Crime and Cowardice

In your own language

Eduardo del Buey
Photo: Ap
La Jornada Maya

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

This past weekend twenty-nine innocents were slaughtered in two mass attacks by right-wing terrorists.

That’s right.

Let’s call it what it is.

Right-wing white supremacist terrorism inspired by President Donald Trump’s diatribes of hate and the Republican Party that supports his views.

Both killers, like many previous ones, were not the illegal immigrants or Muslim radicals against whom Trump constantly rails with hateful, almost daily, rants.

They are extreme right-wing white male terrorists.

The El Paso terrorist claimed that he wanted to kill as many Mexicans as possible. A sad but true result of President Trump’s hateful anti-Mexican diatribes that are leading right-wing radicals to kill innocents while Trump continues to seek to build a useless wall based on fear and lies.

In February, the Democrat controlled House of Representatives passed two laws that would control the purchase and licencing of firearms.

Republican Senate Speaker Mitch McConnell stated outright that he would not allow the Senate to vote on these bills. To add to this dilemma, the White House said that President Trump would veto any such laws if they were to land on his desk.

In the 2016 campaign, the National Rifle Association (NRA) donated some $84 million to Republican coffers. To say that the Republican Party has been bought lock, stock, and barrel by the NRA is an understatement.

Similarly, Democrats have also benefitted from NRA contributions albeit to a lesser extent.

But, in addition to the widespread availibilty of weapons, Trump’s inflammatory hateful rhetoric has in the eyes of many legitimized violence against minotities made more dangerous by the incredible avalibility of weapons.

Crime?

People have noted that Charles Manson, the architect of a mass murder in Hollywood a few decades back, never pulled a trigger nor stabbed a victim. Yet he spent the rest if his life in prison for having driven his followers to commit mass murder.

President Trump has legitimized the latent racism and hatred in a good number of his followers and has given rightist extremists permission to carry on as evidenced by his reaction to the Charleston demonstrations last year, when he claimed that there were “very fine people” on both sides.

So what responsibility do the Republican President, the Republican-controlled Senate, and Republican Party have for this violence, supported by Trump’s hateful and aided and abetted by the absence of effective gun control?

That is a matter for the American electorate to decide. One hopes that American voters will factor this into their thinking when they cast their ballots in 2020.

Cowardice?

The unwillingness of legislators and the President to stand up to special interests in this case is having tragic consequences. The inability of Republican legislators and party officials to stand up against a President who incites hatred, violence, and division and their inability and refusal to put country ahead of personal or party interests smacks of political cowardice.

So, what can be done?

From the Republican side, very little. They are trapped in a financial and political spiderweb from which there appears to be little or no chance of escape.
So, it is up to Democrats.

First of all, their twenty pre-candidates must stop seeking ideological purity and develop a strong and coherent series of policies that will win them the presidency and the Senate.

Secondly, they must stop attacking each other and focus their efforts on shaming Republicans into defeat at the ballot box.

This can be achieved by concentrating on two or three key issues that affect the voters directly:

• Gun control and an end to the gratuitous violence that has plagued the country for a number of decades, including a promise that a Democrat administration and a Democrat Congress will not forgo a chance to take guns out of circulation as they did when Obama was President and Democrats controlled both Houses.

• Medical coverage for all in a mixed public and private system that voters seem to prefer.

• Immigration control that appeals to a majority of voters; and.

• A tax policy that ensures that the wealthiest one per cent and major corporations pay their fair share of taxes and provide the government with the wherewithal to engage in the kinds of policies that can fix the deteriorated infrastructure and create well/paying jobs.

Democrats are the last great hope against a seemingly fascist president who appears to have little regard for human life or basic human decency and whose only goal is personal, political, and financial aggrandizement.

Absent this, organizations like the NRA will continue their deadly stranglehold over American society, and empower cowardly and malevolent politicians who do not have the public interest at heart.

edelbuey@gmail.com