(1) When speaking about Islamic terrorists, it's considered appropriate to adopt this understanding tone — not that we're excusing the acts, but that we recognize that terrorism comes from being oppressed and disenfranchised, that people turn to terrorism as a last resort, etc. (I don't necessarily agree with those statements, but I've heard them countless times, from people who seem to feel very strongly about it.)
(2) We're told that the word "terrorist" is used too selectively, and especially that we should be more willing to apply it to white men and Christian men (e.g. the KKK, mass shooters, and those people who occupied the Oregon wildlife refuge).
Well, wait a minute... how oppressed and disenfranchised are white, Christian men?Trump's success has been attributed to the existence of those oppressed, disenfranchised, white, Christian men. They're not at their last resort — terrorism — if they can get their champion elected President. Maybe those "same people" John is talking about — those people who believe this theory of the cause of terrorism — should be heartened at the prospect of Trump winning: It may save us from domestic terrorism.
I'm looking anew at Obama's old guns-and-religion statement:
"You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."He imagined these people pathetically holding onto abstractions of power to soothe themselves in their weakness, not getting up the gumption to do anything. He was showing and trying to stir up empathy. He was not alarming his audience — rich people in San Francisco — about the potential for domestic terrorism.
But that was 2008, and now it's 2016, and they've got Donald Trump "explain[ing] their frustrations with "anti-immigrant sentiment" and "anti-trade sentiment." We're spared decline into violence because we have democracy — and yet the nice people of the elite places like San Francisco see Trump as the embodiment of violence, not any kind of bulwark against it.