By Ken StoneSean Colgan of Oceanside remains solidly part of Donald Trump’s political base, but he won’t go near the basement. He was asked: If a “Unite the Right” rally had been held in North County instead of Virginia, would he have attended?
“Wild horses could not drag me to something like that,” Colgan said in his sixth interview with Times of San Diego — and first since March (and the May firing of the FBI director).
But Colgan, 61, echoes some of the president’s talking points on Charlottesville.
“Our president is quite correct to equate one group of violent extremists with another group of violent extremists,” Colgan said. “A violent extremist is a violent extremist is a violent extremist. Anyone who says different is playing games and is not to be trusted.”
With a 39 percent approval rating in a Politico poll posted Wednesday, Trump was down from 44 percent the previous week. The dip is being attributed to Charlottesville and the president’s perceived lack of moral leadership.
“Much of the decline in Trump’s approval rating appears to have come from self-identified Republican voters — 73 percent, down from 81 percent the week earlier,” Politico said. “By contrast, the president’s approval rating slid just a single point among Democrats and independents.”
Colgan’s reaction — given before the latest slide: “I still don’t trust polls. I certainly don’t trust polls conducted by people trying to fulfill a pre-set agenda.”
A former nurse, Colgan takes care to avoid representing “the base,” however.
When asked if the firing of Steve Bannon as White House strategist would affect the support of Trump’s base, Colgan said: “I don’t know that I can speak for our president’s ‘base.’ But getting rid of Bannon hasn’t affected my support.”
Colgan was active locally in Trump’s campaign and is still involved politically, saying he’s a regular counter-protester at the “Trump Tuesday” events in front of Rep. Darrell Issa’s Vista office.This interview was conducted by email over the weekend and on Wednesday:
Times of San Diego: What was your reaction to President Trump’s remarks on Charlottesville at Trump Tower?
Sean Colgan: One of the reporters asked if he was putting the two groups on the same moral plane. He very clearly and explicitly stated that he was not. But he did state that the second group came looking for violence. And when they didn’t find it, they brought it.
He was also asked if he would compare the alt-left to Neo-Nazis. He got a little off-track in his answer. Not a worry here. I most emphatically *do* think that the alt-left is comparable to Nazis.
I’ll add that the term “antifa” is beyond ludicrous and misleading. Those guys are total fascists. Indistinguishable from Hitler’s Brownshirts. And for those who think their cause is just, freedom of speech is what distinguishes America from the rest of the world. A group that comes charging in with the goal of preventing another group of people from having their say, even (or maybe even ESPECIALLY) a group spewing hateful and stupid ideas, isn’t what this country is all about?
Protecting the right of people to do exactly that was so important to the Founding Fathers that it’s part of the First Amendment. So the misnamed “antifa” types compare quite similar to the Neo-Nazis because they’re BOTH against what America stands for.I also looked up our president’s comments on [the day of the Charlottesville violence]. Given that there hadn’t been time to figure out all of the details, I thought he was quite correct to say what he said. The fault did indeed lie with “many sides.”
President Trump challenged a reporter to define “alt-right.” How do you define this term?
“Alt-right” is taking the “conservative” point of view to a ludicrous extreme. Just as the “alt-left” is taking the “liberal” point of view to a ludicrous extreme.
Do you identify with any aspect of the alt-right?
Not even a little bit. Racism has no place in *intelligent* political discourse.
Do you agree with Trump’s “no deadline” speech on America’s military role in Afghanistan?
To announce when we’re going to do something is, militarily, unsound. To announce when we’re going to leave is, militarily, INSANE. All the enemy has to do is wait us out, and then attack. That’s not a guess either. That’s what Daesh did.
Is Trump “flip-flopping” on previous Obama criticism? Trump didn’t want a longer war.
Candidate Trump didn’t have access to the information that President Trump has. Also, things have changed. Daesh isn’t just a Middle East problem anymore (if they ever were). They are sending “lone wolves” to attack us here. They’re also sending lone wolves to attack our allies. Ignoring them isn’t an option anymore (if it ever was), simply because they have no intention of ignoring us.
Do you agree or disagree with Trump’s tweeted order to ban transgender troops from the U.S. military — despite not having consulted top brass?
I think our president should have consulted with the top brass first. But, yes, I agree with him. There is no right to serve. Service is a duty. A duty that requires the meeting of certain physical and emotional standards. Anyone that doesn’t meet those standards can and should be barred from serving.
Does Trump’s lack of progress on legislative goals — health care, infrastructure, tax reform — concern you? What happens if Trump hasn’t signed a major bill by the 2018 midterm elections?
“The Left” has been very successful in their games playing. This does concern me. There are things needing to be done that aren’t getting done because of the games playing. “Russiagate” being only the most egregious example of this. This *could* result in nothing major being done by the election season, but “The Left” is running out of games to play. This is why the “dead horse” of Russiagate is being flogged so vigorously.
On that, I have noticed something. Each and every news story about our president’s claim of voter fraud contains an editorial comment that he makes the claim without any proof. In contrast, *NO* story about Hillary’s claim of collusion has pointed out that she makes that claim without any proof. Here we are, nine months after the claim was made, and there’s still absolutely zero proof of collusion. Something that is also never mentioned.
Robert Mueller’s investigations of the White House continue on several fronts. Are you concerned the special counsel will find something that will lead to impeachment articles?
I have zero concerns that the efforts of Mueller will produce any real evidence of illegality. Even the more centrist elements of The Left have conclude that “Russiagate” is a great big nothing.
Should Trump fire Mueller?
Mueller shouldn’t be fired — but only because it wouldn’t be good politics. The massive waste of time and resources just has to be endured until it reaches its inevitable conclusion that that there is no “there” there.
Trump’s tweets about North Korea worried many foreign policy experts. Did they concern you?Even while our president was tweeting, “diplomacy” was still going on. In other words, people have forgotten that our president isn’t just a showman; he’s a guy who gets things done. I have come to the conclusion that I was wrong last year. I think he HAS read Sun Tzu and has absorbed the lessons fully and completely. So, no, I am not worried.
Seven months into his presidency, Trump has lost support even in conservative circles, according to polls. Has he disappointed you in any way?
I still don’t trust polls. I certainly don’t trust polls conducted by people trying to fulfill a pre-set agenda.
I am not disappointed in our president. I am disappointed with those who are so locked into their agenda that they’re willing to put politics ahead of our national interests. “Country before party” reads the signs of those I see at Trump Tuesdays.
Yet these same people continue to disregard Hillary’s multiple felonies, her corruption, her treason, and put on a massive dog n’ pony show about things that are pure politics. Things like arguing that violence from The Left is somehow different from violence from The Right.
That people who wear masks, carry improvised flamethrowers and act like the Taliban are noble (in their fervent desire to destroy symbols that they disagree with), but that those who are against them “must be” (a particularly stupid argument) driven by racism and hate.
And of course, there’s “Russiagate.” Anything so totally lacking in facts should have been DOA. Instead, in spite of zero facts at the start, and zero facts after nine months of serious effort to find something, ANYTHING to support the claim, a special counsel has been appointed. Seriously hinder our president’s ability to govern. THAT’S putting party before country.
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