I must admit I have a grudging but growing admiration for Donald Trump*. He has a way of saying things that’s like popping the clutch on a ’73 Z28 Camaro with a 350 V8. Everybody hears the screech, sees the smoke, and then it leaves a long skid mark.
Trump’s enduring claim that “thousands and thousands” of Muslims celebrated in New Jersey after the World Trade Center towers fell on Sep. 11, 2001 was at first ridiculed. The New York Times published “A Definitive Debunking of Donald Trump’s 9/11 Claims” just three days after Trump made his remarks in Birmingham, Ala.
That should have been the end of it, but it wasn’t.
Trump had said, “Hey, I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, N.J., where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering.”
On its face, there’s a few obvious things. Number one, Trump didn’t watch in Jersey City, as in bodily present. He claims he saw it on television, like hundreds of millions of Americans would have seen it. Number two, “thousands and thousands” of people weren’t cheering in Jersey City. Trump was wrong.
Normally, from any mortal politician, this would be a death knell: A horrific gaffe with no possible recovery. But Trump isn’t a mortal politician. He makes over-the-top, off-the-cuff statements, refuses to back down, and then forces the press to dig, dig, dig to disprove something obviously untrue, but with enough of a hint of truth that it never really goes away.
In this way, Trump forces his agenda (planned or unplanned) on all of us. He ignites discussion of topics considered too un-P.C. to discuss otherwise. He makes the mainstream media operate outside their “safe space” in obvious discomfort.
And somewhere deep down inside, I love it.
At first I was really skeptical and angry that Trump stuck his foot in his mouth again. But the more that these things progress and have a life of their own, the more I see that Trump starts conversations nobody else would ever have (or would be shut down before it even started).
Now, the truth is coming out—the truth that’s always existed and many have known from personal experience—that there were celebrations. People saw them with their own eyes. Former NYC Mayor Giuliani confirms they happened. Television reports from days after the attacks talk about them using words like “swarming.”
No, there weren’t “thousands and thousands” of Muslims jumping up and down like footage from Gaza and the West Bank would suggest, but there were small pockets. Exactly how many small pockets and what the total number was is something nobody ever thought to discuss. Trump made his bombastic statement and suddenly everyone is parsing old reports and footage. It might turn out that there were hundreds and hundreds, but that’s more than the narrative being played by the Left: that there were basically none, and Islamic radicalism isn’t significant in our country.
Islamic radicalism is significant, and is also extremely relevant in America, and we should acknowledge that only Trump could bring that to the forefront like he did with immigration. The guy is alike a drunken sailor continually falling into a pit filled with treasure, and the media can’t stand it.
*No that doesn’t mean I’d like to see Trump become president. That’s a gap far too wide for me to cross. But he’d make an ideal Secretary of Shut-Up Stupid, if that became a real cabinet position. I’d vote for a Department of Shut-Up Stupid, by the way–give it the EPA’s entire budget.