False Moral Equivalency is Not a Bug of Trumpism. It’s a Feature.

wilwheaton:

Washington Post:

The president then complained that not everyone who came to the “Unite the Right” rally was a neo-Nazi or white nationalist. “And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly,” a testy Trump said during a combative back-and-forth with reporters. (Read the full transcript here.)

These comments suggest very strongly that the president of the United States sees moral equivalence between Nazis and those who oppose Nazis. Objectively, of course, there is NO moral equivalence between Nazis and those who oppose Nazis.

But this is part of a pattern.

Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. (Evan Vucci/Associated Press)

In a pre-Super Bowl interview on Fox, Bill O’Reilly pressed Trump on why he respected Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Putin’s a killer,” O’Reilly said, noting that he murders his political enemies and leads a repressive authoritarian regime. Trump replied without hesitation, “We got a lot of killers. What? You think our country’s so innocent?”

“Take a look at what we’ve done, too,” the president continued. “We’ve made a lot of mistakes. … So, lot of killers around, believe me.“

Trump made similarly bizarre statements about the moral equivalence between the democratic United States and autocratic Russia as a candidate.

As William F. Buckley, the founding editor of National Review, once put it: “To say that the CIA and the KGB engage in similar practices is the equivalent of saying that the man who pushes an old lady into the path of a hurtling bus is not to be distinguished from the man who pushes an old lady out of the path of a hurtling bus: on the grounds that, after all, in both cases someone is pushing old ladies around.”

Yet that’s essentially the logic Trump used yesterday.

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