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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    In face of tragedies, Trump chooses politics over unity


    The last week saw three prominent hate crimes or acts of terror: the killing of two black individuals at a Kroger store by a man who attempted to enter a predominantly black Kentucky church, the killing of 11 individuals at a synagogue in Pittsburgh by an anti-Semite, and the attempted bombing of 12 different targets, allegedly committed by an avid Trump supporter.

    These tragedies affect both select communities and all of us at the same time. Compounding them all together in the space of a week makes the overall effect more alarming. A time of such gravity demands a response of powerful magnitude.

    That may be asking too much of the current occupant of the Oval Office.

    In each case this week, President Donald Trump has either delivered conflicting messages or, most alarmingly, resorted to outright lies in response to these tragedies.

    On Friday, after authorities arrested Cesar Sayoc for allegedly perpetrating a failed nation-wide bombing campaign that targeted political and media critics of President Trump, footage of Sayoc’s van began to go viral.

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    Plastered over the windows of the vehicle were various high-quality stickers depicting President Trump glowingly and showing many of his critics in cross hairs.

    While Trump condemned the failed attacks to the media upon Sayoc’s initial arrest, his tone towards the media as authorities pursued the bomber throughout the week was not measured, but instead maniacal.

    In his patented, have-my-cake-and-eat-it-too way, Trump doubled down on both civility AND projecting blame.

    “We must unify as a nation in peace, love and harmony,” he said in North Carolina, before proceeding to blame the media and Democrats for the atmosphere of “incivility” permeating the country.

    “[We do not] blame the Democrat Party every time radical leftists seized and destroy public property and unleash violence and mayhem,” he said after pivoting from talking about a real bombing campaign tied to one of his most ardent supporters. 

    “Yet the media has tried to attack the incredible Americans who support our movement to give power back to the people,” he continued, failing to note the “incredible Americans,” who coincidentally happened to be the target of both the president’s rants and Sayoc’s wrath.

    As of press time, Trump had yet to comment on the likely-racially motivated killings in Kentucky. Considering Trump’s initial response to the slaughter of 11 people attending a Jewish naming ceremony on Saturday, perhaps silence is his best response.

    “Results (the results!) would have been better,” the president said. “If there was an armed guard inside the temple, they would have been able to stop him.”

    The premise is of course, a joke. Three well-armed police and SWAT officers were shot in the melee. The most egregious part is Trump’s willingness to blame the victims. “If only everyone had been armed…” the old NRA-talking point, dressed up in Trump-speak.

    Then at another rally Saturday, this time in Illinois, Trump went full “big lie.”

    Attempting to justify having the rally in the face of a horrific national tragedy just hours earlier, Trump told the story of how, after the planes brought down the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, the New York Stock Exchange was open for business the very next day.

    “I remembered Dick Russell, a friend of mine, great guy, he headed up the New York Stock Exchange on September 11th, and the New York Stock Exchange was open the following day,” Trump said to his captivated audience.

    The only problem with the inspirational story is that it is not true. The NYSE closed until September 17, 2001, its longest closure since 1933.

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    President Trump’s willingness to freestyle and make things up is in it of itself alarming. However, his purpose for telling this particular lie is telling and even more concerning.

    Trump used 9/11 to justify firing up his political base in the face of mass casualties, just to make sure the GOP doesn’t lose its majorities in the House and Senate. 

     He did the same thing this week to stymie any negative blowback from the MAGA-bomber saga by continuing to harangue people who were subject to possibly being blown to smithereens, all in the name of political (read: personal) gain.

    If Trump will lie to justify putting on one of his ego-stroking rallies after one of the worst anti-Semitic attacks in the country’s history, what else will he lie about? What can’t be justified?

    Lies and misdirection have been the currency of this White House since Sean Spicer went blind and said Trump had the largest inauguration crowd ever. There has been little Democrats could do to make the administration pay politically.

    Those who disagree with Trump and his agenda also have had little recourse. Now they can truly have their voices heard.

    On Tuesday, Nov. 6, VOTE.

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