President Trump’s aggressive and hateful rhetoric has normalized dangerous ideas that influence people like the New Zealand mosque shooter, writes David Leonhardt of The New York Times. While the US president can’t be blamed directly for this atrocity, he bears responsibility for presenting Muslims as a threat that drives certain people to violence. He has used language that encourages violence, telling people at a rally to assault hecklers, police to hurt people they are arresting, and praising a Republican politician for assaulting a reporter. Combined with his demonization of Muslims, Trump sows the seeds for certain people to do terrible things.
It is wrong to put any blame for the New Zealand mosque shooting on President Trump’s shoulders, asserts Buck Sexton in an interview with Fox News. The terrorist wanted to implicate the US president by including him in his manifesto. It was a tactic to get more publicity by making his own actions a major talking point among Trump critics. This fuels the division that the shooter sought to create in society. The people he mentioned in his manifesto had nothing to do with his crimes. The media should seek to take away air time from him, as this kind of coverage is exactly what he wanted. Even Trump critics should refrain from pointing the finger at the president.