“If I get in [the White House], it’s going to change, and it’s going to change quickly. We’re going from total incompetence to just the opposite, believe me.”
So said Donald Trump, in signature style, in the wake of the massacre at the Pulse Club in Orlando. Thus Mr. Trump validates our assertion back in March when we said that events, rather than preference for this or that policy, could become the key determinant of who wins the White House.
It is inevitable, though admittedly distasteful, that the killing or grievous wounding of 100 or more innocent citizens will become politicized – particularly in what is a very hot election season. Given the facts of the Orlando massacre, that fact would seem to work against Hillary Clinton.
For nearly eight years, following each atrocity carried out by Islamic radicals, President Obama has been careful to avoid laying the blame for the mayhem at the feet of Islamic radicals. “We’re still looking at the motivations of the killer,” said the president about the Orlando shooter Omar Mateen. To many if not most, the motivations of the killer seem obvious.
The president has been at pains to paint every attack as a one-off rather than a series of events that share an obvious connection to radical Islam.
The shooting at Fort Hood was characterized by the president as “workplace violence.” Ditto the San Bernardino shooting. In all of the ever growing number of domestic and international terrorist massacres, the president does all he can to avoid talking about the common thread of radical Islam.
And after each mass shooting, the president calls for more gun control.
No, in this political season, there is no avoiding politicizing the Orlando massacre. Usually, when events get politicized, it works to the advantage of Democrats. But that seems unlikely this time.
Donald Trump’s much-maligned call to stop immigration from Muslim countries until we can “figure out what the hell is going on,” seems like common sense to a large number of Americans. And yes, Omar Mateen was born in the U.S. But if we have a problem with homegrown radicals, how much sense does it make risk importing more?
Historically, the Democratic Party has been perceived to be more closely aligned with the concerns and interests of homosexuals. Democrats have been very successful in tarring Republicans with the homophobe brush.
Thus it is inconvenient for Democrats that the Orlando massacre took place at a gay bar. Homosexuality is a capital crime in most Islamic countries. That President Obama became visibly angry at Donald Trump yesterday for Trump’s criticism that the president refuses to call radical Islam by name is bound to get the attention of more than a few in the LGBT community.
Since at least 2001, concern about national security has worked to the favor of Republicans. That she is inextricably tied to Obama administration policies regarding the Middle East and Islamic terror could pose real problems for Hillary Clinton.
Because when events like Orlando happen, very few view those policies as having been effective.