Some idiot from New Jersey just gave Donald Trump a gift -- the shiny-object gift of terrorism.
Donald Trump wasted no time in taking a victory lap over the violence, claiming he "called it," and it was time "to get very tough, extremely tough" because "our country is weak and our leaders are stupid."
Trump, who has previously called for "extreme vetting," a registry of all Muslims in the U.S., a ban on Muslims entering the U.S., and "closing up" parts of the internet, went on to falsely claim that illegal immigrants are "pouring into the country," that President Obama has promised to take in 100,000 Syrian refugees and that Hillary Clinton wants to increase that number by 550%, or 650,000 Syrians. All are stupendous lies.*
Time out for some fact-checking and truth-telling!
The American public's perceived threat of terrorism is greatly exaggerated. Your chance of dying in a car crash is 1 in 19,000; drowning in your bathtub 1 in 800,000, being struck by lightning 1 in 5.5 million; of dying in a terrorist attack 1 in 20 million.
Terrorism generates unreasonable fear. Fear can lead to poor decisions, irrational behavior and dangerous overreaction. We remove our shoes at the airport, we don't carry nail clippers or shampoo bottles. And some people listen to Donald Trump.
America has never seen a fear monger like Donald Trump. Fear preys upon the ignorant and the uninformed. And The Donald targets those folks relentlessly and shamelessly -- he wants them to be afraid of radical Islamic terrorism. He needs them to be afraid! He'll pull all the alarms to remind the frightened people that the sky is falling!
Donald is truly deplorable, because his act is 100% bullshit. That there's such a large market for it is equally deplorable.
*Lie-busters (a small amount of arithmetic is required):
Illegal immigrants are not pouring into our country, despite what Trump says. The total number of unauthorized immigrants is down about 1 million since 2007. Net Mexican immigration (Trump says they're "flooding across the southern border") is negative. More going back than coming in.
Obama did not promise to take in 100,000 Syrian refugees. Every fiscal year, the president sets the maximum total number of refugees the U.S. will take in that year. (This is not an executive order, it's a legally required presidential duty.) Over the past couple decades, the standard was to take in about 70,000 total per year.
In 2015, John Kerry announced that the 2016 limit would go up to 85,000, then in 2017 it would be 100,000. Of the 2016 total, Obama pledged that slightly more than 10,000 would be the legal limit for Syrians in that year. So far in 2016, we've accepted about 6700 Syrians, half of them children, a quarter of them age 60 or more.
The makeup of the 100,000 immigrants for 2017 has yet to be determined, but even if all the additional 15,000 allowable immigrants came from Syria (which won't happen), that'd be 25,000 total, not 100,000.
Hillary Clinton did not say she'd take in 650,000 Syrians. She said she'd like to see Obama's number of 10,000 increased to 65,000. That would in fact be a 550% increase, but still nowhere near Trump's imaginary numbers.
For the record, there are currently 4.8 million Syrian refugees outside of Syria, and another 6.6 million "internally displaced" still within the country.
The bombing suspect who prompted all of Trump's verbal diarrhea over Syrian immigrants is a U.S. citizen of Afghan descent. Far, far away from Syria any way you slice it.