While the vast majority of Republican party stayed uneasily silent this weekend, for some conservatives the shooting at El Paso was a watershed moment.
David French, a senior writer at the conservative publication National Review and a columnist at Time magazine, said: “Burn it down. This is a defining moment.”
I remember being told to chill out about the alt-right.
It was just memes. It was just trolling. It was just trying to trigger the libs.
Then it was a terror attack in Charlottesville.
Then it was manifestos. Then it was massacres.
Burn it down. This is a defining moment.
— David French (@DavidAFrench) August 4, 2019
“David is right,” wrote conservative writer and activist W Bradford Wilcox in response.
It is well past time for all Americans, esp conservatives like me, to recognize the threat posed to our country by Alt Right ideas, memes & speech. & to do all we can to stand against racial, ethnic & xenophobic bigotry that is an affront to the American way of life
— W Bradford Wilcox (@WilcoxNMP) August 4, 2019
He added: “And that also means calling out the president when he engages in racist or xenophobic talk or tweets.”
Other conservatives also had a ‘light bulb moment’.
Clay Routledge is a columnist at Quilette, a contributor to the NY Times and a senior fellow at the Institute of Family Studies.
I'm with Brad. It doesn't help that some on the left call everything they don't like white supremacy or that many academics deny, ignore, or sometimes support intolerance and bigotry on the left. But none of those things mean racism and hate on the far right aren't real problems. https://t.co/dCsbrE7FUf
— Clay Routledge (@clayroutledge) August 4, 2019
Former Congressman Joe Walsh, who has been a loud supporter of President Trump, also called him out over the weekend.
Trump: “Hate has no place in our country.”
Agreed. But what kind of hate? Name the hate please. You mean, WHITE SUPREMACY hate?https://t.co/Yrrh3BOD8R
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) August 4, 2019
This morning the conservative-leaning Washington Examiner published an editorial titled: ‘Trump must name and condemn the evil of white nationalism‘.
Trump ought to use the bully pulpit to become a leading crusader against white nationalism and racism. These mindsets are immoral and they threaten everything that makes America great. Some conservatives and Republicans have hesitated to acknowledge that this a growing scourge, but after El Paso any such reluctance is unacceptable.
Whether this incident will finally get conservatives to take White Nationalism seriously remains to be seen.