Donald Trump told the AP that the terror attack in France will “probably help” right wing extremist Marine Le Pen in France’s Sunday presidential election, claiming that she is “strongest on borders, and she’s the strongest on what’s been going on in France.”
BREAKING: Trump tells @AP that Paris attack will “probably help” far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in France’s upcoming election.
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) April 21, 2017
The Washington Post reported that Trump also told the AP “that he is not worried about emboldening terrorists by saying that an attack can have an impact on a democratic election.”
But that’s exactly what he’s done. Trump egged French voters on to respond to the terrorist attack by voting a certain way in the election, as if he had a clue how to keep a country safe.
Terrorism is defined as “The unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.”
Another terrorist attack in Paris. The people of France will not take much more of this. Will have a big effect on presidential election!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2017
“Yes, fear breeds changes in voting patterns. He’s not wrong,” Hill contributor Brad Moss noted.
That is correct, but it doesn’t make Trump saying these things appropriate. President Trump is egging on the terrorists, using the fear and intimidation generated from their attacks for his own political ends – which is to say, Trump is using terrorism directly to achieve his own political goals — and this is the definition of terrorism.
So it would behoove Trump to at least appear not to exploit a tragedy.
“She’s also the only candidate who denied French complicity in the murder of Jews during the Holocaust. What a disgrace, Yair Rosenberg of Tabletmag wrote of the far-right candidate Trump is pushing. Trump is using fear to push people into voting for someone who dehumanizes “others” – the opposite of freedom.
Republicans have been using “fear” of the “other” to win elections since the 60s. It was their answer to the American public’s support for the liberal Great Society. They used violence and crime against Democrats just as they now use terrorism against Democrats.
The problems with this are many, not the least of which Donald Trump is not keeping us safe – he has already managed to make a Republican in Pennsylvania whisper to me, “Are we all going to die?”
It was Barack Obama who “Kept us safe”, and got Bin Laden, and kept us on the steadiest ground he could in a world fraught with global terrorism. There is no end to terrorism, of course. No leader who will put a stop to it, because no leader can.
The terrorists want to kill democracy, so when they drive people to the less freedom inclined party, it’s a win for them. That is to say, a vote for the far-right is a vote for ISIS’s ultimate goal.
Republicans have successfully sold people, with the help of Russian trolls and fake news, on the idea that isolationism is the answer to terrorism and better jobs. But we live in a global world, and things are not that simple.
Russia is working overtime to sell fake news pushing LePen in France right now for the same reason they pushed Donald Trump. They, like ISIS, want to undermine democracy, although they have different reasons for wanting to undermine democracy.
Donald Trump is egging on the terrorists because it serves his/Putin’s political agenda, and that is using terrorism as a weapon of intimidation and fear in order to achieve a political goal. Trump is using the intimidation created by ISIS to achieve his own political ends, which is in and of itself technically an act of terrorism.
A person need not commit the act of terrorism themselves to use it to their benefit, and in fact most leaders inciting terrorism are removed enough from the actors to not get “caught”- but that doesn’t make them any less guilty.
With these words, Donald Trump has not only shamed the U.S., he is inciting terrorists to further acts. This is outrageous and must not be allowed to pass by unnoticed simply because so much of what this president says is inflammatory and disgusting.
Ms. Jones is the Editor-in-Chief of PoliticusUSA and a Huffington Post contributor. She has covered President Barack Obama, 2016 Democratic candidate for president Hillary Clinton, VP Joe Biden, Senator Elizabeth Warren, First Lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including regular appearances on The Ann Walker Show With Scott Nevins for UBN Radio and KPTR 1450’s California Woman 411, The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, The Richard Dawkins Foundation and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. She graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in Latin and Psychology, including studying the psychology of organized crime, with graduate studies in the psychology of linguistics and Latin poetry.