When Trump’s Foot Soldiers Are Armed With Weapons of War

After I heard news of the gun massacres in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio this weekend, I tweeted a prediction about how the president would respond. It turns out, that I gave him too much credit.

Instead of following his tradition pattern (which was also predicted by George Conway), Trump eschewed condemning white supremacy and went straight for justifying the murders. El Paso news veteran Bob Moore had an appropriate response to the president’s proposal that we link background checks to immigration reform in a single bill.

Former El Paso congressman Beto O’Rourke has been downright vituperative in his response.

Beto O’Rourke tore into President Trump in an emotional rant when asked by a reporter if there was anything that the president could do after the latest two mass shootings.

Said O’Rourke: “What do you think? You know the shit he’s been saying. He’s been calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. I don’t know, like, members of the press, what the fuck?”

He added: “I mean, connect the dots about what he’s been doing in this country. He’s not tolerating racism, he’s promoting racism. He’s not tolerating violence, he’s inciting racism and violence in this country. So, uhm, you know, I just… I don’t know what kind of question that is.”

Appearing on Morning Joe Monday, O’Rourke continued his rant: “Jesus Christ, of course he’s racist.”

We don’t seem to have trouble accepting the linkage when lone wolves commit terrorist attacks and then affiliate themselves with ISIS or al-Qaeda. Sometimes these people claim to actually be members of one of those organizations even if they’ve never actually talked to a recruiter. Between the president’s toxic rhetoric and the influence of websites like 8Chan, there is no doubt about what is inspiring some of these shooters. They’ve become foot soldiers in a fascist movement. It is no longer going unnoticed.

After the end of World War II, when our alliance with Stalin’s Soviet Union no longer had any usefulness, the government began punishing people who had come out too early against fascism (for example, by vocally opposing Francisco Franco in the Spanish Civil War). American officials called them “premature anti-fascists” and denied them security clearances. In some cases, they were hounded out of public service because they were suspected of pro-communist sympathies. I haven’t been shy about labeling Trump’s movement as fascist. It seems everyone is catching up to me now that it’s getting harder to deny.

In this case, the stormtroopers aren’t being paid by the government or the leader’s political party. They’re just self-starting volunteers who are armed to the teeth with modern weapons of war.

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Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at ProgressPond.com