Last night, America lost what innocence she had left ahead of the 2020 election. This is no longer a political contest; it’s a dog fight full of snarling and snapping, rattled chains, bruised egos, and a whole lot of foaming at the mouth.
We The People deserved far better then the spectacle we got last night, and there are plenty of places to lay the blame for that. Chris Wallace truly had no control over the event at times, pushing for many to wonder if there was some better way to wrangle the candidates. Twitter users suggested “mute” buttons for starters, and quickly moved on to hoping that cattle prods could be employed.
And you can’t blame them. This was ugly.
The strategy coming out of Camp Trump was obvious: Talk loud and fast and harshly in order to confuse or rattle Joe Biden. Biden’s team seemed to expect some of this to come and looks to have coached the former Vice President into laughing at the more strenuous moments.
But one particular exchange during the event had no one laughing, as President Donald Trump completely botched a question about white supremacy.
Trump was asked by debate moderator Chris Wallace to disavow white supremacy during a part of the debate focused on race. Wallace asked whether Trump would urge white supremacist groups that inflamed violence at nationwide protests to “stand down.”
Trump said to “give me a name” when asked to denounce a specific group, and former Vice President Joe Biden called out the Proud Boys.
“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by, but I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about antifa and the left, because this is not a right-wing problem. This is a left-wing problem,” Trump said.
The hate group was quick to seize on the moment.
On the Proud Boys’ account on the social media app Telegram, the group appeared to take the statement as marching orders.
“Standing down and standing by sir,” the account wrote. The account then posted two videos of the answer, including one with the caption “God. Family. Brotherhood,” in which a man howled at the TV in response to Trump’s response.
The organization even incorporated the line into a new logo:
The Proud Boys are now sharing the group's logo with the president's words emblazoned like a slogan. pic.twitter.com/T3tp286YRa
— Mike Baker (@ByMikeBaker) September 30, 2020
The nation waits on Wednesday to find out if the President will clarify his statements from last night.
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