To our readers, I made jokes about Donald Trump the candidate. I said if he were elected I would move to Canada.
He was elected and I’ve decided to stay in Dodge City, but there is nothing funny about our 45th president. Nothing at all.
I can overlook some bumbling out of the gate. I can understand some frustrations showing when every attempt at repealing and/or replacing the Affordable Care Act is met with defeat. I can even understand when he gets mad at the media — except Fox News which accepts everything he does — because he feels they are attacking him personally.
Yes, I’m media. But except for maybe a few Kansas politicians — Pat Roberts, Jerry Moran or Roger Marshall — I doubt my opinion matters much outside of a few people who read this newspaper. In fact, I’m guessing my opinion doesn’t matter to the two senators and congressman either, but I’m betting they, or someone on their staff, reads us.
But the events of Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend and in to yesterday, well, no one should overlook them.
A large number of alt-right, white supremacists, Nazis rolled into this small Virginia hamlet. The rally was supposed to be an attempt by the alt-right to save a statue of Robert E. Lee.
OK, I’m from the south, I can understand saving a historical statue. The problem is the alt-right wanted to save it as a symbol of the white race not as a reminder of a time when brother fought brother and a remembrance to a tough time and not to repeat past mistakes.
Robert E. Lee refused to be buried in his Confederate uniform. He was an American only and denounced the Civil War. I’m guessing the Nazis in our nation won’t tell anyone that.
After a Saturday of violence — including a vehicle driven by a alt-right member into a crowd of anti-Nazi protestors killing a woman — our president spoke out but refused to name alt-right Nazi groups by name.
In fact, alt-right groups praised the president’s comments on Saturday, especially because he didn’t name any of them. David Duke, a well-known Klu Klux Klan leader from Louisiana, triumphantly praised Trump on social media and stated it was people like him — racists — who put Trump in office.
The president got an earful Sunday and Monday. Republican and Democrat leaders alike suggested the president missed an opportunity to bring the nation together.
In fact, what the president did was bring the nation together against him.
So, on Monday, Trump denounced alt-right, Neo-Nazi groups. Politicians and media members accepted this, but wondered what took so long.
It took a lot less time to undue everything.
On Tuesday, our nation’s president, suggested the alt-right were the peaceful marchers, while members of the alt-left (a brand new label from our president) were violent. He said both sides were to blame — like he said on Saturday originally.
His own chief of staff stood to the side, looking at his shoes. He went from denouncing hate groups on Monday to suggesting Nazis — Nazis! — were the innocent victims of others. Never mind the fact that the alt-right members were armed with shields, batons, brass knuckles and more. Never mind that no video exists of any anti-Nazi throwing a first punch or starting any violence.
Social media again blasted away. Paul Ryan, the Republican House speaker, chose to put his Twitter comments in all caps, suggesting he was yelling, against the president’s tirade.
Again, this is no joke.
The leader of the free world went before the media and defended racist groups. Duke, the KKK leader, was thrilled on Tuesday night. His way of life — his ability to see nothing good in others, his belief that white people are better than other people — has been justified. This is his reality and may be ours.
Emboldened by the president, nine new alt-right Nazi gatherings are planned for this weekend, according to news reports.
The president who attacks all media as "fake news" when it reports things he doesn’t like vented like a 3-year-old not getting his way. This came on the same day the Department of Justice sought the IP addresses for 1.3 million people associated with a Trump resistance website.
Exactly why would the Justice Department want those? An anti-Trump crackdown coming? Are we in a police state? Will the alt-right soon become an official Gestapo for Trump? Will this nation say, "We destroyed Nazism in Europe and Germany, but we accept it now?"
Can anybody accept this? Am I being too far-fetched? It’s not possible?
I didn’t think so when he ran for office. I didn’t think so when he was elected. I didn’t think so before last weekend.
On Tuesday afternoon, I thought so. It was like a clear vision into our immediate future and it scared me. For my children and sons-in-law, for veterans who have already done so much for our nation, for everyone.
No, this is not a joke.
Trump is not getting his way as president. He’s not being allowed to say what he wants to say. His programs aren’t being pushed through. Many people still love former president Barack Obama. Obama’s tweet about Charlottesville almost broke Twitter on Saturday, while Trump was being blasted for his weak statement.
Tuesday, in front of the world, during a statement that was supposed to be about infrastructure, the president threw a tantrum. He went so far off the rails the leader of the United Kingdom called him out. You know, the United Kingdom, England, our nation’s most trusted ally.
Nope, this is not a joke and no one is laughing, except for maybe Duke and his white, racist, Nazi friends.
Roger Bluhm is the managing editor of the Dodge Cit Daily Globe. Follow him on Twitter @roger_dcglobe or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.