Want to know why 9/11 happened? Donald Trump has the answer, and it’s not what you think.
While the traditional narrative has been that a group of predominantly Saudi Arabian terrorists hijacked four passenger jets and attempted to crash them into symbols of American power with varying degrees of success, Donald Trump has the real answer, and unsurprisingly it boils down to his favorite topic: illegal immigration.
Trump blamed the attack on America’s lax immigration laws and asserted that he would have prevented the hijackers from coming into the country in the first place.
“I am extremely, extremely tough on illegal immigration,” Trump told Chris Wallace on Fox News yesterday. “I am extremely tough on people coming into this country.” He continued: “If I were running things…I doubt that those people [the hijackers] would have been in the country.”
Unsurprisingly, this is complete nonsense. 14 of the hijackers had official six-month tourist visas, while four had business visas, and one hijacker had a student visa. All were there perfectly legally. One could translate Trump’s new interpretation as basically saying “I wouldn’t let Arabs into the country if I were President.”
Trump is following the well known political strategy of association – you assert something is linked, then keep repeating it regardless of the facts. The Bush administration followed this prescription ruthlessly when selling the public on the war in Iraq. Saddam Hussein was consistently linked to Al Qaeda, and Bush officials would use the words “mushroom cloud,” “WMDs” and “chemical weapons” over and over again in reference to Iraq, despite knowing full well Saddam had nothing to do with Islamic terrorism and did not pose any threat to the United States or his neighbors.
Trump likely knows his latest assertion is complete bullshit, but he has hit upon a remarkably successful strategy when it comes to shoring up Republican votes: talking incessantly about illegal immigration. And the more topics he links to it, the more powerful he becomes.
So don’t be surprised when Trump claims global warming is the fault of Mexican immigrants and only he can stop them from destroying the planet.
But only after they’ve built his latest luxury hotel, that is.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.