The violence in Charlottesville, Virginia yesterday was disturbing, but not surprising. I have pointed out on numerous occasions that our society is becoming increasingly divided. That division includes a distrust for those with opposing points of view. In some cases distrust has evolved into hatred. There are certain “hot button” topics that trigger particularly strong emotions. The Civil War and social issues associated with it is one of those hot button topics that elicits powerful emotions on both sides. It should come as no surprise that white nationalists would collide with counter protestors. There is an old expression that it takes two to make an argument (or a fight). The white nationalists apparently came anticipating trouble. Many of them were wearing various types of personal protection and bearing some type of weapon. I personally would not have confronted such a group knowing that it would incite violence.
The media predictably attacked the President for not naming the White Supremacist group in his denunciation of the violence that took place yesterday. The President asked for peace and unity as Americans. President Trump can do no right in the eyes of the media and they (media) must accept responsibility for much of the division and hatred in the nation. This could certainly have been prevented had the police intervened earlier and if the counter protestors had not been present to confront the protestors. Neither group gained converts to their cause by yesterday’s actions. Free speech and the right to assemble is guaranteed in the Constitution. However we must remember that each right guaranteed in the Constitution carries with it responsibility and “common sense” when expressing that right. There are enough “outside” enemies of our nation; we don’t need to search for enemies within our nation. Remember we are Americans above all else and our nation is the sum of its citizens. Like a chain, we are only as strong as the weakest link.