From the editorial pages of the Goldsboro News-Argus

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

No waiting: On domestic terrorism, a leader must not waste words -- or time

We endorsed Donald Trump and have supported much of his agenda despite the feeding frenzy that has come to encircle the president wherever he goes.

Some days it is harder than others to defend him. Many of our readers have pointed out that the editorial cartoons that appear on this very page are too harsh and in poor taste.

Despite our explanations that these are the least offensive of the hundreds available to us from the nationally syndicated publications from which we have to select, the truth remains that most political cartoons these days have something to do with the president. And most often, they are not kind.

But as much as we might hope that he and the Republicans can deliver on at least some of their promises from the campaign trail -- and we are still waiting on that front -- they sure don't make it easy.

Trump's latest perceived misstep in waiting 48 hours to condemn hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and the Neo-Nazis in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville, and then his about-face Tuesday, apparently softening his stance, is just another in the face-palm inspiring moments that have come to dot his presidency.

Either he is too fearful of upsetting the faction of his following that ascribes to such ideology -- we figure that is more likely than him being an out-and-out racist himself -- or he is too far divorced from reality to understand that is who comprise a portion of his base.

No, people should not be permitted to take it upon themselves to forcibly remove statues of any sort from public spaces. That is what city councils and county boards of commissioners are for -- to schedule public hearings, to weigh the pros and the cons, to talk to their constituents and decide policies such as whether or not to remove Confederate statues and landmarks from their given jurisdictions.

We hold elections so that we, the voters, can decide for ourselves who we want to hold those offices where these sometimes very difficult issues are parsed out. And if we feel they get it wrong, or worse, if we got it wrong when we voted them in, then we approach the next election differently.

But committing, condoning or being a willful bystander to violence is wrong. And when asked about it, whether the guilty party supports you or not, as a responsible person, as an elected official, as the president of the United States of America, you ought to look squarely into the camera and call an act of domestic terrorism just that -- domestic terrorism.

Published in Editorials on August 15, 2017 11:13 PM