Is Beto making political hay out of El Paso shooting?Posted by Catherine Reed / August 6, 2019
The sun is setting on Beto O’Rourke’s campaign. His poll numbers are slipping, and the Beto Boosters, who were vocal when he was running against the slimy Ted Cruz, have abandoned him for Bernie or Warren. He tried to stand out in the debates, but it just didn’t work. He looked nervous and sweaty, and he couldn’t outshine the top contenders.
But things might be changing for Beto, and not due to his own hard work, charisma, or policy propositions. This weekend, there was a shooting in El Paso, Texas that left twenty people dead. Beto quickly tied the shooting to Trump––an easy task, considering the shooter allegedly posted a manifesto tinged with white nationalism and open hatred against immigrants.
“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.