Maybe @POTUS should wait until Monday, Pearl Harbor Day, and declare, "The only thing we have to fear is calling this thing terrorism."— Ron Fournier (@ron_fournier) December 4, 2015
Now, don't get me wrong. Just because I've done two in a series doesn't mean I've decided that Ron Fournier is a Very Bad Man and I think I should mess with him--no. He's just a Both-Siderist of the High-Broderist line. I'm usually not pissed with people because I think they're hopeless and hacky--those people just get the usual factcheck to the boards. I think, absent constructing false frames and then awkwardly trying to poke what the president is doing into it, Fournier could even be a useful productive journalist-citizen.
Useful to who, I just can't even...
So, on Day 1 of the San Bernardino Massacre, President Obama is actually asked by Norah O'Donnell what he thinks about the events yet ongoing, when people still thought the assault was perpetrated by three white dudes. He brings up terrorism, as in, why would we be letting people we wouldn't allow on planes, have guns? So, not uncomfortable talking about domestic terrorism, just not pinning this one down on terrorists when it's too soon in the investigation to tell. But he's now clear with calling it an "act of terror". Because he's the president and not some rando whose speculation doesn't mean anything, it made sense for him to hold off on calling it "terrorism" until an investigation cleared up the details. Because what presidents say matters on a different level than what regular assholes say, you know, like me, the D-list blogger, and like Ron Fournier.
Why am I pissed off? Because this attitude of demanding that the president say some combination of "radical Islamic terrorism" is really nonsense. We are allies with Saudi Arabia--ish. Are they milquetoast Islamists? How do we work things out with Pakistan or whomever? Do we call them out for having radical Islamicooties and say we can't be friends? No, because that is childish, bigoted and dumb.
Yes, I'm saying a lot of Republican faces are childish and dumb. I totally mean it. What does saying the magic words "radical Islamic terrorist" even do? Will the radicalized jihadists hear that, and think, "Oh snap. they're on to us. I don't even want to play this game, now." Nope. They still will be radicalized, and what's more, they will feel validated for getting a shout-out. They will totally clip out the moment they got treated like a big-boy terror cell and paste it in their scrapbook for inspiration on how to do it so big next time.
What world leaders say isn't just for a really small audience. Like in Mockingjay 2, Haymitch points out to Katniss that she isn't just talking to the rebels anymore, but has to make a message for rebels, for loyalists, for the Capitol, and for everyone. That's how leadership works--talking for and to all the people. In case Fournier did not know, this is how Obama leads. That's his job.