‘Trump’s response to Orlando might be insane, but he says what millions of fans want to hear’

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump. © Joshua Roberts
Saying he was “right on radical Islamic terrorism,” Trump is using the Orlando tragedy to attack his political opponents. However, he is only stirring up Islamophobia and homophobia that have always been an undercurrent in the US, experts say.

The Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, commenting on Twitter on the tragedy in Orlando, attacked Obama's administration. He called for the president to resign if he wouldn't use the phrase "radical Islamic terrorism". In another tweet, Trump expressed thanks to his supporters for backing him on his stance on radical Islamism. 

According to Lionel, legal analyst, media critic, no matter how “opportunistic” Trump is, he speaks to people who love his rhetoric. 

RT: Do you think this is an appropriate time for politicians to get into political debates? 

Lionel: Should politicians be involved in the political debate? Yes! And even if they shouldn’t they’re not going to be… As a native Floridian, second generation – I’m in New York now – and as a former Florida prosecutor and someone who was a gun permit holder years ago and is disgusted by this – I cannot tell you the problem that not only Hillary [Clinton] and Donald are having, but understanding or confusing correlation versus cause. 

But let’s get back to this political problem: you’re not going to keep Trump away from a Twitter account and remember something also: you and I may think he’s insane; you and I may think he is absolutely devoid of any common sense. But he has millions of fans, who want to hear him say this… 

Here is the message; let me give you Donald and Hillary. Donald, this is what he is saying: “President Obama and the left, or the progressives, or the liberals, or whoever have got to call this radical Islamic terrorism – not a hate crime, not a crime, but radical Islamic terrorism.” Now Hillary, the Democrats are going to be saying: “This is about gun control. This is about the need to reign in assault weapons.” They will confuse automatic weapons with semi-automatic – it doesn’t matter. Her camp, the Hillary supporters and millions of people – and I am just telling you the way it is – I am not saying who is right or wrong now – but their focus is - the gun and homophobia. They are confusing the motivation for the cause. Both of them are wrong. President Obama called this terrorism. He said this is terrorism. That is not good enough for Trump – you got to say this is “Islamic terrorism”. 

RT: Was Trump trying to be an opportunist here just to cater to his masses, or is he making a good point? 

L: I’m not going to pass on a good point. He is an opportunist. But you’ve got to understand something. Trump lives in a different gravity than we do. If you and I said a tenth of what he said – we would be arrested, we would be put into an insane asylum. He goes out and he starts off his campaign by calling all Mexicans rapists – not all Mexicans, but illegal Mexican immigrants – rapists and criminals. I thought then that’s it - his race has been off and running since that moment. Remember, Trump, and I want the world to understand this, beat 16 challengers: senators, governors, and an actual brain surgeon. Trump is a juggernaut. You and I can talk about how crazy he is, how opportunistic he is, but he speaks to people who love this. Don’t look at Donald Trump, look at the people who love what he is saying…

Conn Hallinan, contributing editor at Foreign Policy In Focus thinks that Donald Trump has used the Orlando tragedy as an opportunity to attack their political opponents. 

“One of the things he has talked about is a sort of: “I told you so” – about Muslims. He is going to use this as much as possible to put a wedge into the electoral process. He is going to try and make as much hay out of it as possible,” he said. 

Many Twitter users reacted critically to Donald Trump's words, but it’s hard to say how this will impact his chances to become president of the US, the expert said. 

“This is the most volatile election in my memory in any case. It’s very hard to figure out what the electorate is thinking and how they are going to react to this. I tend to think that this is a sort of a part of what Trump has stirred up in this country – it’s always been there. There has always been this kind of underlying current of Islamophobia, of hate of gays, lesbians – this kind of thing,” he said. 

Many might think that “it’s a crazy thing to do to go after Obama at a time like this, when there should really be national solidarity,” Hallinan said. “But that is the way he’s run this campaign. Frankly, he has done a lot better than I thought he was going to do. So I am not sure where this is going.”

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.