2020 Dems Rush to Blame Trump for 'White Supremacy' After El Paso Shooting
On Saturday night, a shooter killed at least 20 and injured another 26 at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. The shooting is being investigated as an act of terrorism. As investigators unearthed an anti-immigrant manifesto that railed against the government and corporations, Republicans and many 2020 Democratic candidates pointed the finger at President Donald Trump, with some calling him a "white nationalist" and blaming him for advancing "white supremacy."
"We need to call out white nationalism for what it is—domestic terrorism. It is a threat to the United States, and we've seen its devastating toll this weekend," Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) tweeted. "And we need to call out the president himself for advancing racism and white supremacy."
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) accused the president of "giving license" to the El Paso shooter.
"One of the lessons in my faith is that you reap what you sow. When Donald Trump uses words like 'infestation,' 'invasion' and 'shithole countries'— When he refuses to condemn Neo-Nazis and white supremacists— Trump is giving license to this kind of violence. He’s responsible," Booker tweeted. This echoed a bizarre CNN segment in which anchor Victor Blackwell suggested Trump's very use of the word "infested" was racist.
Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Ind., accused Trump of "amplifying and condoning" the hate of domestic terrorists.
"Our president isn't just failing to confront and disarm these domestic terrorists, he is amplifying and condoning their hate," he tweeted. He also insisted that this kind of terrorism is being "condoned at the highest levels of our government."
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) blamed Trump's rhetoric for the terrorist attack. "Mr. President: stop your racist, hateful and anti-immigrant rhetoric. Your language creates a climate which emboldens violent extremists," he tweeted. As for Sanders, two of his supporters have engaged in violence against Republican politicians: one opened fire at Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and one sucker-punched Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). Sanders did not condone these attacks, but Trump has not condoned the El Paso shooter, either.
On Sunday, former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (R-Texas) told CNN's Jake Tapper that he thinks President Trump is a "white nationalist." PJ Media debunked this horrific accusation here.
Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro suggested the El Paso attack was a consequence of Trump fanning "the flames of hate and division."
"When Donald Trump fans the flames of hate and division, there are real consequences. Tragedies like the El Paso shooting are preventable, and also sadly the result of mixing high powered weapons of war with uncontested bigotry," he tweeted.
While Trump has warned about an "invasion" of illegal immigrants (a defensible comparison given the large volume of recent migrants), the terrorist mass shooter in El Paso seems to have had his own agenda independent from the president's rhetoric.
The manifesto, which has been confirmed by local authorities, "criticized both Democrats and Republicans and expressed anti-government and anti-corporate views. The author claimed to have developed those beliefs before Trump’s presidency," NBC News reported.
The massive influx of illegal immigrants through the southern border is a big concern, regardless of whether or not unhinged people use it as an excuse for mass murder. From the reporting on the manifesto, it appears the terrorist was a kind of conspiracy nut, hating government, corporations, Republicans, and Democrats. Rushing to blame Trump before all the facts are in is only likely to inflame anger and division.
Contrary to the suggestions of so many Democrats running for president, Trump unequivocally condemned the violence.
"Today’s shooting in El Paso, Texas, was not only tragic, it was an act of cowardice. I know that I stand with everyone in this Country to condemn today’s hateful act. There are no reasons or excuses that will ever justify killing innocent people," he tweeted.
Perhaps instead of rushing to blame Trump, Democrats should wait for more information and focus on helping the victims first. In addition to baselessly calling Trump a white nationalist, O'Rourke has directed followers toward blood banks — the right kind of move in these circumstances.
Follow Tyler O'Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.