Donald Trump's Useful Idiots

Donald Trump's Useful Idiots
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Jim Kenney was sworn in as mayor of Philadelphia on January 4 this year. By January 7, he was vigorously, if inadvertently, assisting Donald Trump’s presidential bid.

That day, a 30-year-old Muslim convert in a flowing white robe who had previously traveled to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, fired 13 shots at a Philadelphia cop, wounding him severely before the officer fired back and the suspect was apprehended. When questioned by detectives, he said he’d done it for ISIS.

“He stated that he pledges his allegiance to the Islamic State, he follows Allah and that is the reason he was called upon to do this,” related police Capt. James Clark. “He wouldn’t give us anything more than that.”

To Mayor Kenney, a Democrat, this shocking crime, which was caught on camera, demonstrated the need for stricter gun control laws. This was soon revealed not to be the moral of the story: The gun used by the would-be jihadist had been stolen in a 2013 burglary of a Philadelphia police officer’s home.

Undeterred, Kenney doubled down on his talking points.

“In no way, shape or form does anyone in this room believe that Islam or the teaching of Islam has anything to do with what you have seen on that screen,” he told reporters. “It’s terrible and it does not represent the religion in any way, shape or form or any of its teachings. This…has nothing to do with being a Muslim or following the Islamic faith. That is abhorrent.”

The word abhorrent, which Kenney used twice, was apparently directed at anyone who would take the shooter at his word. Trump voters—and not only Trump voters—might see it differently. They’d apply that description to elected officials who put political correctness ahead of police officers’ lives, public safety, or even common sense.

A big part of Trump’s appeal—bigger than he realizes, I suspect—is that he ridicules this kind of talk. Ted Cruz does, too, along with the other Republican presidential candidates. But Trump is the main beneficiary because he stands in starkest opposition to the goofiness that has become so routine in liberal circles, including much of the Democratic Party.

This inanity exists at the highest levels. On Tuesday, Valerie Jarrett, Barack Obama’s closest White House adviser, punctuated his historic visit to Cuba with this tweet: “Cuba has an extraordinary resource—a system of education which values every boy and every girl.”

Obama has characterized Donald Trump as an unserious candidate, while criticizing the entire GOP field for “denying climate change.” Well, okay. But his top aide has essentially denied that Cuba is a dictatorship and that the Castro regime uses its schools to brainwash students. Now, that’s unserious.

The dumbing down of the Democratic Party has been occurring for some time. What’s different now is that Trump’s toxic rhetoric on race, religion, and immigration has empowered campus leftists to transfuse radical intolerance directly into the Democrats’ bloodstream.

Take the Emory University administration’s response to Trump supporters who decorated the campus in chalk messages reading “Build the Wall” and “Trump 2016.”

“Trigger warning!” shouted students who marched on the college president’s office, demanding he take action. What action? For starters, James W. Wagner said he’d examine security footage and punish the Trumpites. And just that quickly, Wagner joined Valerie Jarrett and Jim Kenney in the legion of liberals helping Trump’s campaign. (Maybe Wagner could sentence the chalkers to attend classes in Cuba?)

That example might seem trivial, but what about the anti-Trump demonstrators in Chicago who infiltrated a rally, threatened attendees, shouted vulgarities at families with children who came to hear the man speak? When the specter of violence closed the event, these demonstrators, many of whom openly admitted that they’re Bernie Sanders supporters, exulted at denying Trump and his supporters their First Amendment rights. This is the sinister side of the campus silliness. For his part, Sanders tepidly criticized the thuggery that closed down the rally, but saved his real ire for anyone who sought to link him to it.

Days later, in scary moment at a Trump rally in Dayton, Ohio, another Sanders supporter, leftist college student Thomas DiMassimo, 22, vaulted over the security barriers and rushed the stage where Trump was standing. He was intercepted by Secret Service agents and arrested, but immediately released and began giving interviews.

Trump defenders produced video of DiMassimo at previous demonstrations desecrating the U.S. flag, but CNN eagerly gave him a megaphone, which he used to characterize Trump as “a bully.” That’s a fair point, but this guy, whom Trump dismissed as “a maniac,” only created sympathy for Trump.

The latest such move comes from the hacker group “Anonymous,” which claimed it broken into Trump’s phones and email. The group put his Social Security number online, released a video calling him “a fascist,” while declaring “total war” on Trump.  The problem here, aside from the fact that these are felonies the group is bragging about, is that message was reminiscent of frightening videos posted by ISIS.

Fascism, in other words, cuts both ways.

One might expect the establishment media to be more protective of freedom of expression. But Trump’s candidacy has an unhinging effect on even sober news organizations. After Trump sat down with The Washington Post editorial board, one editor present at the session tweeted, “I got hit on today by Donald Trump.”

Strictly speaking, this wasn’t true. What Trump did do, apparently, was refer to opinion page deputy digital editor Karen Attiah as “beautiful.” She wrote a whole story about that, too, revealing a hostility for the man and his views that journalists of another generation would feel obliged to hide, not advertise.

“Perhaps he thought that calling me beautiful would make me ignore the fact that he brazenly lied about his polling numbers among Hispanic voters,” Attiah wrote. “Or make me believe that he wasn’t really a racist. Who knows? At least now I know, firsthand, that the sexism that Trump puts on display against Megyn Kelly under the lights of national TV is not that much different from how he is in real life toward female journalists.”

I suppose it’s a good thing the Post editorial board wasn’t present at Bernie Sanders’ rally at the Wiltern Theater Wednesday in Los Angeles. “From up here,” Sanders told the crowd, “you may not know how beautiful you all look.”

The sexist bastard.

Carl M. Cannon is the Washington Bureau Chief for RealClearPolitics. Reach him on Twitter @CarlCannon.

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