Beto and Trump feud over El Paso shootingPosted by Josh Taylor / August 9, 2019
Everyone has their “this is the lowest point in the history of U.S. politics” moment, but this has to be at the top of mine: Beto O’Rourke and Donald Trump are feuding over the El Paso shooting. Both are making political hay out of the deaths of twenty-two people, and neither is willing to set aside political partisanship and campaigning. And as they feud, they’re only making the kind of extremist thinking that led to this event more common.
“Yes. We’ve had a rise in hate crimes every single one of the last three years, during an administration where you have a president who’s called Mexicans rapists and criminals,” Beto said. “He is a racist, and he stokes racism in this country. It does not just offend our sensibilities; it fundamentally changes the character of this country, and it leads to violence.”
What’s more, Beto also said that he believes Trump is a white nationalist. It’s clear that the shooter is a white nationalist, at least if it’s concretely proven that he wrote the manifesto. It’s also clear that white nationalists can agree with Trump’s stance on immigration. But it’s not at all clear that Trump himself is a white nationalist. Plenty of Americans support stronger boarders––including, by the way, Mexican Americans. Calling Trump a white nationalist is Beto’s way of making himself relevant by bashing Trump––and it’s going to fail. Take a look at this article, headlined: “The El Paso Killer Loved Trump. Do You? Then You’re Responsible, Too.” This kind of alarmist drivel (“Put simply, he ain’t selling what his supporters aren’t buying, and what they’re buying is his racist discord and xenophobia, which is measurably and demonstrably getting Americans killed.”) is going to alienate the entire half of the country that voted for Trump. If you call everyone racist, especially when everyone isn‘t racist, the word is going to lose all meaning.
Trump, for his part, is mocking Beto for being a phony hispanic, telling him to shut up, and being his usual inflammatory self.
It’s all disgusting.