By Darrel Rowland
Not only is President Donald Trump wrong to create a false moral equivalency between white supremacists and counter-protestors, he is diminishing the presidency itself, said Ohio Gov. John Kasich on a TV talk show today.
"There is a bitterness setting in that may not be able to be removed," Kasich said on NBC's Today Show.
"President Trump needs to listen to the people before he takes this presidency in a place that is not acceptable to our country."
Kasich, speaking from a park near his Westerville home, said for Trump to declare there were "fine people" on both sides and claim both sides bore responsibility of the violent confrontation over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, "reduces the ability to totally condemn these hate crimes."
"Think about what you have seen, as one of the (NBC) reporters said, reminiscent of what we saw in Germany in the 1930s. The president has to totally condemn this," Kasich said.
"There is no moral equivalency between the KKK, the neo-Nazis and anybody else."
Kasich recalled the dedication ceremony for the Holocaust Memorial on the Statehouse grounds had to be moved inside because of threats of violence from hate groups apparently preparing to throw chunks of concrete into the crowd.
The governor repeated what he has said many times, that he hopes the Trump presidency is a success.
"See, what's happening is the presidency is being reduced to another CEO job. The presidency is the most important job in the country," he said.
Kasich said he and many others are begging the president, "clearly and bluntly ... get your act together."
Kasich recalled his bitter 2011 defeat by Ohio voters rejecting Senate Bill 5, which would have gutted public employee unions. But he accepted the fact that the people had spoken, and he needed to adhere to their will.
Trump needs to understand "it's not about winning an argument, it's about bringing the country together," Kasich said.
"He's got to fix this and Republicans have to speak out. Plain and simple."
(c)2017 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)