Monday, March 28, 2016

Size Matters. So Do Words.

London's Daily Mail reports

viewers took to Twitter in their droves to ridicule Trump for the 'cringe' encounter, in which they accused him of not answering questions and continually repeating himself.

The entrepreneur received the bulk of Briton's taunts after he was asked if he wanted to send a message to the people of the UK, choosing to 'ramble on' about the golf course he built in Scotland.

Twitter user Kevin Meagher wrote: ' "Paris has some of the strictest gun laws in the world and so does France." Does Donald think they're two different countries?'

Meanwhile, user ImaginaryCard tweeted: 'Fav part: Piers told him to send a message to the people of the UK and he rambled on about his golf course in Scotland #MorganTrump'

Jeremy Singer ‏tweeted: 'That was bad! An hour of self promotion, weak answers & assertions by a man who could be president!'

As has been obvious throughout the campaign, Donald Trump is nothing if not a self-promoter, continually boasting about everything Trump.  Further, it's merely careless not to specify "Paris has some of the strictest gun laws in the world and so does France itself" or "... and so does the nation of France."     The candidate's statement is not unlike that of Senator Barack Obama when he said that he already had campaigned in 57 states with one left to go. (He was excluding Alaska and Hawaii).   Obama was then elected President. Twice.

More significant is what Democrats refuse to say.  Salon's Brendan Gauthier on Saturday wrote

Last night’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” got combative when New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, a member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, chose carefully to say “violent extremism” rather than “Islamic extremism.”

Maher, a documented opponent of political correctness on the issue, took issue with the phrasing, saying, “I think the Democrats risk losing this election if they cannot put together the words ‘Islamic extremism’ as opposed to ‘violent extremism.”

“Please just tell me that you recognize that it is a distinct threat much greater than any other violent extremist threat,” Maher pleaded. “You don’t really think it’s on the same order as the KKK. Are you really worried about the KKK?”

It's a good question, one skillfully avoided by the Senator and former mayor of Newark, N.J., who responded "what I'm worried about is that you begin that question by saying 'The Democrats will lose if.' First of all, if the Democrats lose by how they talk about this extremism, then they've got more problems."

Maher noted that 45% of Democrats- even Democrats- support Donald Trump's idea (if not attributed to him) of barring Muslims from the USA.  Booker then countered by denying trying to create a "false equivalency," while he referring to domestic terrorism, maintaining that since 9/11/01, we've lost 48 Americans to such incidents.

Well done, but largely beside the point, so Maher explained "but Christians are not trying to get a dirty bomb," which is a basic difference between Muslim-inspired and Christian-insprired terrorism. "That is a false equivalency," he informed Booker, who again pleaded "I'm not trying to create a false  equivalency."

When the New Jersey Senator accused Maher of considering such terrorism the only threat, Maher replied "I'm not saying only. It's distinct and different and bigger. Size matters." After Booker cautioned against fear-mongering.Maher pointed out "fear is important to people" and added "it's not mongering if there's an attack."

Though evidently a big fan of Booker aside from this issue, the host finally laid it out for the Senator: "Just say Islamic terrorism. Just say those words and you'll win the lelection. Avoid those words and you're going to lose."

Cory Booker, whose views about financial reform (should) make Hillary Clinton look like Elizabeth Warren, is not  the issue. Neither is Donald Trump who, if he's nominated, may- may- find that his lack of experience, ignorance of foreign policy, misogyny, questionable business practices, and other problems too much to overcome even if there is an attack upon the "homeland."

But it is not by coincidence that following the bombing in Brussels, Ted Cruz's first reaction, posted on his Facebook page, included

Radical Islam is at war with us. For over seven years we have had a president who refuses to acknowledge this reality.  And the truth is, we can never hope to defeat this evil so long as we refuse to even name it. That ends on January 20, 2017, when I am sworn in as president. We will name our enemy -- radical Islamic terrorism. And we will defeat it.

Say the words, Cory. Say the words, Barack. Most importantly, given the major threat of a Ted Cruz presidency and the comparatively minor threat of a Donald Trump one, Hillary Clinton must utter the phrase because if there is a Muslim-related terrorist attack prior to the election, no one will care about lead poisoning, poverty, and lack of quality jobs cited by Booker as threatening the city he served as mayor.

Nevertheless, Mrs. Clinton should say it not only to blunt criticism from Republicans because Democrats refuse to utter the phrase.

She should do so also out of honesty and out of transparency.  Islam is the religion practiced by Muslims. The terrorism which Bill Maher recognizes as the threat of greatest magnitude is committed by Muslims dedicated to Islamism and committing it in the name of Islam. Call it Islamic terrorism or radical Islamic terrorism.  Identify the danger. Minimizing or misinterpreting it does not make it go away.

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