By most accounts, Trump’s presidency has gotten off to a dismal start. His approval ratings are at a historic low for a new president. He has offended key American allies and created significant concerns among other Western nations. His Executive Order on immigration resulted in a confrontation with the federal courts. His top national security advisor resigned after 24 days under a cloud of suspicion. And calls for investigations into the alleged Trump-Russian connection, both before and after the election, are starting to echo in Congress.
Trump desperately needs to rally his base while at the same time distracting the rest of the country from this disastrous first month as President. KellyAnne Conway attempted to provide just such a distraction when she brought up the now infamous Bowling Green Massacre in an interview with Chris Matthews. While this blatant lie was quickly debunked, some polls show that 51% of Trump supporters believe it happened and justify his immigration ban.
When speaking to a rally of the faithful in Melbourne, Florida this Saturday, Trump referred to an “incident” that occurred the night before in Sweden. The fact that there was no such “incident” didn’t seem to concern Trump at all. When challenged, he first said he got his information from a report on Fox News. Today he says he was really talking about the immigration laws in Sweden. Unless Sweden lets in all its immigrants last Friday, that hardly qualifies as an “incident.”
Trump learned during the campaign that there’s nothing like a good old attack by Muslim extremists, such as occurred in Paris, San Bernadino or Orlando, for him to call for drastic measures to “protect” America. After the Paris massacre, he claimed it would never have occurred in the citizens there were allowed to carry guns. He even went so far as to say he could have helped prevent it since he has a “concealed carry” permit.
See his tweets below on two recent tragedies:
Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don't want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2016
Do you all remember how beautiful and safe a place Brussels was. Not anymore, it is from a different world! U.S. must be vigilant and smart!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 22, 2016
There has been no tweet or comment from Trump at all on this massacre. Was it because this was an attack on Muslims praying in a mosque by a right-wing Canadian extremist? That it provided no ammunition at all for Trump’s war on terrorism, which is only one that is waged against Muslim extremists.
But Trump knows that if an attack occurs on U.S. soil, particularly if it results in loss of life, by anyone remotely connected to Islam, or even from a predominantly Muslim country, it will place two powerful weapons in his hands.
First, he can hammer the intelligence community for failing to warn both him and the American people about the possibility of attack. It won’t matter that he doesn’t pay attention to his daily intelligence briefings, or that there is no way anyone can predict or prevent the “lone wolf” type of attack that has become popular in recent years. Trump needs a weapon to use against the IC who have not enthusiastically supported his policies, and this would fit his agenda perfectly.
Secondly, as President, e has tremendous power at his disposal. He can federalize the National Guard. He can declare martial law. All he needs, all he wants, is a really good excuse to do so. A terrorist attack would be that excuse. In his mind, this would prove to his supporters, and his detractors, that he really is the tough, no nonsense leader he promised to be. And the rest of the country be damned.
Until such an attack occurs, and may God help us if it does, Trump and his minions will continue to fabricate “massacres” and “incidents” to appease his base and distract the rest of the people from the true disasters that are occurring under his administration.