Donald Trump’s election has shown just how sharply divided this country’s citizens are. There is no doubt a very healthy and easily identified line between the so-called left and right-wings of American politics, as evidenced by Trump winning the presidency while losing the popular vote margin by the second largest amount in modern times. Of course, if you ask me, a guy who tries to make his bones making fun of politicians of all stripes (though admittedly for me the righties tend to do more worth mocking), there are striking similarities between the two groups, if you look closely enough.
For instance, both lefties and righties seem to want to be the first to get to politicize the age, gender, political leanings, and now religion of terrorists. I can admit that as a liberal I’ve tossed people like Jared Laughner, Dylan Roof and Timothy McVeigh in conservatives’ faces. Usually, though, it’s because I’m sick of seeing right-wingers reflexively blame all Muslims and the Muslim religion in general for every single terrorist attack both foreign and domestic. So, in the interest of fairness, mea culpa. I’m just trying to keep us all focused on hating on the actual perpetrators of terrorism, not the ones they’re incorrectly trying to tie themselves to.
I can’t say that’s the motivation of every liberal, but it’s the motivation of this liberal, anyway, to just be intellectually honest about terrorism. The simple truth is that terrorists exists in all stripes and walks of life. But don’t tell that to former congressman Joe Walsh, who decided to wait all of about a nanosecond after the identity of this morning’s attack at Ohio State University, to crow about the attacker’s country of birth.
Media reports the Ohio St terrorist's name was Ali Muhammed.
Wow. I thought it might be a Steve or a Jerry. #OhioState
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) November 28, 2016
Again, to be clear I’m not saying I haven’t been relieved to find out a particular terror attack wasn’t carried out by a Muslim. I’m not even saying I haven’t gloated about it. I just typically wait a day or two, is all, and again with me it’s always about trying to show the hypocrisy of the other guy. Because I can promise you that if the attacker HAD been named Steve or Jerry, Deadbeat Joe would have had a reason to justify or deflect it.
He’d have said “you can’t judge all white Christians by this one man” or some such shit. But why does that kind of reasoning always go right out the window with nationalist conservatives when you start talking about Islamic terrorism? I don’t know a single liberal who defends terror attacks. We might try to find the nuanced reasons for an attack and we might focus on the foreign policy decisions of nearly every U.S. President since the turn of the last century, but none of us revel in terror attacks. We also tend to understand that ISIS wants people to judge all Muslims with them, it’s part of their propaganda playbook.
That’s the truly galling part about all of the complaints Republicans have about how President Obama calls acts of terror carried out by Muslims. Obama gets that ISIS wants desperately to drag the whole world into war with their religion, and assholes like Walsh are merely looking for a reason for the States to get their dicks out and wave them around a bit. So while they mock us for not saying “radical Islamic terrorism,” the truth they’re the ones doing everything they can to unwittingly perpetuate it.
We have a right to defend ourselves, and you won’t even find this hippie, peace-loving, non gun owner complaining that cops took the Ohio State attacker down. This isn’t really about gun control. I’m just really grossed out by a former congressman being so boisterously Islamaphobic. Because the thing is, it’d be more understandable and even palatable if he’d at least tell everyone he was focusing his condemnation on this one, particular radical Muslim. But instead, Joe is one of those proud assholes who thinks it’s okay to generalize about all members of Islam. It’s just intellectually bogus at every turn. There are over a billion Muslims on this planet and if they were all violent criminals, we’d be pretty much all dead by now, wouldn’t we?
2016 has been just a nuts-to-butts shitty year in a lot of ways. I personally, of course, naturally blame J.J. Abrams for killing the best character in the “Star Wars” universe at the end of 2015, making it the first year without Han Solo since 1977. Then we lost David Bowie, Alan Rickman, and seemingly a million other luminary voices, and rejected a flawed, but prepared and dedicated woman for a job that we ended up giving to the oldest and least qualified or prepared man to ever hold the office…and the richest to boot.
But if you were to want to blame someone other than JJ — and really, why the shit would you? — you could blame all of us for being a little too much like Joe from time to time. Being a little to quick to demagogue everyone we disagree with instead of focusing our criticism on the singular asshole deserving it. So if I take nothing away from this shit show of a year, maybe it’ll be to let Joe Walsh be the inspiration for a resolution of mine in the new year…to not be like Joe Fucking Walsh, ever. I’ll never taunt the right about it again, if and when some anti-government backyard commando mows down a Planned Parenthood or attacks a federal building, that’s what Joe Fucking Walsh would do.
And to live that resolution out early, let me make sure I direct this criticism strictly at Joe Fucking Walsh.
Fuck you, Joe Fucking Walsh.
Specifically: Fuck you. The First Amendment was invented to protect us from people like you. Thanks for losing your last election for us, pal.
Being able to sleep at night is pretty badass.
Follow James on Twitter @JamboSchlarmbo.