Trump makes it personal for the Manchester terrorists

After most terrorist attacks, presidents and world leaders have attempted to use majestic and restrained language, perhaps to seem presidential, to come off as leader-like, to be as unlike the terrorists as possible.  A favorite term they all like to use is "cowardly" – which doesn't seem to deter any of these mass-death attacks.  They also like "callous," "absurd," and "tragic," passively addressing the attacks themselves.  We can already hear the terrorists' giggles.

President Trump isn't like that.  In the wake of the terror attack in Manchester, England, he set the tone from another direction, hurling the personal insult.  He called terrorists "evil losers."  For good measure, he kept it personal, addressing the terrorists themselves, not their handiwork, adding in Bethlehem:

I won't call them monsters because they would like that term. I will call them losers[.]

It was high school language, with heaping helpings of mockery and status imagery.  Seems that being a terrorist is not only the route to hell, but the best way to be the most unpopular kid in class, the one everyone tries to get away from, the gross guy, the creep.  The words drip of boiling, personal contempt – and take a swing at every young person's insecurities.  Terrorists and their potential recruits (whom the Trump remarks are surely aimed at) are undoubtedly not at all different.

What's more, they come from the Big Dog – Trump – the leader perceived as so powerful that the Arab states pretty well bowed down to him and did their damnedest to please and impress him these past few days.  They went out of their way – a very different response from what was given to past presidents, and one that confounded his domestic enemies back home.

Trump's words might well have hit the terrorists where it hurt.  Unpopular?  Terrorists go into their "trade" to be popular, to go from "zero to hero."  To call them losers might just make a few think twice.  It's pork fat poured on their psyches.  And terrorist leaders just haven't seen anyone with this sort of approach to their own foot soldiers' insecurities.

Coming on the heels of his speech in Saudi Arabia, where Trump told terrorists with even more boiling contempt that they were headed for hell, it's strong stuff.  It's personal.  It's a warning to individuals that terrorism isn't some collective ticket to heaven, but a road to hell – and, oh, yes, will make you unpopular with the other kids, too.

It's a new tack that separates terrorists from the collective, from the groupthink, from the absolution from all responsibility in the name of a cause, and reduces them to poor saps who made fools of themselves in front of the other kids.

It might just work.

After most terrorist attacks, presidents and world leaders have attempted to use majestic and restrained language, perhaps to seem presidential, to come off as leader-like, to be as unlike the terrorists as possible.  A favorite term they all like to use is "cowardly" – which doesn't seem to deter any of these mass-death attacks.  They also like "callous," "absurd," and "tragic," passively addressing the attacks themselves.  We can already hear the terrorists' giggles.

President Trump isn't like that.  In the wake of the terror attack in Manchester, England, he set the tone from another direction, hurling the personal insult.  He called terrorists "evil losers."  For good measure, he kept it personal, addressing the terrorists themselves, not their handiwork, adding in Bethlehem:

I won't call them monsters because they would like that term. I will call them losers[.]

It was high school language, with heaping helpings of mockery and status imagery.  Seems that being a terrorist is not only the route to hell, but the best way to be the most unpopular kid in class, the one everyone tries to get away from, the gross guy, the creep.  The words drip of boiling, personal contempt – and take a swing at every young person's insecurities.  Terrorists and their potential recruits (whom the Trump remarks are surely aimed at) are undoubtedly not at all different.

What's more, they come from the Big Dog – Trump – the leader perceived as so powerful that the Arab states pretty well bowed down to him and did their damnedest to please and impress him these past few days.  They went out of their way – a very different response from what was given to past presidents, and one that confounded his domestic enemies back home.

Trump's words might well have hit the terrorists where it hurt.  Unpopular?  Terrorists go into their "trade" to be popular, to go from "zero to hero."  To call them losers might just make a few think twice.  It's pork fat poured on their psyches.  And terrorist leaders just haven't seen anyone with this sort of approach to their own foot soldiers' insecurities.

Coming on the heels of his speech in Saudi Arabia, where Trump told terrorists with even more boiling contempt that they were headed for hell, it's strong stuff.  It's personal.  It's a warning to individuals that terrorism isn't some collective ticket to heaven, but a road to hell – and, oh, yes, will make you unpopular with the other kids, too.

It's a new tack that separates terrorists from the collective, from the groupthink, from the absolution from all responsibility in the name of a cause, and reduces them to poor saps who made fools of themselves in front of the other kids.

It might just work.

RECENT VIDEOS