Monday, June 05, 2017

Our Tweeter-In-Chief Tried To Demagogue The London Attack

There was a new attack by terrorists in Great Britain -- this time in London. At least seven people were killed and dozens more wounded. Most responsible world leaders sent their sympathy to the victims and assured Great Britain that they would stand beside them. Our "leader" took a different tack. He tried to demagogue the attack -- use it to scare people into supporting his own xenophobic and bigoted policy. He used the tragedy to tweet that the courts should approve his travel ban.

Trump wants Americans to believe that his silly and unconstitutional travel ban would protect the U.S. from terrorist attacks -- and that those attacks will surely come without that travel ban. It's time to look at some facts that Trump and his bigoted right-wing friends like to ignore.

* Deaths from terrorist attacks are rare in the United States, and our law enforcement agencies are doing a very good job of preventing them. In fact, you have a much better chance of being hit by lightening (or shot by a toddler) than dying in a terrorist attack.

* Of the few terrorist deaths in the United States, more have been from attacks by right-wing home-grown terrorists than by islamic terrorists.

* Refugees from the six countries in Trump's travel ban (Libya, Sudan, Syria, Iran, Yemen, and Somalia) have never engineered a terrorist attack in the United States. The 9/11 attack was carried out by 15 from Saudi Arabia, 2 from the United Arab Emirates, 1 from Egypt, and 1 from Lebanon -- all countries that Trump considers to be our friends. The San Bernardino attack was done by an American-born person and a person from Pakistan (who had lived most of her life in Saudi Arabia). The Orlando shooter was born and raised in the United States. I repeat -- none of these attackers (or any others) were from any of the countries on Trumps's travel ban list.

* The travel ban violates the First Amendment of the Constitution by targeting a religious group (thus violating the religious freedom provision).

The truth is that there is no proof at all that the refugees from the countries on Trump's list pose any more danger to Americans than people from any other country -- and those allowed to emigrate to the U.S. have gone through a rigorous vetting process (that can take up to two years).

Trump is simply playing politics, and he doesn't mind using victims of terrorism in other countries to further his own political agenda -- an agenda aimed at nothing more than making himself look good. He should be ashamed of himself, but unfortunately, the part of his brain where shame should reside has been filled with an overflowing narcissism.

Making matters even worse is the fact that Trump is more dangerous to many living in the United States than terrorists ever will be. If Trumpcare is enacted, then thousands of people will die because they can no longer afford health insurance (and no longer are able to get preventative care). About 17,000 people a year die because of a lack of health insurance and preventative care (thanks to many GOP states refusing to expand Medicaid). Trumpcare, by taking insurance away from 23 million people, would double or triple the number of deaths.

Then we have his cuts to the EPA (of 25% to 30%), which will undoubtably make our air dirtier -- and endanger the lives of those with asthma and other respiratory diseases (especially children). And his refusal to stay in the Paris Accord and fight global climate change, which will surely increase the number and severity of storms, droughts, floods, and other natural disasters -- costing many lives unnecessarily. And that's before we even talk about his mean-spirited budget that cuts food stamps and other things that help people to survive.

The number of deaths that Trump's policies will cause make the terrorists look like amateurs. But he might get away with it by making people fear terrorism -- taking their eyes and minds off his policies. He needs to cut the things that help ordinary Americans to live and survive, because it's the only way he can give massive tax cuts that only help him and his rich friends. If you are worried about terrorism, he hopes you won't see the deaths he is causing to reward the rich.

I'm not saying terrorism shouldn't be dealt with. It should be, and our law enforcement and intelligence agencies are doing that. Just remember there is a far greater danger to Americans lives than terrorists -- and his name is Donald Trump.

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