It’s Time to Tell the Truth About Donald Trump’s Appalling Response to the Orlando Massacre

One thing I’ve learned over this past year of covering Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is that it’s pointless to “break down” or “analyze” what he says. Instead, you really just need to look at why he’s saying it. Unlike anyone else I’ve ever seen before, Trump just says… stuff. While all politicians lie, I’ve never seen one who doesn’t seem to care if what he’s saying is remotely accurate or even makes any sense. That goes back to what I said about ignoring what he says, instead focusing on why he’s saying it.

Take for instance his appalling response to the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando that left 49 people dead and 53 others wounded.

I think it’s time for us to be honest about what this was. Donald Trump’s reaction to this massacre wasn’t a presidential candidate legitimately upset that 49 people lost their lives at the hands of a madman. Not even close. Trump’s reaction was tantamount to a “celebration,” of sorts, by a presidential candidate who clearly recognized that this was a “great opportunity” to push fear, hate and his usual bigoted propaganda because he knew it would help his campaign.

Doubt me?

Here’s Trump bragging about his poll numbers going up following the San Bernardino massacre:

When you look at the very first tweet he sent out about the Orlando massacre, he instantly turned it into a political issue:

Then he literally thanked someone for “congratulating him” about being “right” about Islamic terrorism (even though he wasn’t):

He even tried to defend his blatant lie about seeing “thousands and thousands” of Muslim celebrating the day of the 9/11 attacks because a former classmate said the Orlando shooter “celebrated” the attack:

I love the last part, “I was right,” even though an unverified account from a classmate does not validate his lie about seeing “thousands and thousands” of Muslims celebrating in New Jersey — which were his exact words.

Tweet after tweet, speech after speech, comment after comment, Trump has politicized this tragedy to vilify Islam and push for a ban on Muslims that wouldn’t have mattered because the shooter was an American citizen.

Whether Trump likes it or not, this monster was just as much an American citizen as he is. It’s totally asinine to use an attack carried out by a natural born American citizen to claim that it “justifies” his call to ban Muslims.

This rhetoric does expose the true underlying belief of Trump and those who support him that, even if you’re an American citizen, Muslims “really aren’t American.” That’s basically what Trump has been saying, he’s just not saying it directly.

But when you look at Trump’s history of bigotry and racism, combined with a pattern where he often likes to brag about himself in the wake of some tragedy, it’s time for people to be honest about what all of this is: It’s Donald Trump exploiting the horrific deaths of 49 people — while, at times, essentially bragging about “being right” (when he wasn’t) — because he’s saw this massacre as the perfect opportunity for him to try to boost a presidential campaign that was spiraling out of control.

If you ask me, what I’m seeing is a presidential candidate damn near celebrating a horrific tragedy because he knows he can use it to help spread the fear, hate, anger and lies on which he’s built most of his campaign.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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