MONTGOMERY VILLAGE, MD., December 8, 2015 – After his latest reality-TV-turned-real-politics comments, Donald Trump seems to be hitting a new high (or low). His suggestion that all Muslims should be denied entry into the US has elicited a strong response from many, including his fellow Republican politicians.
One of them, the Speaker of the House, even suggested that this is not the real Republican party.
Yet Trump remains on top of Republican polls. He is not there because he is smart, good looking or because he is a statesman. He is there because his message resonates with many in the country, both Republican and Democrat.
As a matter of fact, a great majority of Republicans poll as supporting of Trump’s suggestion to ban all Muslims from entering the US. Only 34% of Democrats support his statements in this respect.
Part of the reason for this response is that there is a constant message from the media, echoed by many politicians, that we should be afraid of Muslims.
The almost unending reports of the latest mass shooting in California deepens the sense of panic that the media wants to instill on us. The truth is very different.
We in the US have been pampered, especially those in middle America, to expect that life does not involve a measure of risk. When this premise is violated our universe falls apart. The truth is that we are all at risk, however small. Your next door neighbor’s AR15 clone could discharge accidentally and traverse hundreds of feet through half the homes in your block and kill you or someone in your family. In fact, that scenario is more likely than you or me being killed by a terrorist. More people in the US die from accidents with home furniture than from terrorists.
The media and many politicians also tend to elevate the events to incredibly complex feats, which serves to further confuse and frighten many.
If you examine the latest terrorist events in detail, their simplicity is evident. Just two individuals with a little common sense and a minimal knowledge of psychology and fire arms is all is needed. With a little observation they can identify soft targets and learn how to conduct a mass shooting. Getting the weapons is by far the easiest part especially in our country.
This is even more simplistic when one takes into account that these terrorists are willing to die.
To find the best way to deal with these type of events in the future, one has to look at the reason for these actions and the outcome that the terrorists seek.
Reasons may be many, but one that seems to come to the top of probability is that the people committing these acts feel disenfranchised. They are searching for a cause and believe that they have been wronged and seek to make the ones that wronged them to pay. In this respect they are not different than the mass shooters that we have spawned in the US in the last few years.
While the terrorist implementors may act out of passion, the real terrorists are those that want to use them for their own reasons. They pursue a very specific agenda that includes creating mass fear and panic on their enemies. This in fact is the purpose of terrorism.
There is another thing in common shared by all the recent mass shootings in the US: the ease in which the perpetrators acquired the fire arms used.
While most of us just shake our heads at the Donald’s most recent reality show antics, there is no doubt that it plays right into the hands of the puppeteers ordering or inspiring the killings. We should also recognize that the mass hysteria that is affecting our country has to be put in check so that we do not continue giving the crazies reasons to hate us even more and be willing to be martyrs for their cause.
This is not the America that we love and respect, let’s not have to be sorry in the future for our actions taken under duress or perceived duress.
Mario Salazar, the 21st Century Pacifist, believes in the deep down goodness of our people and that we will reject the scapegoating going on. He is in Twitter (@chibcharus), Google+, LinkedIn and Facebook (Mario Salazar).