President Donald Trump spoke Monday night at Fort Myer to lay out a new strategy for the war in Afghanistan, but he took advantage of his prime-time television audience to attempt a do-over on something else: Uniting the country after this month’s deadly white supremacist demonstration in Charlottesville, Va.
Trump drew sharp and widespread condemnation last week for his handling of Charlottesville, including saying there was blame on “both sides” for the violence. But on Monday night, addressing hundreds of uniformed troops as the commander in chief, Trump tried to summon the country to “heal our divisions within.”
“When one part of America hurts, we all hurt,” Trump said. “And when one citizen suffers an injustice, we all suffer together. Loyalty to our nation demands loyalty to one another. Love for America requires love for all of its people.”
Trump continued, “When we open our hearts to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice, no place for bigotry, and no tolerance for hate. The young men and women we send to fight our wars abroad deserve to return to a country that is not at war with itself at home. We cannot remain a force for peace in the world if we are not at peace with each other. As we send our bravest to defeat our enemies overseas — and we will always win — let us find the courage to heal our divisions within.”
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Philip Rucker