Home United States USA — Political LUPICA: Trump linking safety, political correctness is tone-deaf

LUPICA: Trump linking safety, political correctness is tone-deaf


“We must stop being politically correct, ” Donald Trump says on Twitter, “and get down to the business of security for our people.”
On the day after the people of London were under attack over there, over here the President of the United States wanted to talk about a “travel ban” which his own people still insist was never a ban in the first place, and act once again as if the safety of decent people everywhere is endangered because we won’t stop being so politically correct. As always, when the going gets tough, start talking like the toughest guy in the bar.
“We must stop being politically correct, ” Donald Trump says on Twitter, “and get down to the business of security for our people.”
This was right before Trump insulted Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, for telling the citizens of London not to be alarmed, even though Khan never said that. The first instincts, then, remain the same for the 45th President: Being loud, pushing his own agenda, trying to convince everyone that only he knows how to keep America safe, as if they hit us this time and not London.
It is worth remembering that when Omar Mateen — a Queens-born Florida resident — murdered 48 innocent people in the Pulse club in Orlando almost one year ago, here was candidate Trump’s reaction to the tragedy on Twitter:
London attacker shot by police was wearing fake explosive vest
“Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism.”
This was about a shooter who did not come from Syria or Saudi Arabia or Pakistan to kill innocent Americans, who just drove to Orlando from Fort Pierce, Fla. But because Mateen, snakes crawling around inside his head, made a 911 call to pledge his allegiance to ISIS this became, at least in Trump’s view, an aftershock to Sept. 11,2001.
What happened in Orlando, though, was seen as an opportunity, huge, for political gain. Only a year later there has not been a word on the President’s personal Twitter account about the anti-Muslim hate crime in Portland, Ore., that resulted in the deaths of two people. That crime, those deaths, were eventually called “unacceptable” on the President’s official White House Twitter account. But by now everyone knows that is not how @realDonaldTrump prefers to talk to us.
The alleged attacker in the murders on a Portland commuter train didn’t come from Syria, or Mexico. He wasn’t a refugee or an illegal immigrant. No. He came to that terrible moment from North Portland, Ore. The man’s name is Jeremy Joseph Christian. He said he was just being a patriot, and clearly did absolutely nothing that might help our President act like a superhero.
12 arrests made in London; May says UK too tolerant of extremism
But the response to London was swift, in that flurry of tweets on Sunday morning. Trump checked familiar boxes on political correctness, and on a travel ban that was always a Muslim ban — the merits and legality of which Trump’s lawyers are now prepared to argue in front of the Supreme Court. Might they win? Sure. Except that if it really is true that visa restrictions are a means of keeping America safer, hasn’t the President’s own rhetoric gotten in the way? But he had to present it as a Muslim ban because he ran on a Muslim ban, the way he ran on building a wall on our Southern borders. This is what happens when you run, and then govern, on rhetoric instead of real solutions.
Trump even tried to bring guns into the conversation on London, saying that we aren’t having a gun debate because the killers used knives and a truck. Not only does this ignore what the death toll would have been like if these men had piled out of their white van with AR-15s, it also ignores the fact that the United Kingdom has the most stringent and sensible firearms controls on the planet. You know why? Because after they had their Sandy Hook, at a school in Dunblane, Scotland in the 1990s, they decided they didn’t want their country to be the kind of gun show ours is.
You know none of this is really about Trump’s position on guns, or the mayor of London, or political correctness. And by the way? How has political correctness made this country less safe? Where is the proof of that?
No matter. The first chance he gets, President Trump acts as if the people charged with keeping us safe have somehow been looking the other way since the planes hit our buildings; as if we are constantly being hit the way Paris has been, and Brussels, and Manchester and London.
Canadian, French citizens among victims killed in London attack
British Prime Minister Theresa May, who spoke eloquently and powerfully on the subject of terrorism on Sunday, once again sets what is always an important debate, in a 9/11 world, about safety and civil liberties. Clearly May spoke of more political power and not less as a way of combatting homegrown terrorism. That is a real issue here, not more hogwash about political correctness.
Trump often acts as if he and he alone has been able to identify the threat of Islamic terrorism, about which he spoke in Saudi Arabia. Only as we find out again in London, the threat remains. And thinking that you can somehow eliminate that threat by merely talking tough is like bringing a tweet to a knife fight.

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