Donald Trump is in a no-win situation. Having ratcheted the rhetoric as high as it can go during the primary season, there’s no place left to go during the general. Clinton, meanwhile, can simply step back and snipe at him, leaving him utterly defenseless.
Thus, we get Trump parroting utterly incoherent claims about Clinton, like in the speech he gave to a Christian evangelical conference on Friday when he when he claimed Clinton was “weak” on Islamist militants.
Boogieman du jour
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it gain: I have little respect for anyone running on an “ERHMAHGERD TERRIZM” platform. Americans have nothing to fear from Islamic militants; we’re far more successful at killing ourselves than they could ever hope to be.
Last year alone, about 53,000 people died from gun violence in the United States. The largest terrorist attack on U.S. soil in history is 9/11, and around 3,000 people died that day. Some basic math shows that, in order for terrorists to even match gun violence in number of dead Americans, they’d need to execute a 9/11 more than once a month for an entire year.
Between 2000 and 2010, more than 335,000 Americans died from gun violence. The majority of that was suicide. That’s a population larger than the cities of St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati.
If you promise to save us, save us from our number one enemy — ourselves.
And yet, Islamic militants are the boogieman du jour. It’s easier to unite people against an outside threat than it is to tell them they’re the biggest threat to themselves, and that’s how Donald Trump’s been rolling.
During his carefully scripted speech, Trump slammed Clinton for supporting the Syrian refugees and claimed that the money set aside for resettling them should be used to help poverty in inner cities. He also claimed that Clinton’s refusal to say the phrase, “radical Islamic terrorism” makes her unfit to be a president.
Yet, refusal to say “racial Christian terrorism” to describe people who target women’s health clinics or men like Ammon Bundy doesn’t make Trump unfit to be president. I’m smelling a double standard.
He challenged Clinton to “replace her support for increased refugee admission” with a new jobs program for inner cities:
We have to temporarily stop this whole thing with what’s going on with refugees where we don’t know where they’re coming from. We have to use the money to take care of our poorest Americans so they can come out of this horrible situation that they’re in.
I don’t know why we can’t have both. Can someone tell me why we can’t have both?
What really interests me, though, is that this is the first I’ve heard a Republican candidate talk about the inner city with anything other than disdain. My working theory is now that Clinton’s clinched the nomination, Trump’s campaign might be trying to reach out to some of Sander’s supporters by employing his rhetoric.
Although I’m not entirely convinced that Trump cares about the poor like Sanders does, and I know for a fact a very small number of Evangelical Christians care. For them, the endgame is how many souls they can win over for their demonic, soul-hoarding overlord, thereby ensuring their golden ticket into the afterlife.
Trump did receive a standing ovation for it, though — but I’m sure that’s less to do with showing concern for the poor as it is for attempting to attack Clinton.
Feature image via Asialink