Politicizing National Tragedy Is Wrong

Written by Bill Thomas on August 7, 2019

On Saturday, August 2, 2019, a horrific and vile act took place in a Walmart in El Paso, TX. A white man, who has since been taken into custody, entered the Walmart and began firing. Twenty-two people were killed, and dozens were injured. More than twenty people were hospitalized, and nine were in critical but stable condition; one victim was 4 months old. Prosecutors are pursuing a civil rights hate crime investigation and domestic terrorism charges.

On Sunday, August 3, 2019, hours after the El Paso shooting, another attack happened. A gunman opened fire in the Oregon District in Dayton. At least nine people are dead after the shooting and at least twenty-seven other people were injured. Law enforcement in Dayton responded remarkably quickly and the suspect was killed in the interaction.

There are no words to describe the vile and heinous acts committed by two men. These acts have no place in American society or any other. One perpetrator is already dead. It seems that Texas may seek the death penalty for the El Paso shooter and, if ever a crime merited it, this is it.

This ought to be a time when our nation can come together to condemn violent, disgusting acts. There aren’t two sides when it comes to murder and hate. There ought not be a “Red” side and a “Blue side.” Unfortunately, the media and the Democrats seem to want to heed the words of Rahm Emanuel who, while working for the Obama administration, once said, “never let a crisis go to waste.”

In an address to the nation, President Trump strongly condemned “racism, bigotry and white supremacy.” It was an appropriate and measured response to the attacks and was an attempt to unite the nation. The Democrats would have none of it.

In a blatant political attack, Democrat candidates and the media are blaming President Trump and his supporters for the attack in El Paso.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) tweeted after the president’s address to the nation, “Such a bullshit soup of ineffective words.”

Candidate Beto O’Rourke went even further. He told CNN, “We’ve got to acknowledge the hatred, the open racism that we’re seeing. There is an environment of it in the United States. We see it on Fox News, we see it on the internet, but we also see it from our commander in chief. He is encouraging this. He doesn’t just tolerate it, he encourages it.”

These are just two examples of what is an eruption of Democrat rage toward the president, even forcing The New York Times to change a headline describing the president’s speech.

In a stunning display of hypocrisy, Sen. Bernie Sanders (-VT) tweeted, “Mr. President: stop your racist, hateful and anti-immigrant rhetoric. Your language creates a climate which emboldens violent extremists.”

Clearly, Sanders doesn’t remember James T. Hodgkinson, who in 2017 shot Republican congress members at a baseball practice. He was a Sanders supporter who’d written on his social media sites about his hate for Republicans.

No one blamed Bernie for Hodgkinson’s actions. He and he alone was held accountable, as he should have been. The Dayton shooter’s political leanings were far left, and he supported Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Antifa. Have you seen much of that on the news? No, and Matt Vespa of Townhall explains why. “Political convictions matter when it can weaponize against Republicans and the Trump White House.”

It begs the question, why is it that when acts of violence are committed by those who claim to be on the left, they are the fault of the perpetrator but when acts of violence are committed by those claim to be on the right, it’s Trump’s fault?

The media doesn’t seem to be concerned about the country coming together or even showing compassion for those who lost loved ones. They are determined to use the El Paso shooting to attack the president. Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC said of the mass shooting in El Paso, “It seems to me that this political issue could be something that the Democrats could get some traction on.” The Intelligencer, in an acrobatic twist of truth, said of the El Paso shooter, “he was a big fan of Trump and his war on immigrants.” Of the Dayton shooter, however, the same truth-twisters wrote, “there is no indication that Betts’s politics played a role in his shooting.

In a blatantly hypocritical tweet, former Vice President Joe Biden asserted that we had to call this terrorism what it is. “We can’t fix a problem if we refuse to name it: white nationalism,. An ideology emboldened by a president who stokes the flames of hatred and coddles white supremacists with messages of support.”

This is from the guy whose administration refused to use the words “radical Islamic terrorism.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) hypocrisy is also evident. She tweeted, “we need to call out white nationalism for what it is — domestic terrorism,” and added that “we need to call out the president himself for advancing racism and white supremacy.”

You’d think she’d be good at calling things for what they are. Not so much. Her June 19, 2019 tweet remembering those who died at the Pulse night club shooting in Orlando failed to mention the words “radical Islamic terror.” Why? It’s not a term she frequently uses. Labeling things only applies to President Trump.

None of this is surprising. This is what the liberals do. It’s important, though, that it be called out. It is wrong. The elites in the Democrat party and the media, because of their hate for Donald Trump and those of us who support him, have trashed truth and respect. They do that a lot. It just seems more vile in the wake of tragedy.

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Bill Thomas
Bill Thomas lives in Washington, Missouri and is a professor at St. Louis Christian College. He's also on staff at First Christian Church in Washington, Missouri. He's authored two novellas, From the Ashes and The Sixty-First Minute published by White Feather Press of MI and three Bible studies, Surrounded by Grace, The Critical Questions and More and The Road to Victory published by CSS Publishing of OH.