Jackson: Trump Is Right About Radical Islam

Don’t Hate Trump For Being Right About Radical Islam

As near as I can make out, the biggest flaw in Donald Trump’s post-massacre tweet-squall was in its timing. It was too soon to make mention of the gunman’s ties to radical Islam; too soon to note President Obama’s failure on the crush-ISIS/ISIL front; too soon to point out Hillary Clinton’s standard squeamish retreat from linking oppression and savagery to radical Islamists.

As my friend and colleague Joe Henderson points out, they were still untangling and counting dead innocents from the early morning slaughter at a gay-friendly Orlando nightclub when Trump started in with his tirade at 140 characters a pop. According to Joe, it was abrupt to the point of indecency.

If so, then it also was shameless of President Obama — addressing the nation at roughly the same interval — to avoid mentioning altogether what, by his own admission, motivated Omar Mateen. It was indecent, also, to take the moment to push his pet project — more gun control laws, including a ban on so-called “assault weapons” — while also perpetrating a vile episode of blame-shifting.

Yes, he did that.

Even as Trump was calling out Muslim extremism and vowing to deal harshly with it if he’s elected president, the current commander-in-chief wasn’t just ducking by omission the spark that caused Mateen to explode, he was ordering us not to be “defined … by the hate of the man who took [the victims] from us.”

So, more gun laws, America, and check your privilege. If that’s not politics, the word has no meaning.

What about Trump?

I’m no fan. He’s reckless, temperamental, narcissistic, thin-skinned, incurious, unspecific and desperately unprepared to be elected to most any county commission, let alone the highest office in the most powerful country on the planet.

But on this — radical Islam is a threat, right now, to Americans — he’s right. We have Orlando now, and San Bernardino before, as proof. Moreover, the president and his would-be Democratic successor have a dismal track record when it comes to crushing those who inspire Islamic desperadoes living among us.

On that front, I am aware of no statute of limitations on being correct in a crisis. Trump’s morning-after tweets were brash, and so were his follow-up comments on the Fox News Channel Monday morning, in which he doubled down on his proposal to ban, indefinitely, most Middle Easterners from entering the country.


Never mind that Mateen, the son of legal Afghani immigrants, was born in New York and lived in Florida. Trump notes, correctly, that until Washington gets an ironclad grip on the backgrounds and likely intentions of those from Muslim-dominated countries, we might be allowing the importation of from dozens to thousands who are equally consumed with hate and visions of slaughtered infidels.

Now compare Trump’s words, which reflect someone keen to stamp out with malice the ISIS instigators, with those of Clinton, who seems to regard — as did her husband when he was president — the whole bother as some sort of criminal enterprise, solvable with investigations and arrests and court trials.

She’d dedicate teams to sniffing out lone-wolf and sleeper-cell activities. Wait. The FBI doesn’t do that already? And, of course, she’d push for more gun-control laws. After all, the FBI interviewed Mateen three times a few years ago, and he was still able to exercise access to the Second Amendment last week.

Yes. Most likely because of the First, Fourth and Fifth amendments. Is it Hillary’s position that once you become a suspect to wrongdoing your claim on the Bill of Rights is forfeit? If that’s the case, then you can count on thousands more names winding up on the no-fly list … and, unlike the case today, innocent parties won’t have gotten there by mistake.

So Donald Trump was rude and reckless, even to the point of seeming to take a symbolic turn on the blood-soaked dance floor of the Pulse nightclub. But he didn’t tweet or talk in terms we associate with careful, plodding, compromising, politically correct bureaucrats, either.

With 49 innocents murdered and 53 hospitalized by a homegrown jihadist avenging for Allah the sight of two men kissing in Miami, the time is never too soon for straight-up militancy.

I’m still not on the Trump train. I haven’t even made it down to the depot. But I won’t fault him for his urgent impulse about defending his countrymen.

Veteran journalist and center-right blogger Tom Jackson has worked for newspapers in Washington D.C., Sacramento, Calif., and Tampa, Fla., racking up state and national awards for writing, editing and design along the way. Tom also has been published in assorted sports magazines, and his work has been included in several annual “Best Sports Stories” collections. A University of Florida alumnus, St. Louis Cardinals fan and eager-if-haphazard golfer, Tom splits time between Tampa and Cashiers, N.C., with his wife, two children and a couple of yappy dogs.