On 10 December, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran an editorial suggesting that Donald Trump was largely responsible for the gunman who attacked a Washington pizza parlor and the deranged woman who made death threats against the mother of a Sandy Hook massacre victim.
I submitted the following letter to the editor in response. Inexplicably, the paper chose not to print it.
Your editorial was absolutely correct. Donald Trump’s irresponsible rhetoric definitely has contributed to the corrosion of our culture and our safety. But please explain why you limit your indictment to Mr. Trump alone.
Why don’t you lay equal blame in the lap of Hillary Clinton for her amoral campaign of distortion, deception, and corruption? The former next-president-of-the-United-States racked up 24 pinocchios last year from the Washington Post, and has lied about everything from her emails to her foundation, from her fictitious ducking under Bosnian sniper fire to the origins of her own name.
Why don’t you assign equal guilt to Barack Obama, who denied calling ISIS “the JV team,” who misrepresented Republican filibustering by a factor of ten, and whose misinformation about Obamacare could fill a government website?
And why don’t you admit your own complicity as part of the injudicious media that perpetuated the big lie of “Hands up, don’t shoot,” continues to indulge the wicked moral equivalence that excuses and enables radical terrorism, and — oh, the irony — provided Donald Trump with millions of dollars in free column space and air time, helping catapult him to primary and ultimately national election victory.
By all means, blame Donald Trump for all of society’s ills. But first show the moral fortitude of placing the blame everywhere it belongs, including on your own shoulders.