Addressing Donald Trump’s latest public speech, a veteran’s group is calling for protests and asking the Republican party to disavow the President as a Nazi sympathizer. The group’s statement says that Trump is not worthy to bear the title of Commander-in-Chief and that the President has dishonored every American service member.
On the Vote Vets website, Iraq War veteran Will Fischer released a statement in his capacity as the organization’s Government Outreach Director.
“What Donald Trump said today is not worthy of the title Commander in Chief. Not when our military, every day, strives to fight against everything white supremacists and Nazis stand for. It strives to promote equality for the African Americans, Latinos, Jews, LGBT Americans and more, who serve in uniform, that Nazis and white supremacists want to see beaten down, if not exterminated.”
Though President Trump spoke on Monday to condemn white supremacists and neo-Nazi activity, many activists decried the statement as too late, coming two days after the rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, left one counter-protestor dead and others injured.
The initial protest was a white nationalist event, in which some marchers wore or carried swastikas, chanted the Nazi-associated line “Blood and soil,” or wore t-shirts quoting Hitler. In addition to Nazi symbols, protesters carried Confederate flags. James Field Jr., the man who used a vehicle to run down a group of anti-Nazi protestors, had beliefs “very much along the lines of the neo-Nazi movement,” according to the BBC. A former teacher said Fields’ research for high-school projects had shown this inclination, and that, while many high school students develop an interest in Nazi Germany, his interest was excessive.
President Trump has now denounced the events three times: first, calling out “many, many sides,” then in a second speech, two days later, specifically addressing white supremacists and the KKK, and in a third, addressing the counter-protestors, who Trump labeled the “alt-left.”
After the second speech, in which the President condemned neo-Nazi activity, complaints that condemnation of Nazi propaganda should be immediate prompted Trump to tweet that the media was made up of bad people who would never be satisfied.
However, the speech that made Vote Vets condemn the President as a Nazi sympathizer was the third, in which he expressed that the violence had come, not from those carrying Nazi symbols, but the “alt-left.”
The statement from Vote Vets goes on to call on Republicans to either denounce President Trump or resign, and labels him “at best, a Nazi sympathizer.”
“It is now gut check time for the Republican Party. If they cannot separate themselves from Trump, and denounce Trump, and outright reject Trump, now that he’s shown himself to be – at best – a Nazi sympathizer, then they disgrace the name of their first president, Abraham Lincoln. Nazis, white supremacists, these are a special kind of evil, with no equal. If Republicans cannot stand up against someone who doesn’t seem to believe that, then they should resign.”
In a Facebook post sharing the statement, Vote Vets further characterized the President as a “Nazi apologist.” In another Facebook post, Vote Vets described the President’s public statements as “a constant battle between what it says on his teleprompter and what some Nazi he follows just said on Twitter,” and expressed dismay that the President had “blamed the Left for attacking those poor Nazis.”
Bolstering their point that they feel the President was pandering to the alt-right, KKK, and neo-Nazi factions, Vote Vets shared a sentiment from David Duke.
Calling the President a Nazi sympathizer, the organization, which advocates for policies to support troops overseas as well as veterans, said President Trump had dishonored every vet who fought against Nazis or the Confederacy. The org called on supporters to protest and “make your voice heard online or offline,” and called the speech a low point in Trump’s presidency.
[Featured Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]