Donald Trump spent years lambasting the administration of President Obama for refusing to say “radical Islamic terrorism” and other variants of that phrase. One of the pillars of his campaign was that he would ‘call it like it is,’ this included calling terrorism that happened to be committed by Muslims, “radical Islamic terrorism.” In fact, he went so far as to suggest that Obama might be involved with terrorists, “there’s something going on with [Obama] that we don’t know about.” He said this because Obama did not say “radical Islamic terrorism.” He said that Hillary Clinton “won’t even mention [Islamic terrorism].” He painted both her and President Obama as weak on terror because of their refusal to call it “Islamic terrorism.”
The importance of this phrase, to Trump, his supporters, and the GOP in general, cannot and should not be underestimated. It is the main reason that they gave as proof that they were stronger on terrorism than Democrats. It seems as though Trumps benchmark for someone being tough on terror was whether or not they would use that phrase. However, Trumps remarks on Islam did not stop at simply saying “Islamic terrorism,” he often went far beyond that. Among the notable highlights are, “I think Islam hates us,” “[Muslims] do not respect us at all,” referring to American Muslims with regard to terror “they know what’s going in.” As recently as May 17th, he said that on his foreign trip, he and other leaders, would have to “stop radical Islamic terrorism.”
Suddenly, however, his use of that phrase has ceased. In fact, he visited the place that has arguably done more to help further the cause of “radical Islamic terrorism” than any other country: Saudi Arabia. They are responsible for the funding of these Madrassa’s, for propagating Salafism, that so many terrorists come from. It is worth noting that 15 of the 19 hijackers on September 11th came from Saudi Arabia, as did Osama bin Laden. Yet, while visiting this country, this hotbed of “radical Islamic terrorism,” he never intentionally used that phrase. In fact, the only time he did say it, aides said that he had misspoken. So what happened to his tough talk? To not worrying about being politically correct? Perhaps “there’s something going on with him that we don’t know about”? It seems like he “won’t even mention it.” Why not? After all, an “expert” on this matter said that he thinks “Islam hates us,” what better place to take a strong stand on the matter than the birthplace of Islam?
Obama would not say this phrase, because it would validate the culture war that these terrorists want to bring on, because he did not want to ostracize moderate Muslims, because he did not want to upset allies in the region. Trump, by his own admission, does not think these are valid excuses or reasons to not say the phrase. So why didn’t he? Why would he say it all throughout the campaign, but not say it in his speeches to foreign leaders?
Because he lacks the courage of his convictions. He is a weak, ineffectual, pathetic leader, who only uses the term to score cheap political points with his barely sentient supporters back home. Because the mindless rabble that voted for him wanted to hear him call out those who looked different from them and he was all too happy to throw them the red meat. Because the GOP has so churned up hatred of others and fearmongering that the only way to win their nomination is to spew xenophobic bile to their deranged, witless base. Trump did all these things by constantly repeating that phrase, “radical Islamic terrorism,” but when given the chance to say it to the very people who help fund those terrorists, he refused.
It is because he is a sorry excuse for a man. It is because he is a two-faced liar, telling his base one thing and then going out and doing another. But above all, it is because he is a coward and like all cowards, he is more than willing to say things behind peoples backs, but he will never say it to their faces. “Fools, cowards, liars, and the selfish hide in high places,” what higher place is there than the Presidency?