We begin today’s roundup with The Washington Post’s editorial on the need for a change in tone, words and action from Donald Trump:
The president’s words have wide and deep consequences. When he smears all Latinos or Muslims, announcing walls or visa bans to keep them out; when he denounces the news media as “enemies of the people,” using Stalinist terms; when he says four congresswomen of color should “go back” to the countries they came from — all these spread fear, exclusion and hatred.
The president cannot be held responsible for every irresponsible act of citizens. But he can he held to account for propagating ugly and bigoted notions in his public remarks. This would be a good moment to change direction.
USA Today’s editorial board also calls for action, saying if these were foreign rather than domestic terrorism the White House and Congress would have already acted, and debunks several myths in the process:
If a foreign terror organization exploiting weaknesses in the nation's defenses launched three attacks on America in a week, you can be damn sure Congress would cut short its recess to act.
With each new slaughter, hard lessons are ever more glaring [...]
Only a federal ban on military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines will work. The Gilroy gunman couldn't legally acquire his firearm in California, so he simply crossed the border into Nevada.
Michelle Goldberg pulls no punches in her op-ed, which features former DHS official Daryl Johnson who wrote a report on the rise of right-wing extremism and terrorism:
Johnson was prescient, though only up to a point. He expected right-wing militancy to escalate throughout Barack Obama’s administration, but to subside if a Republican followed him. Ordinarily, the far-right turns to terrorism when it feels powerless; the Oklahoma City bombing happened during Bill Clinton’s presidency, and all assassinations of abortion providers in the United States have taken place during Democratic administrations. During Republican presidencies, paranoid right-wing demagogy tends to recede, and with it, right-wing violence.
But that pattern doesn’t hold when the president himself is a paranoid right-wing demagogue.
“The fact that they’re still operating at a high level during a Republican administration goes against all the trending I’ve seen in 40 years,” Johnson told me. Donald Trump has kept the far right excited and agitated. “He is basically the fuel that’s been poured onto a fire,” said Johnson.
Max Fisher at The New York Times profiles experts who see terrifying similarities between white supremacy movement and ISIS:
Many scholars of terrorism see worrying similarities between the rise of the Islamic State and that of white nationalist terrorism, seen most recently in the carnage in El Paso, Tex.
“The parallels are stunning,” said Will McCants, a prominent expert in the field.
And they are growing more notable with each new attack.
On a final note, don’t miss this analysis by former FBI agent Ali H. Soufan:
White supremacists, like their Islamist counterparts, explicitly seek to use violence to create a climate of fear and chaos that can then be exploited to reshape society in their own image. Their recruitment videos share an emphasis on the lifestyle they purport to offer recruits — one of “purity,” militancy and physical fitness. While jihadis share beheading videos, right-wing extremists glory in the live streaming of the deadly attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. While Islamic State supporters communicate through an online platform called Telegram, white supremacists tend to do so through another platform, 8chan.