How Could This Happen?

Republicans lost no time in blaming Muslims for the massacre in Orlando last weekend. As the investigation unfolds it becomes more and more clear that the perpetrator was a lone wolf who was really screwed up. Apparently he was really screwed up about his sexuality. His targeting of gays seems to be quite premeditated.

This aspect of the crime is all but ignored by Republicans. The last thing they want to do is to say anything that would promote sympathy for one of their perpetual punching bags.

What they do want to do is to once again is to ignore any evidence and catapult the propaganda that once more we must be in fear and we must turn to the Daddy party for safety. The bogey man du jour is Muslims. In the past it has been Communists, blacks, Latinos or any one of a number of “other” humans. Those folks are still pulled out of the trunk now and then and shaken to remind us to be scared of them, but today we must fear Muslims.

So while the real target was the LGTB community, Republicans once again tilt at the windmill marked “Muslim.”

Not only do they tilt at that windmill, but they insist that we all must talk about their windmill in only a certain way. They insist that their windmill be called “radical Islam” and nothing less. Republicans lecture others on political correctness, that speaking of people and things in a respectful way is somehow evil. Yet within their ranks they practice their own version politically correct speech. In their version anyone or anything marked as an enemy must only be spoken of in a denigrating way. To not do so illustrates your unfitness for office.

So if say a president does not refer to Muslims as “radical Islamists” then that is proof that he is in sympathy with the enemy and must resign. In a similar strain, blacks are referred to as “thugs”; latinos as “drug smugglers or criminals”; anyone who wants strong government as a “communist” or “socialist”; union members are likened to thieves and government workers are portrayed as lazy and worthless. But guns are never bad or a tool of death. Nope guns are good and the more the better.

Republicans want the media and their opponents to only discuss issues using their terms. In other words they want issues spoken of in their politically correct language. Their words are loaded with images they conjure up – my favorite is that Reaganesque term “welfare queen.” The only way we can have substantive discussions is to use words of respect that are not loaded with hate. We can’t make good decisions if our thought process is clouded.

And of course Iowa’s politicians are always ready to join the parade. Here’s Terry Branstad: “My heart goes out to the people that were killed and their families, and I think it underscores why we need to be vigilant, and we need new leadership that’s going to take this threat from Islamic terrorism seriously,”

Steve King once again shows his shallow understanding of any problem that all our ills are caused by terrorists that we don’t talk about in the Republican way:

“King also said that “political correctness” was keeping the United States from responding to and preventing terrorist attacks, a view shared by Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).”

A simple google search gives us Mother Jones’ continuing investigation of mass shootings in the US 1993 to 2016. This table shows that most of the mass murders in the US were perpetrated by whites (see pivot table 1 on MJ link). “Islamic Terrorist” doesn’t as yet rate a category.

What we do see in this table is guns, guns, guns. At a glance that is at the core of every mass murder listed. Potential mental illness rates second place. The guns – even weapons of war – are easily obtained in this country thanks in great degree to a lobbying group named the NRA and spineless congress critters like Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst.

Republicans once again take a serious situation and twist the data to fit their narrative rather than investigate to find the real sources of the problems. If this sounds familiar, let me remind you that 15 years ago airplanes were hijacked and flown into buildings in New York City. Then the Republican administration began the task of fitting an attack by religious extremists from Saudi Arabia to their desire to invade Iraq and steal Iraq’s oil.

Based on statements by various Republican officeholders and candidates we know there is a strong desire to once more have the US get deeply militarily involved in the Middle East. Once again they will need to create a reason for military action. Getting the public to go along with such an adventure again after the last disaster will take a lot of PC – propaganda channeling.

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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