Facts don't care about Islamic terrorists' feelings
In the wake of the horrific Manchester bombing, which targeted young girls and killed 22 while injuring many others, President Trump took to the world stage to suggest that the perpetrators are "evil losers."
"I won't call them monsters, because they would like that term," Trump said. "They would think that's a great name. I will call them from now on losers, because that's what they are. They're losers. And we'll have more of them. But they're losers. Just remember that."
Ben Shapiro (of whom I'm a big fan) argues the latter, in favor of Trump's new moniker for Islamic terrorists.
"[W]e have to stop using the language of strength to describe those who act out of weakness," Shapiro writes. "If you have to blow up 13-year-old girls listening to teeny pop material, you're not a powerful 'monster.' You're a worm, a piece of human refuse."
True enough. But it's his next thoughts that struck me:
We should describe terrorists with contempt, not build them up in their own minds. Islamic terrorists feed off the notion that the West lives in fear of them. We live in fear of the things they will do, obviously, but we don't live in fear of them – because they're ridiculous and puny human beings.
I've mulled over that statement and concluded that it doesn't make a lot of sense. Islamic terrorists are defined by what they do (or will do), and what they do (or will do) is what we fear. Hence, we actually fear Islamic terrorists. And that's totally rational.
Ridiculous and puny human beings can harm innocent people, too. But handing them an unearned moniker like "monster" – scary by nature – is counterproductive, and boosts egos where no boost is necessary.
I found this to be a curious line of thought from someone whose most famous quip is "facts don't care about your feelings."
To modestly amend that phrase, facts don't care about Islamic terrorists' feelings.
Why, exactly, should the president (or anyone else, for that matter) be shaping his words based upon how Islamic terrorists might feel after hearing them?
Shapiro is correct about no ego boost being necessary, of course. Islamic terrorists are convinced of Muslims' superiority on this Earth, convinced of their superiority among Muslims for their willingness to commit murderous jihad, and convinced of their heavenly reward for having done so.
In short, they couldn't be more emboldened than they are. So why should we fear that Muslim terrorists might have their egos boosted based upon what the president says of them?
But "good for Trump," Shapiro concludes. "Trump knows well how to demean people, make them feel smaller. And Islamic terrorists should be scorned, derided, mocked, and treated as small. They're not martyrs, they're not warriors, they're not victims. They're evil losers."
There's a problem of context here, at least in consideration to the "facts" before Islamic terrorists' feelings are considered.
"Loser" is a broad term. Most people have a family member, for example, whom society at large might label a "loser" for his inability to hold a job, mooching off other family members' generosity, or problems with drugs or alcohol. Very few people have family members who would detonate explosives near large numbers of innocent people to kill them and thereby earn a ticket to Muhammad's promised paradise of virgin girls, wine, and fish livers.
What Trump did with his "evil losers" comment was to make his condemnation of the very specific, very malignant threat of Islamic terrorism as boilerplate as the insults that he routinely bandies about on Twitter.
As Trump's Twitter feed proves, compiled by Jessica Estepa at USA Today, "loser" is a word that Trump employs to describe pretty much anyone or anything he doesn't like – everyone and everything from Mark Cuban, Rosie O'Donnell, Cher, HuffPo, and CNN to Karl Rove, George Will, Jonah Goldberg, Michelle Malkin, Ted Cruz, and the GOP.
Again, it's a problem of context. Losers, Islamic terrorists may very well be. But that's not the salient distinction. They are Islamic terrorists and murderous jihadists who target innocent life, leaving myriad atrocities akin to the Manchester bombing in their wake. And I'd much rather our president continually speak in those more specific terms when addressing America and the rest of the world.
Again, I'm a big fan of Ben Shapiro. But in the context of his podcast's "good Trump/bad Trump" segments, this "evil losers" description of murderous Islamic terrorists should be filed nearer to "bad Trump."