As Dems speak out, Trump silent on white supremacist violence in Virginia


[See update] White supremacists are terrorizing Charlottesville, Virginia, with scattered rebukes from Republicans — and not a word yet from Donald Trump or Mike Pence.

[See update below]

As white supremacists in Charlottesville continue to push their bigoted, hate-filled message with violent attacks, Democrats and progressives are speaking out loudly and clearly against this dangerous ideology and action.

Sadly, in 2017, speaking out against hate appears to be a largely partisan affair, with very few Republicans offering public repudiations — and at the time of writing, no statements or even tweets from Donald Trump or Mike Pence, though Trump's wife Melania did call for people "to communicate w/o hate in our hearts."

But a single tweet from the first lady is not a substitute for action from the Executive Branch.

In the meantime, plenty of Democrats have made it clear how repugnant the words and actions of these neo-Nazis are, and how crucial it is to reject their toxic world views.

Virginia's governor, Terry McAuliffe:

DNC chair Tom Perez:

Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren:

Former Charlottesville congressman Tom Perriello:

Virginia Democratic candidate for governor Ralph Northam:

Virginia senator Mark Warner:

California Rep. Eric Swalwell offered a stark contrast:

And Vermont senator Patrick Leahy hit Trump for his silence:

While Trump and Pence as of now have remained silent, they could instead follow the lead of their own party, as some Republicans are notably speaking out, including Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the GOP:

House Speaker Paul Ryan:

Utah senator Orrin Hatch had a very strong statement:

While the Virginia Republican Party has not issued a response at this time, a local chapter put out this statement:

And GOP candidate Ed Gillespie, who supports Confederate statues, did eventually issue his own statement:

The lack of response from the White House is disturbing, but not surprising, since Trump employs a white supremacist as his chief adviser and a Nazi sympathizer in the White House.

That embrace of such fringe thinking, coupled with the utter lack of response, many hours into the conflict, is a silence that truly speaks volumes.

UPDATE: Trump finally issued a response — on Twitter, of course — to the horrific violence, offering a nonsensical, formulaic tweet, complete with punctuation errors:

If "there is no place" for white supremacist hatred "in America," perhaps Trump could start the process of condemning it by cleaning his own house.