Election 2016

Trump Isn't Just Feeding the Media, He's Also Fueling Terrorist Propaganda

In an uncomfortably close parallel to the plot of “House of Cards," Donald Trump doesn't submit to terror, he makes the terror.

Photo Credit: Still from ISIL media

What you're about to read won't spoil the end of “House of Cards” season four for you. Reality will do a fine job of that. In the Netflix show's most recent season that was released in mid-March, the power-obsessed Frank Underwood has proved that nothing is more important than remaining in the White House—not the lives of innocents, and not the reputation of his country.

A terrorist hostage situation that unfolds across the stage of American media is merely Underwood's last desperate bid in a tumultuous campaign to retain his incumbency. Playing with the terror of the nation and risking America's democratic reputation should strike a chord, not just because of the era of George W. Bush's post-9/11 policy, but also because Donald Trump is playing the media without thinking of the consequences for U.S. citizens and innocents abroad.

Trump is a caricature of why someone could hate the ignorant outliers of America, not a representation. And now he has been featured in an ISIL propaganda video on Thursday following the terrorist attacks in Brussels on Tuesday.

Trump's use in terrorist propaganda videos has been in the news for months. This latest video is important because on Friday morning, a senior ISIL commander, Abd al-Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli, was believed by U.S. officials to have been killed in an airstrike in Syria. Secretary of State John Kerry told CBS News that the Brussels attacks was a reaction to the loss of their leaders in the summer of 2014.

Trump isn't just inciting Islamophobia in vulnerable, poorly educated people in the United States. He's fueling hatred of the West that could bring the reputation of America down below what it was during the George W. Bush years. 

Secretary Kerry told CBS “it's an aberration” that Western Europe has gone from an assumedly safe destination for American vacationers to a dangerous one. All we can do is hope he's right and make sure we and as many Americans as we can convince are moving from Islamophobia to a focus on the terrorist outliers.

We have to move beyond fear if we're going to get anywhere closer to peace. And Trump is shooting us in the foot every time he opens his mouth, regardless of how many protest his campaign. One bad, orange-hued apple shouldn't spoil the bunch, but it is.

Jenny Pierson is a managing editor and assistant publisher at AlterNet.

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