It’s true that Trump is an idiot who lacks all understanding of nuance, but it’s also true that in confronting him, many people also forego any understanding of nuance…
Trump’s last press conference about Charlottesville was indeed disastrous, however, cliched as it may be, even a broken clock is right once in a while (twice a day to be precise…)
Now…Trump is probably not wrong when he claims that some of the protesters at Charlottesville weren’t ‘bad’ or ‘violent’ people. I can understand that. It’s easy for me to imagine that some of the protesters were not, in fact, Neo-Nazis or White Supremacists. It’s easy to imagine that some (a few?) of them really were there because to them, the statue of Robert Lee matters, and they think there’s something there to be proud of, and they’re against removing it because it’s part of their history, and they think that their history, for better or worse, is something to be proud of. All of this is conceivable to me. I have yet to see ANY liberal or democratic media admit that this basic premise might be true.
Now, what is ALSO true is that Trump’s understanding of this basic possibility lacks nuance because, clearly, when something like this is stated, it needs to be qualified. What Trump needs to have said is that ALTHOUGH some non-violent protesters might have been there to simply protest the removal of a statue, those Confederate protesters need to understand that although they themselves might not be racist or condone racism or violent crime against non-whites, they are supporting a historical mindset that implicitly empowers and condones those who are, in fact, racist and who preach violence against non-whites.
Naturally, of course, Trump did no such thing. It’s possible that he’s simply blind to nuance. It’s also possible, given his retweets and his alliances with people like Steve Bannon, that he consciously (or not) harbors some of these views and therefore sees nothing inherently wrong with them. It’s also possible that, as others have surmised, he simply knows that these kinds of people constitute a sizable portion of his base and he doesn’t want to risk losing their support, even if in doing so he might have a chance at getting some support from a much wider swath of the audience.
The point is that no matter how badly Trump behaves, no matter how blind he is to nuance, none of it excuses the blindness some on the left have exhibited when reacting to him. It’s not right to automatically assume that every single person in that protest was a Nazi (even though, clearly, many were), and it’s not right to assume that they were all White Supremacists (even though, again, clearly many were), and it’s not right to assume that all of them (including the Neo-Nazi’s and the White Supremacists) were there with an explicit intent to be violent.
Just because Trump is an idiot, doesn’t mean we have to be idiots when we’re talking to him, or about him. In doing so, we get farther and farther away from reaching anybody who we might otherwise have been able to reach. Idiocy is polarizing.