I will admit I was more than a little concerned when Donald J. Trump was elected president.

I mean, it’s not that I disagreed with all of his policy ideas. It was his temperament. He just seemed like a lunatic with no filter.

I was able to moderately assuage my apprehensions by convincing myself that certainly there would be enough adults in the room who could reign the guy in when necessary.

Not so much.

He’s got the good general, John Kelly, as his chief of staff now. But did you see the general’s body language during Tuesday’s press conference while Trump was drawing some bizarre false equivalence between the two groups of protesters in the Virginia mess?

I felt bad for Kelly.

The press conference was supposed to be about Trump’s infrastructure plans, which, from what I heard, were pretty solid. But at the end when Trump took questions he went totally off script and gave the media exactly what they wanted – an agitated maniac.

So, of course, the next several news cycles were filled with reports of how Trump stood up for the white supremacists.

In fact, Tuesday evening, CBS?evening news devoted its entire broadcast – 100 percent – to showing how much of a racist Trump is. His infrastructure plan – the topic of the press conference – wasn’t even a bullet point. Nothing about Iran deciding to go nuclear. Nothing about North Korea backing off its plan to bomb Guam. Nothing about anything other than speculation about how much of a racist the president must be.

Trump has the worst case of foot-in-mouth disease in the history of the free world, combined with an extreme case of smartest guy in the room syndrome. In his own mind he can never be wrong – literally.

And since he can’t be wrong, he feels compelled to convince everybody else that he’s right. Never mind the issue. If you don’t see it his way, he’s going to try to beat you down until you do.

So when the media criticize him – which has  become a cottage industry within what is supposed to be objective news coverage – he freaks out.

Then he feels compelled to convince the world he’s right and media are wrong.

Good luck with that.

Take the Charlottesville protests. Initially, he came out and said this:

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides.”

The media immediately piled on. He was excoriated.

He didn’t name the white supremacist groups by name. He didn’t say KKK. He said “on many sides.” What did that mean? What does he say to the white supremacists who support him? If he’s supported by white supremacists, he must be one. And, oh, by the way, all the rest of the Republicans are white supremacists, too.

After two days of being berated in the press and cajoled by his staff and all manner of Republican lawmakers, he came out with another statement that was much more direct; it included:

Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.

The media’s response? No good. Too little, too late.

Here’s a representative sample of the coverage, this one from the New York Times:

“Mr. Trump, after two days of issuing equivocal statements, bowed to overwhelming pressure that he personally condemn white supremacists who incited bloody weekend demonstrations in Charlottesville. ... Even Mr. Trump’s allies worried that his measured remarks, delivered two days after dozens of public figures issued more forceful denunciations of the violence in Virginia, came too late to reverse the self-inflicted damage on his moral standing as president.

So by Tuesday, after watching wall-to-wall reports of his inadequacy and racist leanings, Trump was really steamed.

Believing he’s being treated unfairly in the press, he was determined to set the record straight. Problem is, his ill-advised quest to shout down his critics makes him sound like he’s supporting the white supremacists.

“I think there is blame on both sides. You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say that. I’ll say it right now.”


“I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many different groups. Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch.”

No. Just no, Mr. President.

Don’t say that stuff, no matter how much you want to convince us that there is relevance to your point of view.

There can be no equivocation on issues of racism.

Lead us. Unite us. Don’t divide us.

I can’t look into his soul to see if he’s racist. But when he goes on rants like this, it makes him sound racist.

I get that everything Trump says or does will be derided by the media. It’s just too bad Trump doesn’t get it. He seemingly has delusions of miraculously turning the tables on the media. That’s not going to happen.

He should ignore the media and work on getting his agenda through Congress. You know – jobs, taxes, health care, etc.

Come to think of it, maybe that’s how we as a society should treat white supremacists.

Ignore them.

They crave publicity and conflict. Don’t humor them. Ignore them.

Depending on whose stats you read, KKK membership in the U.S. ranges from 2,000 to 6,000. Let’s say for every member, there are 10 sympathizers, which is unlikely. In a country of 325 million people, that’s just statistically insignificant.

They get far more notoriety than they deserve.

Remember the anti-war slogan from the ’60s, “What if they gave a war and nobody came?”

What if they gave a protest and nobody came? No TV cameras. No counter protesters. No crowds.

The Charlottesville event would have been a couple hundred tragic-looking loners trudging around a statue while a few dozen cops looked on.

And nobody would have died.