Both of this year’s leading presidential candidates have supporters on the ugly, radical fringes of American political life. But so far, the nation’s top media outlets have employed a double standard in covering this phenomenon, routinely pointing out fringe supporters of Donald Trump and demanding the Republican presidential candidate denounce them, while essentially ignoring all the shady characters who not only support Clinton, but openly speak on her behalf on national television.
Such is the case of Phillip Arroyo, an advocate of Puerto Rico's independence who appeared as the Democrat analyst for Hillary Clinton on the edition aired on August 7, 2016, of Al Punto, the weekly national public affairs show on the Univision television network.
During the program, in which Arroyo faced off against recent Trump-endorser and conservative Latino leader Alfonso Aguilar, the activist spouted the standard, dishonest Democrat mischaracterizations of Donald Trump’s commitment to removing criminal aliens from the country as an attack on all Hispanics as a whole.
PHILLIP ARROYO, DEMOCRAT ANALYST: When we talk about a person like Donald Trump, who has attacked viciously the Hispanic community, saying that we’re criminals and rapists, the Hispanic people should not forget that. He’s a person that said that and attacked all of us directly.
And what exactly makes Arroyo one of Clinton’s most far-out, fringe supporters? It is the fact that he not only represents a position on the political future of the largest U.S. territory which is totally out of sync with the repeatedly expressed will of the people of Puerto Rico at the ballot box, but he is a both an apologist for, and advocate of, the excarceration of Oscar López-Rivera, an unrepentant, bomb-making leader of the Armed Forces of Puerto Rican National Liberation, an organization responsible for the 1974 bombing of Fraunces Tavern in New York that killed four people, along with scores of other terrorist bombings in the United States during the 1970s and 1980s.
In fact, this Clinton surrogate proudly identifies himself with none other than Pedro Albizu-Campos, the Puerto Rican politician who after abysmally failing to win the support of Puerto Rican voters during the 1932 elections on the island, subsequently promoted seeking Puerto Rico’s independence by violent means, including encouraging his followers, in 1950, to attempt to assassinate both U.S. President Harry Truman along with Puerto Rico’s first popularly elected Governor, Luis Muñoz-Marín, as well as the launching of an armed attack on the Congress of the United States in 1954.
Donald Trump is routinely pressed by the media to disavow extremist supporters of his. When will Hillary Clinton be subject to the same treatment, and be asked to disavow having an apologist for terrorism appear on her behalf on national Spanish-language television?
Incidentally, it should be noted that Arroyo is not just a one-off, freak supporter of the excarcelation of one of the FALN’s most notorious terrorist bomb-makers. Other Democrats who share his position also made a prominent show of force during the roll call vote of the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
In the waning days of the Obama administration, they are pushing hard for President Obama to free López-Rivera, just as President Bill Clinton granted clemency to 14 of López-Rivera’s FALN comrades-in-arms back in 1999.
Back then, Hillary Clinton actually did have the decency to disavow the actions of her husband, opposing it on the grounds of the terrorists’ continued, despicable advocacy of violence as a political weapon.
On the other hand, with Clinton also lately receiving the enthusiastic support of Seddique Mateen, the father of the terrorist gunman responsible for the worst domestic terror attack since September 11, 2001, at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, maybe we will soon see Arroyo and Mateen teaming up to start a new coalition: Terrorist Apologists, Friends and Family Members for Hillary.
For the nation's voters, it certainly speaks volumes about the quarters from which some of Clinton and the Democrats' most vocal support is now coming from. Arroyo and Mateen are out there on the front lines, with her. Stronger together, indeed.