"You know Donald Trump. The man who prides himself on straight talk and fast action.
Yet there's something he's not telling us. Because he can't.
I'm not talking about Vladimir Putin and tax returns. This is something else. Something completely out in the open.
Here is a man who immediately and repeatedly condemns hate crimes when committed by Muslims. Especially if the victims are white Christians. Even if the crimes are committed thousands of miles from the United States.
He condemns them whenever they happen. He condemns them even if they don't. "Take a look at what happened in Sweden," he told the conservative CPAC conference this week. "The people over there understand I'm right. Take a look at what's happening in Sweden. Take a look at what's happening in Germany. Take a look at what's happened in France. Take a look at Nice and Paris."
Now take a look at what happens when hate crimes are committed against Jews, or Muslims, or against legal non-white non-citizen visa holders. He's taught us what to expect.
The deafening silence. Unless and until he's forced to say something. Which, from this master of straight talk, is inevitably lawyered-up and mealy-mouthed.
This is what he's not telling you: He can't afford to have hate crimes be declared hate crimes. Not when they're committed by white supremacist Americans.
After all, if they were, they would be violations of civil rights, punishable by federal law. And that is one road Trump cannot afford to go down.
Here's why. Politically, he cannot afford to lose ANY of his base. He can't afford to sic law enforcement on the extremists in any meaningful way. Not so long as his approval rating goes nowhere but down.
If the base is to remain, Trump needs the votes of all of his enthusiastic supporters in the "alt-right," American Nazi sympathizers, Klan offshoots, Aryan militias, doomsday preppers, and a host of other white Christian supremacist groupings and extreme right housebound, head-bound loners."
-Bradley Burston, from a March '17 Ha'aretz column