The New York Times on Sunday attacked Republican Donald Trump on several fronts, including instigating hate crimes against Muslims. Reporter Jonathan Martin filed “Anything Goes Campaign an Alarming Precedent.” The teary-eyed text box: “Long-held ideals seem of little concern to Donald Trump.” And Martin’s colleague Eric Lichtblau fingered Trump for a alleged rise in “hate crimes” against American Muslims. Martin wrote:
When Donald J. Trump descended on the capital Friday, he was expected to finally concede that the racially tinged falsehood he had gleefully propagated, that President Obama was born outside of the United States, had in fact been a lie.
But before Mr. Trump got around to what was a grudging and terse admission, which itself included a falsehood about the provenance of so-called birtherism, he had some business to tend to.
The Times stubbornly refuses to concede that the birther myth was initially spread by Clinton supporters.
Now that Trump has narrowed Clinton’s lead in the polls, Martin played concern troll for America.
Routine falsehoods, unfounded claims and inflammatory language have long been staples of Mr. Trump’s anything-goes campaign. But as the polls tighten and November nears, his behavior, and the implications for the country should he become president, are alarming veteran political observers -- and leaving them deeply worried about the precedent being set, regardless of who wins the White House.
Mr. Trump’s advocates insist that the critics are missing the larger impact of his candidacy, and how his campaign and presidency could be a force for good. As a New York Times-CBS poll released last week indicated, voters see him as more likely to aggressively confront what they see as a rotten political system, even if they recognize Mr. Trump as a risky choice.
“On the things that are really big, he will in some clumsy way force real change,” said Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, who is an adviser to Mr. Trump. “Washington won’t be the same when he’s done.”
But that is what is so worrisome to many observers of Mr. Trump’s rise. His critics fear that his norm-breaking campaign portends a political future in which candidates pay no penalty for unabashedly telling untruths, disregarding the public’s right to know, and lobbing racially charged accusations.
The above sounds like what conservatives have endured from the Clintons the past 25 years.
But while there may not be another Mr. Trump, he does seem to have thrust the country into a new era. With American culture increasingly coarse and ever more obsessed with celebrity, the country’s politics were bound to eventually catch up.
Less than 25 years after Bill Clinton shocked some by unabashedly answering a question about his underwear preference on television, Mr. Trump purposefully brought up the size of his penis at a televised debate.
Martin elided Clinton’s own...problems...in that direction that coarsened the nation;s politics during the late 1990s, putting the onus on Trump.
Trump is also responsible for hate crimes against U.S. Muslims, said reporter Eric Lichtblau in the same edition in “Level of Hate Crimes Against U.S. Muslims Highest Since After 9/11 – Some Tie Attacks to Trump’s Statements.”
For some months the Times has been making vague assertions of increasing “hate crimes” against Muslims without the benefit of actual numbers, so it’s a step up that they actually have some now, though they aren’t official government ones. What they mean, if anything, is a different story.
Hate crimes against American Muslims have soared to their highest levels since the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, according to data compiled by researchers, an increase apparently fueled by terrorist attacks in the United States and abroad and by divisive language on the campaign trail.
The trend has alarmed hate crime scholars and law-enforcement officials, who have documented hundreds of attacks -- including arsons at mosques, assaults, shootings and threats of violence -- since the beginning of 2015.
While the most current hate crime statistics from the F.B.I. are not expected until November, new data from researchers at California State University, San Bernardino, found that hate crimes against American Muslims were up 78 percent over the course of 2015. Attacks on those perceived as Arab rose even more sharply.
(Something else happened in San Bernardino involving Islam late last year, but the Times was too polite to mention it.)
Some scholars believe that the violent backlash against American Muslims is driven not only by the string of terrorist attacks in Europe and the United States that began early last year, but also by the political vitriol from candidates like Donald J. Trump, who has called for a ban on immigration by Muslims and a national registry of Muslims in the United States.
He said that the frequency of anti-Muslim violence appeared to have increased immediately after some of Mr. Trump’s most incendiary comments.
The new study from Mr. Levin’s nonpartisan group, based on official police reports in 20 states, estimated that there were about 260 hate crimes against Muslims nationwide in 2015.
That was the most since the record 481 documented hate crimes against Muslims in 2001, when the Sept. 11 attacks set off waves of crimes targeting Muslims and Middle Easterners, Mr. Levin said. The huge increase last year was also the biggest annual rise since 2001, he said.
A number of experts in hate crimes said they were concerned that Mr. Trump’s vitriol may have legitimized threatening or even violent conduct by a small fringe of his supporters.
In a few cases, people accused of hate crimes against Muslims and others have even cited Mr. Trump.
The police here in Washington released a videotape in May of a woman who reportedly poured liquid on a Muslim woman after berating Islam and declaring that she was going to vote for Mr. Trump so that he could “send you all back where you came from.”
On Thursday, Hillary Clinton charged that Mr. Trump had “incited violence” in a campaign marked by “bigotry” and “hatred.”
Mr. Trump’s supporters say that he has never endorsed violence against any minorities, and some conservatives have challenged data showing an increase in violence against American Muslims as a creation of liberal-leaning researchers.
Lichtblau went to that old reliable smearer of social conservatives, the SPLC:
Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups and extremism, went further.
“I don’t have the slightest doubt that Trump’s campaign rhetoric has played a big part” in the rising attacks, he said.