FOLLOWING THE DOTS…
I don’t know if President Trump is able to follow the dots from hateful to hatred.
If he doesn’t want hate in the country he should stop being so hateful. I am afraid demons have been unleashed in our country. These are demons of deception, lying, and delusion. Demons of hatred, violence, and murder have been set free upon us. I don’t say that to deprive our leaders of responsibility; especially since the expressions of demons have come from their mouths.
Espousing vindictiveness toward certain individual and groups, endorsing hateful caricatures, setting up groups or nationalities as whipping boys is at best cynical politics, and at worst racism, nativism, and an incitement to violence. President Trump has done this repeatedly by creating targets of opportunity. He has set up as enemies the mainstream press, his own Attorney General, FBI Director, Special Counsel, four Congresswomen of color, Muslims, migrants, immigrants, refugees, football players, the memory of a deceased senator and just about anyone who has had the temerity to oppose him. I think of Henry II words to his followers causing the murder of Thomas Becket.
Who would believe in demons these days? Maybe when we can’t explain things any other way, or maybe when we see the results and the evil which has not only been let loose, but excused and justified. As God sent a spirit of delusion once to an Israelite King I see a similar effect upon American Evangelicals. As one of them I have a great deal of sympathy for the things they believe in and stand against. Evangelicals have been so frustrated with being able to undo abortion that they have essentially sold their souls to defend a President who is so unworthy of their support.
Reason and appeal doesn’t seem to phase them. They would rather believe Russian originated pseudo news than facts, they would rather continue to attack former candidates and past presidents rather than to deal with the deviltry before them, or that has begun to rule over them. They have come to the practical conclusion that they need an earthly king to bring about political change and they are loathe to even criticize him. In the name of a morality they seek they seem to have abandoned ethical sense.
We have had a white domestic terrorist shooting in El Paso recently. Now when it comes to mass shootings or mass killings there can be and are many different reasons behind it, along with things that facilitate their accomplishment. The one in El Paso was fairly simple to analyze since the gunman wrote a manifesto. Once a political-ideological statement is made, published on social media, and then carried out it is hard to dismiss the actions as those of someone who is mentally ill. Even though real evil is often incomprehensible it is nevertheless real. Usually the people who have carried out horrible acts of evil in the name of a racist or political ideology were not mentally ill.
There have certainly been people who have had a psychotic delusion, become paranoid, and killed. These events are terrifying, but they are not terrorism. Terrorism is when the terrorist thinks he or she (or their group) is at war against some ones or something and they are taking an extreme step to demonstrate their outrage, or have taken up the outrage of their group. They usually hope it will ignite in others the same kind of outrage and lead to some broader movement.
Terrorists acts have been pursued by people who are religious zealots, nationalistic or political zealots, racial or ethnic extremists. A terrorist is one of several (or many) who feel a justified common or societal anger. They have a sense of being unjustifiably grieved or threatened, and even a bit helpless to stop the emotional and social insult. They begin to feel constrained that a terroristic act is something that must be used to demonstrate how bad things have become. It comes with a self-righteousness that allows the worst of crimes; the murder of innocents as symbols of what they despise.
Horrific violent acts of homicidal maniacs are something we should all be concerned about, but it is a political ploy to use that as an excuse for the terrorism that political rhetoric has created. Words count, and they cause violence. Nativist white supremacy is not a mental illness, as crazy as their reasoning can sound,. Racial terrorism is more dangerous than lunacy because it is not deprived of losing touch with the target, the weapon, the opportunity, and the audience.
I am sure there are commonalities with homicidal insanity and terrorist killing. There is often a malignant narcissism involved. The perpetrator sees himself as the victim, or the hero, and loses all compassion for those he is about to slaughter. Demons deceive, and this reality seems far too present in America today.
President Trump needs to come to grips with the result of his words. Will he ever take responsibility and feel some guilt? Will he realize the effect of his vindictive, malicious instigation of not only a public incivility towards those his followers see as “other” and the enemy but as a rationale for those already bent on murder? I am not saying President Trump has created white supremacy or natavistic xenophobia, but he has certainly fanned its flames.
It will do no good to equivocate by citing the stupid or malicious words of others who are not in the position of our President. He alone has this position, and he alone has this platform from which to speak. If he wants peace he should pursue it, if he wants love he should give it, if he is against hate he should stop being hateful. So far we haven’t seen bridge building or reconciliation, only the creation of enemy targets by which to solidify his political base. If you are part of that base either run and get out of the delusion or begin to speak out against hatred.