Donald Trump gave a foreign policy speech in Ohio Monday that should have calmed down for the moment — though it undoubtedly won’t — some of the mainstream media feeding frenzy over his assertion that Obama and Clinton were the “founders” of ISIS.
It couldn’t have been more obvious that what Trump meant then was they were the “enablers,” not the “founders.” He was dramatizing, as is his wont, for effect. But in their zeal to drive Donald into the ground, the media wouldn’t let go.
Unfortunately, Trump’s famously thin skin doesn’t allow him to explain himself, as he could in thirty seconds, not that the MSM would give him a chance anyway. They are so appalled by his candidacy that they won’t let one idea leak through lest their sainted favorite, Mrs. Clinton, look bad by comparison. She is running an ideas-free campaign, particularly in the area of foreign policy where her record from Iraq to Libya to Iran, as Trump pointed out in Monday’s speech, is atrocious. Thus the press resorts to unending attacks on Trump’s rhetoric with the blinded American people as the victims.
But more of that in a moment. First, the speech, which was a good one and delivered with a teleprompter. (Every morning, before he does anything else, Trump should kneel down, clasp his hands together, and recite to himself: “The teleprompter is my friend.”)
The key part of the address was the welcome specificity on Muslim immigration. Some of his earlier pronouncements on the subject were more explosive than necessary, though they did bring attention to a subject on which most leaders are afraid to speak, for which Trump deserves credit.
What Trump now is aiming for is what he calls “extreme vetting” of potential Muslim immigrants to keep us safe. What does that mean, besides being extra careful and erring on the side of “no”? To begin with, it means not being afraid to profile, something the current administration considers anathema. But Trump was indeed more specific. He cited Sharia law as being incompatible with the Constitution and values of our country, which indeed it is, and said all adherents of Sharia should be kept out. Good.
Trump made a comparison here to the Cold War, when communism called for the violent overthrow of the U.S. government. Sharia and jihad, in their extreme forms, indeed in practically all forms if you read carefully, call for the same thing, but on a religious basis. (One of the most bizarre ironies of our time is that the left seeks to protect Sharia with all its rampant and repugnant misogyny and homophobia. I’d love to see Bill Clinton try to explain that one. He might break the world record for parsing.)
Trump also called for working with allies to defeat ISIS, again specifically naming Israel as our greatest ally in the area before he cited any others. (Can you imagine the Bushes, say, doing that?) He recommended working with NATO as well — an organization he had accused of being now irrelevant because of a failure to address terrorism. He noted that since he did that, NATO suddenly has a terrorism division. Score one for Trump, the negotiator, if you’re paying attention.
But what will be the most interesting of all, however, will be how the media covers this substantive speech. My guess is they will attempt desperately to change the subject, to find some Trumpian malapropism to fixate on. And, yes, there is a good chance they will find one, not only because Trump has an unremitting habit of providing them with one or six, but because, even if he doesn’t, even if he begins to straighten up his act, they will manufacture one, just as they did with his hardly sensational comments about the Second Amendment.
We are in a definite time of media evil. The MSM doesn’t care what is true or what happens in the future as long as Hillary wins, the woman Trump referred to in the speech as America’s Merkel, willing to let everyone and everything in. How selfish and shortsighted our media are. Sometimes I think they are like Goya’s magnificent, but terrifying portrait of “Saturn Devouring His Son.” It’s that bad.
Roger L. Simon is a prize-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media. His most recent book is—I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already. You can read an excerpt here. You can see a brief interview about the book with the Wall Street Journal’s Opinion Journal here. You can hear an interview about the book with Mark Levin here. You can order the book here.