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Last night, the president refused to unequivocally condemn white supremacists and militia groups. When pressed, he said that members of the far-right group the Proud Boys should “stand back, and stand by.”
That delivery was no accident, our staff writer Emma Green argues. “In moments of direct confrontation, Trump refuses to state clearly that he condemns white supremacy,” she writes. “White nationalists notice, and remember.”
Meanwhile, the threat of far-right violence in America isn’t going away. Today, we published a new investigation into one right-wing militant group, the Oath Keepers—which was founded on the premise that law-enforcement officers and soldiers may, if necessary, refuse orders that they believe enable tyranny. And it has already recruited thousands of police officers, soldiers, and veterans.
More debate coverage from our writers:
It was a disgusting night for democracy, our long-time staff writer James Fallows argues.
Just cancel the debates, David A. Graham says.
The constant interruptions from the president were ugly—and all too familiar, Megan Garber writes.
We asked therapists to break down the toxic communication styles on display last night.
What to read to better understand the ongoing coronavirus outbreak: