To the far right, even kids who lived through a massacre are fair political game.
Most people will be fortunate enough never to live through something as horrifying and traumatic as a mass shooting, and the vast majority can feel deep empathy for those who have, especially children.
But that does not include some notorious voices in the far right media, who have already begun their ghoulish attacks on the teenagers who survived the massacre at a high school in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14.
In the wake of the shooting, which left 17 people dead, some students have been front and center of the renewed fight for gun safety. And that has meant calling out the National Rifle Association and the politicians — including Trump — who remain in the organization’s pocket no matter the latest death toll.
“What we really need is action,” one of those students, David Hogg, told CNN. “Because we can say, ‘Yes, we’re going to do all these things — thoughts and prayers.’ What we need more than that is action.”
And as he reminded lawmakers, “We’re children. You guys are the adults.”
For those pointed but perfectly rational comments, Hogg has become the latest target of Trump’s allies in the right-wing fringe media.
Wintrich — who was arrested at the University of Connecticut in November for accosting a woman protesting Wintrich’s speech titled “It’s OK to be white” — noted that Hogg’s father was in the FBI, and claimed that Hogg “appears to have been coached on anti-Trump lines.”
Hogg “seems articulate and highly skilled at setting a new anti-Conservative/anti-Trump narrative behind the recent school shooting,” Wintrich wrote. He further claimed that “this type of rapid media play” was rare and that it only comes “from well-trained political operatives and MSM commentators.”
Apparently, the idea that Hogg is simply a well-spoken and legitimately angry young man is too far afield for the right wing to accept.
Instead, ideologues like Alex Jones are too busy asserting the tired “false flag” conspiracy theory about the entire shooting.
“Wow, we said the perfect false flag would be a white nationalist attacking a multicultural school as a way to make the leftists all look like victims and bring in gun control and a war on America’s recovery,” Jones babbled the day after the shooting. “And now right on time what we’ve been warning of, their main card, the thing we said was imminent, appears with all the evidence.”
The revolting claim that “leftists” orchestrated a make-believe mass murder is eerily similar to Jones’ appalling nonsense after the massacre of 20 first-graders at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
But because the victims this time are teenagers, they too have been dragged into the unhinged fantasies that people like Jones and Wintrich prefer to believe in over the stark reality of the gun violence epidemic. Indeed, the “false flag” claims have even been helped along by a new influx of Russian social media bots.
The teens like Hogg who lived through the Florida shooting have shown incredible bravery and inspiring strength, and have injected powerful new energy into the fight for common sense gun safety solutions.
Trump’s far right media stooges, meanwhile, are hiding behind their computers and radio microphones, terrified of the monsters they create in their own heads while totally ignoring the real ones that walk amongst us, armed with dangerous weapons and poisonous right-wing ideology.