The speech that U.S. President Donald Trump should have delivered but did not:
My fellow Americans,
The events in Charlottesville brought to the front several issues that I would like to address.
The events that started with a march of neo-Nazis chanting racist and antisemitic slogans, followed by violence and the deaths of protester Heather Heyer and police officers Jay Cullen and Berke Bates, shook the nation and divided Americans, raising questions about what this means for our future.
First, I will repeat a statement made by my Vice President Mike Pence, of whom I am very proud. He said, “We have no tolerance for hate and violence from white supremacists, neo-Nazis, or the KKK. These dangerous fringe groups have no place in American public life and in the American debate, and we condemn them in the strongest possible terms.”
Some of the violence in Charlottesville was initiated by groups that are opposed to neo-Nazis. Such violence is also unacceptable, and it will not be tolerated regardless of the intentions behind it. We have police authorities to enforce the law, and we do not need nor do we accept vigilantes who take justice into their own hands.
One of the reasons given for the protests is a plan to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee, a commander in the Confederate army during the American Civil War. Opposing that plan is not illegal if it is done peacefully, and supporting the removal of such statues is not illegal either, but it must be done by following due process. We are a country of laws, and we are not ruled by mobs. Anyone removing monuments illegally will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Despite the controversy and division that these events have sparked in this country, I believe that the vast majority of Americans of both right and left are committed to the highest standards of morality, and I assure you that upholding those standards is my most important duty.
We stand against racism of any kind. I disagreed with President Barack Obama on a number of issues, but the election and the re-election of the first Black president in American history were proud moments for Americans of both parties. Even though we still have a long way to go, today’s America has made great advances in race equality, and we will never go back to the days of white supremacism.
We also stand firmly against antisemitism, both the antisemitism of the extreme right that we saw on display in Charlottesville, and the antisemitism that disguises itself as anti-Zionism and that usually hides on the left. We condemn both the traditional blatant antisemitism and the new antisemitism that singles out and discriminates against the one and only Jewish state. Under my leadership, America is and will increasingly be the strongest and most committed ally that Israel has ever had.
Our moral values are unambiguous and uncompromising. I assure you that I stand behind these values and that I will ensure that every police service and court of law in this nation stands behind these values. This is the America that I believe in. This is the America that I will lead for as long as I am President.
God bless you and God bless America.