The left couldn’t be more excited over their new discovery: a brand new al-Shabaab terror video contains a clip of Donald Trump. This means, according to the geniuses in the media, that Hillary Clinton was right: ISIS is using Donald Trump for recruitment.
First off, that point was idiotic to begin: just because ISIS uses a candidate’s anti-radical Islam language to recruit does not invalidate that language. All opt-in movements use the harsh language of their opposition to recruit. That says nothing about the decency of the language itself. As National Review’s Jim Geraghty writes:
Trump offends Muslims? Trump offends a lot of people. There was a time when it was okay to say offensive things in the country, before “Charlie Hebdo,” before the President of the United States stood before the United Nations and declared, “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”
Second, it’s important to realize the manner in which ISIS uses Trump versus how it uses Barack Obama, for example. It uses Trump’s language about banning Muslim immigration to argue that the West is Islamophobic, and that Muslims therefore ought to side against it. That’s a pure leftist read on Trump, modified for recruitment purposes. ISIS does that all the time. They argued similarly that America is racist and that black Americans therefore ought to convert to Islam and fight against it; that latest al-Shabaab video proclaims, “As long as you’re black you will always be considered subhuman, as your forefathers were, and thus inferior to the white man, who’s determined to maintain a system of white supremacy.”
So, according to Hillary Clinton and company, should we now ban Ta-Nahesi Coates, who essentially says the same thing? Is he ISIS’ top recruitment tool?
Here’s the problem for the left: in arguing about how ISIS recruits, they invalidate their own perspective, because they agree with many of ISIS’ criticisms of the West. They, like ISIS, think America is a basically rotten place. They agree on the disease but disagree about the cure.
The right, by contrast, cares little about ISIS’ rationales for violence, other than the one we can certainly handle: their belief that they can win. That belief is fostered by Western military weakness. And that belief can be cured by crushing ISIS militarily. The left asks “Why do they hate us?” because they want Westerners to focus on internal change rather than external victory.
ISIS would prefer that, too.