Letters to the Editor

Randall J Thomson: Collateral damage

Regarding coverage of the GOP debate: I was intrigued with Rick Santorum’s feeble attempt to defend Donald Trump’s broad brush depiction of Muslims. As noted in the Washington Post article you reprinted, Santorum said that although not all Muslims are radicals, “All jihadists are Muslims. That’s reality. And we have to stop worrying about offending some people, and start defending all Americans.”

I guess the large majority of Muslims who don’t fit the jihadist categorization are just unfortunate collateral damage. The statement makes as much sense as saying not all Republicans are racists, but all racists vote Republican. Once again, such broad-stroke depictions treat nonracist Republicans as collateral damage who have to be sacrificed to make sure that you get all the racists in your attacks.

Trump’s stereotyping is attractive because it is reactionary. You don’t have to think, which can be uncomfortable and difficult when confronted with complex problems. Just react. You’ll feel good initially, until you realize that the effects of collateral damage work both ways.

Randall J Thomson