Friday, December 18, 2015

The Terrorism That Republican Candidates Won't Talk About

(This image of Republican debaters is by DonkeyHotey.)

Throughout this campaign the Republican presidential candidates have repeatedly brought up the specter of jihadist terrorism in this country -- and they did it again in their debate a few days ago. This is a naked attempt to appeal to their base's fear and hatred of muslims -- both here and abroad. It is not a real effort to hold a rational discussion on terrorism in the United States.

I say that because they all completely ignored a recent act of terrorism in this country -- the terrorist attack on a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado. They were eager to talk about the terrorist attack in California, because it was done by muslims. But they don't want to talk about terrorist attacks done by right-wing christians.

If they did, then they would have to admit that many of the right-wing christian terrorists are radicalized by the words of Republican candidates -- and by their propaganda organization, Fox News. The GOP candidates (and Fox News) have been preaching hate for all they consider to be "enemies" (muslims, President Obama, immigrants, Democrats, liberal, minorities, Planned Parenthood, etc.) -- saying all of these "enemies" are destroying the United States. It is more than a bit disingenuous to say that this continual hate speech has not radicalized many of the right-wing christian terrorists.

And their refusal to recognize that terrorism in this country is not done by jihadists alone, means they have no real solution to terrorism in this country. Their only "solution" is to discriminate against muslims and broader the U.S. participation in the war in Iraq/Syria (both of which would just cause more American deaths and radicalize more jihadist terrorists). It is a bumper sticker solution that won't work in the real world.

Another reason it won't work is because most terrorist attacks in the United States are not done by jihadists, but by home-grown right-wing christian terrorists. Americans are far more likely to be the victim of a right-wing terrorist than a jihadist terrorist, as it is just a fact that most terrorist incidents in this country are carried out by right-wing christian terrorists.

We do need to have a rational discussion on how to suppress terrorist attacks in this country, but the Republicans are not willing to participate in that debate. They are only interested in bigoted hate and fear mongering.

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