TORONTO - So this is what a sore loser looks like!
In all my years of covering this city, I’ve never heard the term “Nazi” used more than it was during an evening with American political commentator Van Jones at the Broadbent Institute’s dinner at the Art Gallery of Ontario on Tuesday night.
It rolled off his tongue like it was 1939.
“Listen, the fact we have not even inaugurated the president and we already have Nazis meeting openly in public and giving Nazi salutes, and talking about ‘Heil Trump’ lets you know the level of irresponsibility of Trump campaign,” the Yale-educated CNN analyst told reporters prior to his speech.
That’s what the guy said. Seriously!
Without any proof, this guy comes into Toronto and blames president-elect Donald Trump for the bizarre emergence of some strange protesters as if they are directly part of the Republican Party’s campaign.
“There has never been a candidate to run for office to run a more irresponsible campaign,” Jones charged. “Whether he is a racist or not, his campaign was the most irresponsible campaign in the history of our country — whipping up all kinds of antagonism, winking and nodding at Nazi groups.”
It’s disgraceful to link those wackos to Trump without proof. We don’t know who’s who and who is being paid by whom.
None of it mattered to Jones who went on to call what is happening in the United States a “hate wave” which is “picking on” defenceless minorities” thanks to an incoming president with “very disturbing authoritarian tendencies.”
Jones added part of the election was a “repudiation” of the “arrogance” of the pollsters and pundits and part of it was “a reaction to a certain part of our country against multiculturalism.”
He said “you wouldn’t have a Steve Bannon (Trump’s chief strategist who is accused of fanning flames of racism) in the White House if there were not a strain of racist, xenophobic, sentiment growing in our county and it found a home in the Trump campaign.”
Yet this is the same guy who on election night called Trump’s surprising victory a “whitelash.”
Pointing out the hypocrisy, I said to him it sure sounded like a racial term itself to describe how Trump won this election when there were many other factors, including jobs, a rejection of Hillary Clinton and a thirst for change in Washington.
The well-spoken and cordial Jones did acknowledge it was “a racially-based term” but explained “I said it was a ‘whitelash, in part.’ They always take that part out.”
He said he was trying explain it was not just the working class that elected Trump because many “African Americans, Muslims and Latinos rejected Trump.”
When I suggested perhaps there is more of a “sore-loser syndrome” going on here than anything, he said “it is rich beyond measure” to suggest such a thing when that same party stated its goal was to make President Barack Obama a one-term office holder following his first presidential election win.
“We have a crisis in our country,” said Jones, adding people may “give him a chance but don’t give him a pass.”
He said “with the Trump phenomenon there are two things” at play: One is talking about jobs and the economy and that’s “very good.” However the other is spewing out “toxic crap completely offensive to everybody with a functioning brain stem.”
Toxic crap like suggesting Trump is running lockstep with Nazis even though there’s no evidence to support that. That’s as ugly as it is offensive.
Jones strikes me as a man who’s just upset his side lost. He’s showing why so many of those who are tired of being called racist and Nazis made this happen in the first place.