Post Paris Attacks:  An Embarrassing Week for American Political Leadership!

Dear Commons Community,

It has been one week since the ISIS terror attacks that killed 130 innocent people in Paris.  Reactions to the horror have been swift and steady from around the globe. However, here in the United States, we are hearing embarrassing comments from our political leadership.

Starting with the Republican presidential nominees.

Ben Carson raised eyebrows when he compared blocking potential terrorists posing as Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. to handling a rabid dog.

“If there’s a rabid dog running around in your neighborhood, you’re probably not going to assume something good about that dog,” Carson told reporters at a campaign stop in Alabama. “It doesn’t mean you hate all dogs, but you’re putting your intellect into motion.”

Donald Trump supported establishing a national database for all Muslims.  When he was asked whether Muslims should be required to register. He replied, “They have to be.”  He said Muslims would be signed up at “different places” and said the program would be “all about management.”  Marci Hamilton, a Yeshiva University legal expert on religious liberty, said requiring Muslims to register appears to be a clear violation of the Constitution’s protection of religious freedom.

Jeb Bush called for a United States-led global coalition, including troops on the ground, to take out the Islamic State “with overwhelming force”.  This was the same mistake his brother George W. made in 2003 that destabilized the entire Middle East.

On the Democratic side, I was very disappointed in President Obama’s response to the Paris attacks  The day after the attacks, I thought his comments were wishy-washy and unfocused. On Monday and Wednesday, he launched verbal assaults on Republicans:  “We are not well served when in response to a terrorist attack we descend into fear and panic,” he said at a press conference in the Philippines. “We don’t make good decisions if it’s based on hysteria or an exaggeration of risks. The refugee debate is an example of us not being well served by some of the commentary taking place by officials back home and in the media.”.  He accused Republicans of aiding in Islamic State recruitment by suggesting that there be a religious test for refugees that would give preference to Christians. “I cannot think of a more potent recruitment tool for ISIL than some of the rhetoric coming out of here in the course of this debate,” he said, using an acronym for the Islamic State. “It’s counterproductive and it needs to stop.”

Rather than showing [deserved] distaste for the Republican rhetoric, Obama should be providing hope and ideas for dealing with terrorism.  The American people need to hear that there are solutions for the problem not “he said …she said” political pandering. Please Mr. President, in times of crisis, leave the politicking to others.



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