Donald Trump Legitimizes Proud Boys: Stand Back and Stand By

If you were playing a drinking game last night during the Presidential Debate, you took your first drink within the first two minutes. I know I did. When Donald Trump uttered words similar to the old adage, “to the victor go the spoils,” Joe Biden smirked and that began my drinking game.

There would be plenty of drinks to come for me as the night kept rolling. I thought of the debate as a scene from Grumpy Old Men with a 74-year-old president and 77-year-old former vice president bickering back and forth like two old men sitting on a porch drinking a glass of tea. They talked about the economy and the weather. They talked about health issues and the cost of taxes. See? Just like two old men on the porch.

But one thing that created the most stir with a lot of people was when Chris Wallace asked Donald Trump to condemn white supremacy and no one actually heard him say it last night. To be honest with you, I didn’t either. I thought he hemmed and hawed around with the question so much, I was wondering why he didn’t just say it. But I’ve had the chance to review the transcripts and I have the clip to show you. I think you might see things differently when you get a second chance and it’s not cut up the way the media likes to do. TRUST ME! They are not on his side.

Disclaimer: I am not a Trump supporter nor am I even a Republican. Having said that, I’m not a Democrat either. I believe in this day and age, I have to say those things to get them out of the way and let you know I don’t have a horse in this race. When I go to the voting booth, it’s a private matter and I will keep it that way.

This Is Donald Trump Clearly And Concisely Denouncing White Supremacy

As far as last night is concerned, those words never directly came out of his mouth. But look at the transcripts and watch the clip. You’ll see something a little different. Trump did say he was willing to condemn white supremacists and tell them to stand down. He said he was willing. When prompted to go ahead and say it, he asked Wallace to put a name to it. That’s when Biden mentioned the Proud Boys.

If you look at that more closely, when Biden mentions Proud Boys is when Trump addresses the Proud Boys. That’s when he told them to “Stand back and stand by.” What does that mean though? That has been a debate. Was he giving them an order? That’s what some people believe.

After thinking about it for a moment and not going with my knee-jerk reaction, I think it can be taken two ways. “Stand back” means to get at least arm’s length. “Stand by” means to get ready. Of course, that sounds like an order.

“It suggests that should he need them, he will call on them,” Kurt Braddock, an American University professor who studies how extremist groups communicate said, “It’s that kind of language that can be interpreted as a call to action by some people looking for an excuse to engage in violence.”

But when you reflect on the question Chris Wallace originally asked, it can be easily argued Trump misspoke when he was trying to tell them to stand down. That is after all, the question Wallace originally asked. Here are the transcripts and the clip will follow if you would rather watch it than read it. You judge for yourself.

Chris Wallace:
You have repeatedly criticized the vice president for not specifically calling out Antifa and other left-wing extremist groups. But are you willing tonight to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down and not add to the violence in a number of these cities as we saw in Kenosha and as we’ve seen in Portland?

President Donald J. Trump:
Sure, I’m willing to do that.

Chris Wallace:
Are you prepared specifically to do it?

President Donald J. Trump:
I would say almost everything I see is from the left-wing not from the right-wing.

Chris Wallace:
But what are you saying?

President Donald J. Trump:
I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace.

Chris Wallace:
Well, do it, sir.

Vice President Joe Biden:
Say it. Do it. Say it.

President Donald J. Trump:
What do you want to call them? Give me a name. Give me a name. Go ahead. Who do you want me to condemn?

Vice President Joe Biden:
Proud Boys! Proud Boys!

Chris Wallace:
White supremacist and right-wing militia.

President Donald J. Trump:
Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what. Somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not a right-wing problem. This is a left-wing.

Watch The Segment

Who Are The Proud Boys?
According to ADL, “While the group can be described as violent, nationalistic, Islamophobic, transphobic and misogynistic, its members represent a range of ethnic backgrounds, and its leaders vehemently protest any allegations of racism.”

Founded by Gavin McInnes, Proud Boys describe themselves as “a men’s organization,” “a pro-Western fraternal organization for men who refuse to apologize for creating the modern world; aka Western Chauvinists.” Here are their tenets very clearly written on their own website, Proud Boy Magazine:

Minimal Government
Maximum Freedom
Anti-Political Correctness
Anti-Drug War
Closed Borders
Anti-Racial Guilt
Pro-Free Speech (1st Amendment)
Pro-Gun Rights (2nd Amendment)
Glorifying the Entrepreneur
Venerating the Housewife
Reinstating a Spirit of Western Chauvinism

The Proud Boys specifically state that they are not alt-right, but the media seems to keep labeling them as such. The alt-right is widely considered a white nationalist movement and it wouldn’t seem correct to label the Proud Boys as alt-right when they clearly say they are against racism and that they are made up of a range of ethnic backgrounds. So the Proud Boys get the bad press while antifa avoids being labeled because they aren’t actually organized, but comprised of independent groups.

I do have this to say, when Biden said antifa was just an idea, according to the FBI Director, how does that work? So these guys who communicate online and schedule when and where they will meet at protests is an idea? This group that has a flag and shirts and looks a certain way, they’re an idea? I think they’re more than an idea when everyone’s talking about them.

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Michael Allen is the author of A River in the Ocean, the heartwarming story of a single father who is separated from his daughter when an awful accident nearly takes his life. He comes out of his coma with amnesia, but something keeps pulling him to find what's missing in his life. He didn't know he was looking and she didn't know she needed found. Available now at Amazon!

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