It would be breathtaking were it not so utterly predictable.
Dylann Roof had barely finished murdering congregants at a Charleston Church when both Obama and His Third Term, aka Hillary, opined. Their inference was a sordid twist on American exceptionalism – America, the violent and dangerous exception in the advanced world. Mean, bad, ole America.
Each has a unique interest in advancing this train of thought. Obama is nearing the end of what could have been a remarkable two terms. He has little to show for it. He’s grasping desperately to find a legacy. This week it’s Charleston, next week he’ll try elsewhere.
His Third Term needs to score points with Big Left. She wants to find herself in 2023 with Obama’s legacy problem. So she’s got to speak in six second soundbites that appeal to Big Left’s interests. In this case that interest is racism and gun control. Next week it will be racism and something else.
Others will discuss racism and gun control. Here, that discussion will be limited to noting that hate crime laws are on the books and they didn’t deter Dylann Roof. Criminals by definition don’t follow the law so illegalizing a gun isn’t a deterrent anymore than banning knives would stop murder by stabbing. If laws were all we needed to stop bad things from happening we’d have a law outlawing bad things from happening by now.
Obama’s assertion, buttressed by His Third Term’s remarks, is that America is negatively exceptional because of horrendous acts of mass violence and murder. Thing is, it’s not true.
From the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris to the London murder of British Soldier Lee Rigby in broad daylight (he was literally hatcheted to death while onlookers whipped out cellphones to video the incident), horrific violence occurs in many advanced countries. Before some complain that these two examples were the work of radical Islamists, it’s necessary to realize that the flavor of radicalization is less important that the radicalization itself. In other words, Dylann Roof probably isn’t a radical Muslim but he’s a radical of another sort. (Once his background is exposed, chances are his radicalization trends far left as is almost always the circumstance in these cases).
If the examples of Charlie Hebdo and Lee Rigby somehow aren’t acceptable, then take a stroll through the pages of Le Monde (France), El Pais or ABC (both Spain), the Daily Mail (UK), Der Spiegel (Germany). Then surf on over to media in Australia, New Zealand, and even South Korea and Japan. To put it bluntly, bad stuff happens all over the advanced world and it’s perpetrated by radicalized individuals.
What happened in Charleston isn’t a problem of adverse American exceptionalism. Maybe Obama and His Third Term need to get outside their bubble a bit more and understand who we, the Americans, are. And why tonight, we are joined heart and hand with Charleston wishing we could mend their broken hearts and dry their tear-stained hands.
America is exceptional. Not because Dylann Roof killed people in a Church. But because we reject the radicaliztion that precipitates such acts. And because we come together when the chips are down to heal and emerge stronger.