Trump's latest attempt to blame "both sides" is gaining steam, as evidenced by many news stories in the mainstream media detailing the many violent disturbances occurring throughout the day, instead of focusing on the murder committed by white nationalist James A. Fields.
His words echo a pattern of false moral equivalency to deflect blame by either..
(a) blaming the victim (the victim is equally at fault); or
(b) distracting from the criminal by pointing out that "everybody else" (everyone is equally at fault).
But Trump did not invent false equivalencies. FOX did not invent false equivalencies. False equivalencies have been a argumentation tool used by lawyers and poets for centuries -- they're just more common now.
So before you tout an equivalency (e.g. "Obama is just as bad or worse than Trump!" or "White supremacists are just as bad or worse than Islamist extremists!" or "The Avengers are just as bad or worse than Thanos!"), check yourself before you wreck yourself.
Here are some useful guidelines to follow:
(1) Compare actions, not people or groups of people
A person (e.g. Trump, Obama, Oprah) has done a multitude of things in their lifetime. A group of people (e.g. liberals, white people, cosplayers) are far more complex. The chance of your target audience completely missing the whole point of your sentence increases dramatically when you compare people against one another, since you're comparing a multitude of things against another multitude of things.
(2) Maximize commonalities between actions
Practitioners of the scientific method understand this as minimizing variables so that you only have one or two control variables that may explain why one action is different than the other. Opening an umbrella in the middle of a storm has a very different effect from opening an umbrella on a dry, sunny day. Driving a car through a crowd of protesters has a very different effect from thowing a waterballoon filled with paint at a crowd of protesters which has a very different effect from verbally calling someone a "nigger" or a "nigger-lover."
(3) Accept that all equivalencies are inherently false
All metaphors inherently describe two different things. So to call an equivalency "false" is always true unless the equivalency describes a math problem between two formulas. So understand that while your description may be a useful guide that allows your target audience to better understand your point, you're going to be a little wrong somewhere. Someone who disagrees with you may then criticize and attack your entire argument because of that flaw, but just admit that the flaw exists and bring the conversation back to the main point you were trying to make instead of diverging into "whether this equivalency is 100% accurate."