After the mass shootings this weekend in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH, President Trump should speak clearly and apolitically while Democrats in Congress should stop politically grandstanding and Republicans should stop pretending El Paso is about mental health.
I need to say on the front end, we still don’t know with 100% certainty what motivated the El Paso shooter. While widely attributed to him in media reports, the so-called “manifesto” has not yet been officially confirmed by authorities as belonging to the shooter. But I have an exceedingly hard time believing the media reports would be able to spread so far and stand for so long if they weren’t accurate. As for Dayton, the shooter’s sister was among the victims so we’ve got a long way to go in unpacking the motive for that one.
But if El Paso is what it appears to be — an act of terrorism committed by a racist who hated Hispanics — then President Trump needs to come out and speak very clearly and forcefully against racism in all its form, but specifically with regard to white supremacists.
Even if El Paso is not what it appears to be, Trump should still get out there and give this speech. Granted, he’s denounced racism and white supremacy often and without qualification throughout his entire public life, including the Presidency. But you may not know that for two reasons.
The first reason is that the media doesn’t want you to know that. Take Charlottesville, for example. While the media and others want you to believe that he was talking about Nazis when he said “there were very fine people on both sides,” the truth is that he explicitly said “I’m not talking about the Neo-Nazis and white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally.” He literally said those exact words virtually in the same breath as his “both sides” comment, but eager to keep 1) racial animus for our nation and 2) personal hatred for our President kicking, the media have driven the “He said there were very fine Nazis!” narrative so long, and so hard, that it’s basically accepted as truth now. And that hurts all of us.
The second reason you may not know that President Trump has denounced racism and white supremacy often and without qualification is because he’s done a terrible job of it as President. That’s why I want him to, and our nation needs him to, come out once and for all and be extremely clear that he rejects white supremacy and that he doesn’t want support or votes from people who engage in white supremacy. I guarantee you President Trump thinks white racists are total losers, to use his language. I promise you that with every fiber of my being. Trump grew up on construction sites engaging with hard working middle class people of all races. He once said:
“You know the funny thing? I don’t get along with rich people. I get along with the poor and middle class better than I get along with rich people.”
I always loved that quote and it reminded me of the Eazy E line:
“I’m not like Robin Hood, cause I want more. Steal from the rich. Hang with the poor!”
I even created what I hoped would become a viral meme capturing and expounding on those quotes, but because I’m terrible at that sort of thing, I doubt even 10 people actually read the fine print.
(Based on the time stamp, it looks like I made it on September 1, 2016.)
At any rate, I promise you with all my heart and soul that Donald Trump isn’t a racist. And I promise you that he thinks racists are losers. But here’s the hard part for me as a long-time Trump supporter…
I can’t promise you that he doesn’t mistakenly believe that racism helped catapult him to victory in 2016, and that he’s not banking on the same in 2020. And that’s extremely painful for me to say. Several of my close friends who support Trump but don’t follow politics nearly as closely as I do have already said they’re sick to death of the negativity that surrounds him. I’ve tried to explain that the often identity-based social deterioration they’re seeing has nothing to do with Trump and is in fact a tool of the institutional left (Hollywood, academia, mainstream media, Democrats) to bludgeon their opposition while amassing more power for themselves — but nobody wants to hear that right now. Not in the wake of what appears to be an act of white supremacist terrorism on a Saturday afternoon in a Texas Wal-Mart. And I don’t blame them. Because even I, one of Trump’s earliest and most steadfast supporters, am having serious doubts about his wisdom and fitness if he won’t call out white nationalism and tell them he doesn’t want their support in the wake of El Paso.
He needs to come out and give that speech. And he should do it without a teleprompter. I guarantee you he knows in his heart that racists are disgusting blights on humanity. I want him to come out and say that. And I want him to tell white supremacists that he doesn’t want their votes or their support. And I want him to be clear that he wants our immigration laws upheld and our borders secure because he loves America, not because he hates those who wants to come here. (And again, he’s been very clear about that also. He didn’t, as the media want you to believe, say “all Mexicans are rapists.” He pointed out very fairly that many of the people eagerly breaking our laws to enter our country are not the upstanding, law-abiding, eager-to-assimilate and do-it-right people we want coming here. And even the left wing Huffington Post reported that 80% of the women who come here illegally are sexually assaulted along the way. If the number is even half that, it means an awful lot of the men making the trip with them are sexual predators.)
He should make that speech and speak from the heart. It’s not easy for most to do on this topic because it’s an exceedingly complex one. But he should give it his best shot. And if the only thing that really sticks is “I hate racism. I don’t want racists to support me. My policy proposals have nothing to do with hating others, and everything to do with wanting to clean up the immigration mess that’s hurting virtually everyone on every side of the issue” — that’s more than enough for me. That’s a great message, and one our nation needs to hear right now from him.
As for Congress and the “common sense gun laws” activists, name a single law you’d pass that would’ve prevented one or both of this past weekend’s shootings. Murder is already illegal. The people who commit these acts don’t follow laws. And Democrats and the Left have already made it very clear that they love to exploit crises for their political gain. And many have already made it clear that they want to disarm our entire nation. Most will temper their position and say “Nobody wants to take away your 2nd Amendment right,” but they do want to erode it. And they want to marginalize it, and the people who hold it dear. The 2nd Amendment isn’t there so that Americans can break the law and slaughter each other. The people who break the law and slaughter others don’t hold the 2nd Amendment dear. They laugh at the law. I hold the 2nd Amendment dear. I respect the law. And so do most pro-2nd Amendment advocates. But the Democrats have shown us beyond the shadow of any doubt that they’ll exploit crises for political gain. And that includes using acts of terror like we saw in El Paso and Dayton to erode the rights of law-abiding American citizens.
So for all of you out there saying “Please just pass common sense gun reform!”, understand that sober-minded people like me will never let emotionally-charged pleas act as trojan horses that chip away at our rights. If you have something specific you think we can or should do, share it with me. And don’t send me some 1,000 page bill that your favorite socialist member of the House proposed. Tell me specifically what the law is, and how it would’ve prevented the shootings over the weekend. And if you can’t do that, then stop demonizing me and others for not just rolling over and letting your favorite gun-hating politicians exploit tragedy to advance their political agendas.
The 2nd Amendment isn’t about hunting. It’s about making sure We The People will always stand a fighting chance against a tyrannical government. And you may laugh at that now for any number of reasons, but many of us don’t. Many of us hold that right as sacred and in fact duty-bound as an act of patriotism. So we’re not okay with people chipping away at it no matter how incrementally and/or deceptively. If you want to stop the bad guys, tell me the laws you’d create that would do so. But if your solution is only going to make it harder for the law-abiding citizens of this nation to keep and bear arms, it’s a non-starter for us. Yes, even in the wake of tragedy.
As for Republicans, I’m disgusted hearing some talk about “mental health.” By their logic, at least with respect to El Paso (again — providing the manifesto truly belongs to the shooter), members of Al Qaeda who commit Jihad in America are also driven by “mental health” issues. Yes, in the main, that’s fine. All these people, at some level, are batsh*t crazy. But the El Paso shooter was by all accounts perfectly lucid. He wasn’t crazy. The words he wrote weren’t the ramblings of a mad man. They were the carefully-crafted messages of a racist who was set on engaging in domestic terrorism. And those who say otherwise, who lean on “mental health” as the culprit here, do a disservice to us all with their cowardice and dishonesty. That they’re afraid to call it what it is — racism and terrorism — also gives me great pause about those I align with politically.
Today I feel like a person without a home. And I want Congress to shut up and President Trump to speak up so that I can again go on about the business of picking fights with the media in defense of Liberty and as part of a larger effort to mitigate racial and identity-based disparity, division and destruction.
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