You can’t afford to piss off the neo-Nazis

Dear President Trump,

What a sad day it is for Charlottesville and our whole country. You were in one of those “between a rock and a hard places”, for sure. There is no way you could not make a statement condemning the violence that erupted. I’m not surprised, though, that you chose as lukewarm sort of a stance as possible; a generic “violence is bad” comment that carefully avoided implicating your base. So of course those on the left are upset with you for not calling out the bigoted white supremacists who were shouting hateful slogans. But I think it’s much more interesting that those on the right are furious with you for not completely backing them. You couldn’t win no matter what. At least not with your available repertoire. How are you going to navigate this? You can’t afford to piss off the neo-Nazis and alt-right Confederate people because they are about all you have left. It’s very scary to think about your most out there right wing base getting whipped up into a frenzy believing you have betrayed them and broken your promise to carry their torch over and above all other groups since they are armed to the teeth.

I strongly suggest you huddle with wise people and maybe even ask President Obama for help (privately, secretly is fine). It might be naive, but I think this is such a volatile situation he would be willing to help even if it might be politically expedient for the Democrats to let you fail. I think we all need you to speak calmly and kindly from whatever heartfelt place you can muster and talk about the wrenching challenges of making space for everyone. I know you didn’t start this and it is as old as humankind, but you have made it much, much worse and you bear tremendous responsibility for unleashing so very much hate, even if it was seething under the surface all along. I don’t know whether you can do or say anything that will make a real difference, but you need to try. We need you to try. Lame non-statements will not help and they won’t actually keep your interests safe.

May we all be willing to commit to safely working out what has to be worked out.
May we all be happy to truly hear each others’ fears and pain.
May we all be healthy enough to recognize the divine spark in one another.
May our lives unfold and intersect peacefully and may you help realize this imperative.

Sincerely,
Tracy Simpson

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