Newspaper editorial boards slammed presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for his “xenophobic rant” in response to the deadliest mass shooting in recent American history which targeted a gay nightclub Orlando, Florida. Several editorial boards described the speech he delivered after the tragedy as “a new low of bigotry … and conspiracy-peddling,” and declared that Trump failed this leadership test and proved himself “unfit to lead.”
Donald Trump Reacts To Deadliest Mass Shooting Attack At Orlando Gay Nightclub By Singling Out Muslims, Suggesting Obama Sympathizes With Terrorists
NY Times: In Speech, Trump “Propose[d] Sweeping Measures Against Muslims” And “Darkly Suggested That The President Was Sympathetic To Islamic Terrorists.” In the aftermath of the June 12 terrorist attack in which a gunman stormed a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida and murdered 49 people, Trump’s used his first speech “to propose sweeping measures against Muslims that pay little heed to American traditions of pluralism.” According to The New York Times, Trump argued “that all Muslim immigrants posed potential threats to America’s security,” and also “darkly suggested that the president was sympathetic to Islamic terrorists” in a television interview the same day. From the June 13 article:
Donald J. Trump left little doubt on Monday that he intends to run on the same proposals on immigration and terrorism that animated his primary campaign, using his first speech after the massacre in Orlando, Fla., to propose sweeping measures against Muslims that pay little heed to American traditions of pluralism.
Without distinguishing between mainstream Muslims and Islamist terrorists, Mr. Trump suggested that all Muslim immigrants posed potential threats to America’s security and called for a ban on migrants from any part of the world with “a proven history of terrorism” against the United States or its allies. He also insinuated that American Muslims were all but complicit in acts of domestic terrorism for failing to report attacks in advance, asserting without evidence that they had warnings of shootings like the one in Orlando.
Mr. Trump’s speech, delivered at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., represented an extraordinary break from the longstanding rhetorical norms of American presidential nominees. But if his language more closely resembled a European nationalist’s than a mainstream Republican’s, he was wagering that voters are stirred more by their fears of Islamic terrorism than any concerns they may have about his flouting traditions of tolerance and respect for religious diversity.
He used the hours after the Orlando massacre to claim prescience about the attack and to demand Mr. Obama’s resignation. Then, in a television interview on Monday morning, Mr. Trump darkly suggested that the president was sympathetic to Islamic terrorists.
“We’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind,” Mr. Trump said. “There is something going on.” [The New York Times, 6/13/16]
Donald Trump: “Appreciate The Congrats For Being Right On Radical Islamic Terrorism, I Don’t Want Congrats, I Want Toughness & Vigilance. We Must Be Smart!”
Editorial Boards Across The Country Slam Trump’s “Offensive And Un-American” Response To The Attack, Declare Trump “Unfit To Lead”
NY Times Editorial Board: “Aside From Being Offensive And Un-American,” Trump’s Proposals In His Speech “Would Do Nothing To Stop People Like The Shooter In This Case.” The New York Times’ editorial board blasted Trump’s response to the Orlando attack i writing, “what did Mr. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, do first? He congratulated himself, on Twitter, for having predicted such an assault and called for President Obama to resign.” The Times noted that Trump’s “outrageous call to bar Muslims from entering the country ...would do nothing to stop people like the shooter in this case,” because he was “an American citizen born in New York.” From the June 13 editorial:
First, and unbearably, there are the dead. Forty-nine young men and women at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., doing what young men and women everywhere do on a Saturday night — singing, dancing, enjoying one another’s company.
Now the politics. All mass shootings convulse the nation, but this one falls in the middle of one of the nastiest, most divisive presidential campaigns in memory. And if there is anyone who might try to turn one of the worst atrocities in modern American history to his own warped ends, who could draw all the wrong lessons from the horror of what happened in Orlando, it is Donald Trump.
One can take the measure of a leader from his or her response to national trauma. So what did Mr. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, do first? He congratulated himself, on Twitter, for having predicted such an assault and called for President Obama to resign. On Monday, he said, cryptically, “Look, we’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart or he’s got something else in mind.”
In a speech Monday afternoon, Mr. Trump doubled down on his outrageous call to bar all Muslims from entering the country. “When I’m elected I will suspend immigration from areas of the world where there’s a proven history of terrorism against the United States,” he said. “We cannot continue to allow thousands upon thousands of people to pour into our country, many of whom have the same thought process as this savage killer.”
Aside from being offensive and un-American, this would do nothing to stop people like the shooter in this case, Omar Mateen, an American citizen born in New York and living in Florida. (To evade this inconvenient fact, Mr. Trump said in his speech on Monday that Mr. Mateen was born in Afghanistan — or “Afghan,” as he put it.) [The New York Times, 6/13/16]
Wash. Post: “Donald Trump Descended This Week To A New Low Of Bigotry, Fear-Mongering And Conspiracy-Peddling.” In an editorial titled “Donald Trump’s assault on our values,” the Washington Post editorial board wrote that Trump “may have calculated that a suddenly anxious electorate would be more receptive to his campaign of fear and prejudice, emotions he immediately attempted to inflame.” The board added, “To generalize as Mr. Trump does about ‘the Muslims’ is to set the nation down a dangerous road it has trod, to its eventual regret, in the past,” and concluded that Trump “reveal[ed] himself more clearly than ever as a man unfit to lead.” From the June 13 editorial:
It had not seemed possible, but Donald Trump descended this week to a new low of bigotry, fear-mongering and conspiracy-peddling. Republican leaders who said last week that they expected a change in tone after Mr. Trump’s racist attacks on a California judge quickly received their answer. What can House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) or Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) possibly say now? As the country mourned the wanton slaughter of 49 people early Sunday, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee took a victory lap, hinted darkly that President Obama is an enemy of the nation, libeled American Muslims and, in grotesque punctuation, finished up with a vindictive attack on the media.
“Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism,” he tweeted. “I don’t want congrats,” he continued, as though that were not exactly what he wanted, “I want toughness & vigilance.” Mr. Trump may have calculated that a suddenly anxious electorate would be more receptive to his campaign of fear and prejudice, emotions he immediately attempted to inflame.
The following shouldn’t have to be repeated, but Mr. Trump makes it necessary. Most American Muslims are as patriotic and law-abiding as most American Christians, Jews and Hindus. Many have fought for and are fighting for the United States in dangerous theaters far away. To generalize as Mr. Trump does about “the Muslims” is to set the nation down a dangerous road it has trod, to its eventual regret, in the past: banning Chinese immigrants a century ago, rounding up U.S. citizens and noncitizens of Japanese descent in the 1940s, expelling “wetbacks” a decade later.
Mr. Trump also raised suspicion in television interviews that Mr. Obama wants terrorists to strike the United States, or at least looks the other way as they scheme. “We’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart or has something else in mind. And the something else in mind — people can’t believe it. People cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and can’t even mention the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism.’ There’s something going on.” He invited poisonous speculations about his Democratic opponent’s motives, as well: Hillary Clinton “wants to allow radical Islamic terrorists to pour into our country,” he said. Informal Trump adviser Roger Stone, meanwhile, claimed that Huma Abedin, a top Clinton aide, might be “a terrorist agent.”
Before the Orlando shooting, Beltway analysts speculated about how a terrorist attack might affect the presidential election. Now we know at least part of the answer: Mr. Trump would reveal himself more clearly than ever as a man unfit to lead. [The Washington Post, 6/13/16]
LA Times: “More Reasonable Minds Recognize” Trump’s “Ideas As Intellectually And Morally Bankrupt.” The Los Angeles Times’ editorial board excoriated the “anti-Muslim hate-mongering” in Trump’s speech, writing that Trump’s “campaign has given currency to dangerously wrong ideas about race, religion and proper conduct of a civil society.” The board pointed out that Trump is “engaged in a smear campaign reminiscent of the dark days of McCarthyism.” The LA Times concluded that “Trump’s shoot-from-the-lip persona makes him unsuited for the presidency, and we’ll keep saying it right up until the election, when we hope he fades from the national stage and takes his repugnant intolerance with him.” From the June 13 editorial:
Donald J. Trump, the loose cannon who would be president, hinted Monday that President Obama might be complicit in terror attacks by Islamic extremists, including Sunday’s bloodbath in Orlando, Fla. That accusation by innuendo marks a new and repugnant low for Trump, who along with his surrogates is engaged in a smear campaign reminiscent of the dark days of McCarthyism.
What’s inconceivable is Trump suggesting Obama may be endangering the people he has sworn to protect based on nothing more than the chatter of political lunatics. This isn’t the first time Trump has used innuendo to introduce personal smears as though he’s a small-town gossip. You can almost hear him whisper, “I’m not saying this, but others are talking…” before channeling the kind of garbage that lives out on the political fringes.
Trump doubled down on his anti-Muslim hate-mongering in a speech in New Hampshire in which he warned that “radical Islam is coming” and pledged to ban immigration from areas of the world in which anti-U.S or anti-European terrorism may arise. Never mind that the shooter in Orlando was a native New Yorker. In Trump’s view, the government has no mechanism for keeping children of immigrants from radicalizing. So not only would he ban adherents of a major world religion for the acts of the few, he also indicts them for the imagined crimes of their unborn children. And he urged Muslim communities to “turn in the people who they know are bad – and they do know where they are,” implying Muslims are intentionally shielding terrorists.
We’ve said before that Trump’s shoot-from-the-lip persona makes him unsuited for the presidency, and we’ll keep saying it right up until the election, when we hope he fades from the national stage and takes his repugnant intolerance with him. Yet we also fear his campaign has given currency to dangerously wrong ideas about race, religion and proper conduct of a civil society. More reasonable minds recognize those ideas as intellectually and morally bankrupt, and they should recognize the boastful messenger for what he is. [Los Angeles Times, 6/13/16]
Sacramento Bee: “It’s Hard To Imagine Any Way Such A Gut-Wrenching Situation Could Be Made Worse. Yet Donald Trump Found A Way.” In an editorial titled “Here’s the wrong way to handle a national tragedy,” The Sacramento Bee editorial board characterized Trump’s speech as “a xenophobic rant” that “appealed to the worst in a nation still trying to make sense of a senselessly heinous crime.” The board went on to write that Trump’s speech was “blatantly twisting facts and harvesting the seeds of division that he sowed after the terror attack in San Bernardino in December,” with Trump “repeatedly blurred the lines between radical Islamic terrorists and law-abiding American Muslims.” The board concluded that “Trump traffics in fear, hate, intolerance, division, racism and ethnocentrism. Those qualities are not only not ‘presidential,’ as he might put it. They’re qualities to fear.” From the June 13 editorial:
On a day when the names and smiling young faces of the 49 killed at an Orlando nightclub began spilling across social media alongside tearful tributes from loved ones, it’s hard to imagine any way such a gut-wrenching situation could be made worse.
Yet Donald Trump found a way.
In what started as a measured speech read from a teleprompter and morphed into a xenophobic rant, the presumptive Republican nominee appealed to the worst in a nation still trying to make sense of a senselessly heinous crime.
As tests of leadership go, Trump spectacularly failed this one, the first of the general election against presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Faced with a country desperately in need of selfless reassurance and ideas, he pandered to his base with divisive fearmongering. It is appalling that Trump could choose so selfishly.
Then, during his Monday speech, he shamelessly fanned the basest fears of Republican voters, blatantly twisting facts and harvesting the seeds of division that he sowed after the terror attack in San Bernardino in December.
Trump repeatedly blurred the lines between radical Islamic terrorists and law-abiding American Muslims. He warned that followers of Islam don’t share “American values” and implied, bizarrely, that to support Muslim Americans is to put gay Americans at risk.
Trump traffics in fear, hate, intolerance, division, racism and ethnocentrism. Those qualities are not only not “presidential,” as he might put it. They’re qualities to fear.
We struggle to understand what Republicans are thinking, putting him forth for the White House. Charisma is one thing. Character is another, and repeatedly Trump, in the most crucial of moments, has shown us that his is morally and ethically damaged.
Leaning into the cameras on Monday, he warned: “This is a dark moment in American history.”
It is. Just as love is love, hate is hate, and a segment of Americans are being driven headlong toward the latter, with Donald Trump leading the charge. [The Sacramento Bee, 6/13/16]