President Obama delivered the most powerful speech of his career today, directly challenging the conservative talking point that we must use the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” in order to target the real enemy of the United States, ISIL. A group the president scathingly called, “not a religious organization” but “thugs and thieves” who would presume to speak for a BILLION Muslims who reject their “twisted ideology.”
There’s no magic to the phrase radical Islam.
Recently, Donald Trump’s camp insinuated that the president who killed Osama Bin Laden and has shrunk the territory held by ISIL literally in half, is weak on terrorism. They didn’t stop there, though, pushing the narrative to the point where his camp questioned whether that (nonexistent) weakness on terrorism was in fact because President Obama has a soft spot for those terrorists.
Obama’s administration’s immediate response was an epic eye roll. When Josh Earnest, President Obama’s spokesperson, addressed the painfully ignorant conspiracy theory BS he said, “his record speaks for itself.”
And that record includes a lot of dead terrorists.
The president’s speech today showed America how a real leader deals with spineless bullies. They don’t throw tantrums on Twitter, for starters. They don’t rise to the bait, but they do shut the issue down with extreme prejudice after careful consideration and after an exhaustion of all diplomatic responses have been tried.
Slamming “politicians who tweet,” and decimating Donald Trump’s disgusting proposition to ban Muslims with a fiery dose of truth, President Obama just stood up to a bully and calmly knocked him on his ass.
While Trump deals in rage porn and repeating conspiracy theories President Obama deals in destroying ISIL while completely avoiding the misleading and incendiary phrase, which has, “nothing to do with political correctness and everything to do with defeating extremism.”:
That’s the key, they tell us; we can’t beat ISIL unless we call them radical Islamists.
What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change? Would it make ISIL less committed to trying to kill Americans? Would it bring in more allies? Is there a military strategy that is served by this?
The answer is none of the above. Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away. This is a political distraction.
Saying “radical Islamic terrorism” serves no purpose but to validate ISIL as the actual leaders of the hundreds of millions of people who are their most likely victims. The HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of Muslims who reject ISIL. They are not the enemy and Obama’s White House isn’t weak on terrorism.
As for Donald Trump’s Muslim ban? Obama’s righteous indignation that any such an un-American idea would even be considered was clearly visible as he destroyed that feeble minded notion.
This is a country founded on basic freedoms, including freedom of religion. We don’t have religious tests here
If we ever abandon those values, we would not only make it easier to radicalize people here and around the world, but we would have betrayed the very things we are are trying to protect. I will not let that happen.
This speech belongs in our textbooks for the next hundred years, and should be required reading to complete high school in the United States. The fact is that the right wing has no problem with religious tests, in a direct conflict of interest with our constitutional separation of church and state, but they have only one religion they feel should be free of association with the terrorists it produces.
Thank you, President Obama for this reminder that our country is founded on freedom of religion, and that real leaders stand for weak and the victims of tyrants, they ensure equality of opportunity, and they abhor bigotry.
Defeating Donald Trump in November is EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN’S JOB. Even GOP leaders and lawmakers are endorsing Hillary Clinton, something that has the potential to destroy any future in their party because Donald Trump represents a clear and present danger to the United States of America.
View the full speech here:
Featured image via Alex Wong/GettyImages