mental defect. The man is living in an alternative reality.
A resolution introduced last week calls for the vice president and the cabinet to “quickly secure the services of medical and psychiatric professionals” to evaluate the president’s mental health. The measure seeks to invoke the 25th Amendment as a procedural guide to the removal of a disabled president. It sounds like a joke, an absurd leftwing diversionary tactic, but fewer people than you’d expect are laughing.
With each outrageous tweet that Donald Trump makes, it seems there’s another conservative getting ready to jump ship. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, is the latest (as of this writing), calling Trump’s “stability” and “competence” into question.
When it comes to the Republican agenda, Trump is only getting in the way. The party can’t move forward with anything of substance because they’re too busy either distancing themselves from the president or defending his latest indefensible remarks.
Meanwhile, Roman Jimenez is a cautionary tale for Republicans in New Mexico and beyond. He’s what happens when you follow Trump’s lead.
Tom McDonald is founder and editor of the New Mexico Community News Exchange. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.