Many Americans watched transfixed as members of those groups marched down the street, barked out anti-Semitic chants and openly displayed the symbols of Nazi Germany and the secessionist South.
And many looked on in horror as a speeding car crashed into other vehicles on a crowded street Saturday afternoon, resulting in the death of a 32-year-old woman and injuries to at least 19 other people.
Though President Trump, in his comments, declined to single out the white supremacist movement, many mainstream conservatives were appalled. Senator John McCain called the white supremacists “traitors” on Twitter.
The House speaker, Paul D. Ryan, called them “repugnant.”
The Justice Department announced late Saturday that it was opening a civil rights investigation. “The violence and deaths in Charlottesville strike at the heart of American law and justice,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. “When such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be tolerated.”
Some left-leaning Charlottesville organizers like Laura Goldblatt, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Virginia, said that the full airing of such ideas would eventually lead more Americans to reject them. “I think this is the beginning of the end for this spectacularized part of the movement,” Ms. Goldblatt said.
But some key far-right leaders say the outcome was exactly what they had hoped for.
“We achieved all of our objectives,” Matthew Heimbach, a…