Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Despicable Donald's Diatribe: Selling fear and promoting division at the expense of Orlando victims

The two presumptive candidates for President, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, gave very different speeches in the aftermath of the Orlando shooting. The headline at Politico.com featured Trump's speech, I think, just because it was so despicable: Trump to America: Be afraid.

Following are snipshots of the speeches, links to fact-checking, and observations on the media.

Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump embraced the politics of fear in the wake of the deadliest shooting in U.S. history, declaring Americans to be living in an “age of terror" and himself as the only leader resolute enough to confront threats at home and abroad.

It's all about Trump. His candidacy was never anything but about Trump.

“If we don’t get tough and smart and fast were not going to have our country anymore,” Trump said in a speech at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire. “There will be nothing, absolutely nothing left.”

It was a remarkable and harsh speech, filled with inaccuracies and delivered less than an hour after Hillary Clinton had concluded a speech of her own on the same topic in Ohio.

The dueling addresses could not have been more different and they represented an abrupt intensification of the general election, even as the candidates denied they were seeking political advantage from the tragedy. ...

He was as loose with the facts as he was aggressive in presenting them, at one point declaring that the shooter in Orlando was “an Afghan” (he was born in New York) and misrepresenting Clinton’s immigration plans (saying wrongly she “wants to allow radical Islamic terrorists to pour into our country”).

“Radical Islam is coming to our shores,” Trump warned. “And it’s coming. With these folks, it’s coming.”

“They’re trying to take over our children,” he said at one point. “They’re pouring in and we don’t know what we’re doing,” he added at another.

Enough of Trump. If you want to read the rest of his speech, you can go to his web site or follow the link to the copy at Politico.

Clinton delivered a far more cerebral address, ticking off a three-point plan to combat terrorism: dismantling their support networks abroad, reinvesting in law enforcement at home (including new gun control measures) and working to prevent domestic radicalization.

She called identifying “lone wolves,” as the Orlando shooter appears to have been according to early reports, “a top priority” and that she would pull together a new initiative to stop them.

You can read the full Clinton speech here at Time.com.

Glen Kessler at the Washington Post fact-checked both speeches. Not surprisingly, Trump has more space in the analysis just because he made more dubious claims thus securing his title, Lord of the Lies (Tim Egan at NY Times).

Finally, Doyle McManus (LA Times) notes the shift in the media's handling of Trump from gee-whizzery to serious, on-the-spot persistent questioning and timely fact-checking. About time.

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