It has been a long time coming, but Republican political analyst Gianno Caldwell appeared to have had a change of heart when it comes to his support of President Donald Trump. During an interview on Fox News on Wednesday, the pundit failed to hold back tears as he admonished the president for his most recent moral failings.
"President Trump, our president, has literally betrayed the conscience of our country. He’s failed us, and it’s very unfortunate that our president would say things like he did in that press conference yesterday when he says, ‘There are good people on the side of the Nazis," Caldwell said, eyes wet. "They weren’t all Nazis and they weren’t all white supremacists.’ Mr. President, good people don’t pal around with Nazis and white supremacists. Maybe they don’t consider themselves white supremacists and Nazis, but certainly they hold those views. This has become very troubling and for anyone to come on any network and defend what President Trump did and said at that press conference yesterday is completely lost and the potential to be morally bankrupt. I’m sorry — no, I believe that and I’m being very honest as someone who has been talking about these issues for a very long time. I’m sorry that this is where we are right now."
John Hopkins professor Wendy Osefo, who was intended to be Caldwell's liberal counterpart for the segment, nodded along to his speech and choked back tears of her own while host Abby Huntsman attempted to steer the conversation back to the question of whether or not to remove Confederate monuments. However, Caldwell was far from finished and used his platform to attempt to further constructive discussion on race relations in the United States.
"My grandfather, James Earl Williams, who lived in Helena, Arkansas where the Klan, it was a hotbed of racism there, of Klan activity, who left the South to go into the North in Chicago, who called me yesterday and said 'Look, when you get that opportunity, tell President Trump he should take a look in the mirror,'" Caldwell quoted. "'And look at the people, not just the black folks who may feel marginalized by his comments, but the white Americans who fought, fought against slavery, fought against the marginalization of black folks in America, people of color, and even the Jews. Let him know that it's time to have a real conversation on race.'"
ThinkProgress pointed out a 2015 article written by Caldwell that fell more in line with the views he expressed in Wednesday's interview, noting that he had become a staunch ally of Trump's afterwards. However, this recent appearance shows that he may have come full circle, an intimate example of the impact the president's unnerving defense of the white supremacist rally has had on even those in his own camp. The Republican pundit's realizations certainly could have come sooner, and the phrase "better late than never" doesn't ring true in the context of escalating conflict, but it is a welcome sign that change is possible. It's just tragic that it took the death of a young woman at the hands of racists and a complicit president to instigate it.
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