Former GOP Senator Coburn: Exhibit A on why Trump is winning

GOP-TrumpedThis week former Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma jumped into the “Why is Trump winning?” contest and immediately moved to the lead among establishment Republicans.

Coburn’s attack on Donald Trump for his comments on Islam bumped the government of Mexico to number two and the Pope to three. Former presidential candidate Jeb Bush appears to have a lock on fourth place.

  • Coburn’s little spit wad of venomous outrage illustrates perfectly why millions of grassroots Republicans have given up on the Republican Party’s “leaders” and turned to Donald Trump.
  • Coburn joined the “blame America first” club by blaming America’s “recent behavior” for Islam’s hatred of us.
  • Coburn’s criticism was a huge gift to Trump because ordinary Americans understand the problem of radical Islam better than Tom Coburn. Unlike our Republican “leaders” in the US Senate, outside a few cocoons of self-delusion like New York and Washington, Americans are not friendly to the notion that we are to blame to Islam’s hatred of everything American.

Coburn did not elaborate on exactly what behavior he has in mind, but it is clear that to him, the root of the problem of radical Islamic attacks on Americans is in us, not in Islam. We have to change, not Islam. We must become more “welcoming,” more tolerant, more accommodating to Islam’s demands.

Then the beheadings will stop? Really?

Coburn challenged Trump’s statement in a Wednesday CNN interview that, “I think Islam hates us…There is an unbelievable hatred of us.”  Coburn disagreed and said, “What they hate is some of the behavior that our country has now embraced.”

Now, that sweet affirmation of willful blindness may get a passing grade at UC Berkeley or Swarthmore, but it ain’t passing the smell test in Tulsa or Times Square. Trump knows differently, and so do ordinary citizens everywhere. They’ve had enough of political correctness, and the “religion of peace” flag is not helping the establishment’s job approval rating.

  • That Islam’s attacks on the United States is our fault, not Islam’s, will be news to the relatives of the Americans killed by radical Muslims on 9/11. Why was that attack America’s fault?
  • We are used to leftists at our universities uttering such vacuous slanders almost daily, but we expect better from elected Republican lawmakers.
  • That we hear such profanities from Republicans in Washington is one of the main reasons millions of grassroots Republicans — and millions of Democrats and independents — have been attracted to Donald Trump.

What “behavior” did Coburn have in mind? What American behavior provoked the hatred motivating those 19 Muslims on 9/11, fifteen of them from Saudi Arabia, a supposed Middle East ally?

  • If the 9/11 terrorists were not representative of ordinary Muslims, why were there cheering crowds in Cairo, Damascus, and other Arab cities when the Twin Towers came crashing down?
  • What behavior by Americans provoked the actions of the two San Bernardino assassins – one of them an American born to Pakistani immigrants – who murdered 14 friends and co-workers in the name of Allah?

Senator Coburn was not content to merely disagree with Trump, he had to misquote and distort what Trump said. Trump did not say all Muslims hate America. He said “Islam hates us.” There is a huge — dare I say, even a YUGE — difference between Islam hating America and “all Muslims” hating America.

  • That is because, thankfully, all the world’s Muslims do not follow the teachings of the Quran.
  • Yes, we have millions of Muslims in the United States and Europe who are indeed “moderate Muslims” who do not hate us. But the important point is that they are “moderate” precisely because they are not devout in following Islam’s hatred of both Christianity and modern secularism.

The inconvenient fact is that what Trump said about Islam is demonstrably true: At its core — in its most sacred texts, in its official intolerance for all “infidels,” in its advocacy for Sharia law as a universal system that subordinates and subjugates all other faiths —Islam hates the very idea of America.

  • To the mavens of political correctness like Coburn, that Trump dared to raise this sensitive issue in a CNN interview shows unforgivably bad taste. For that sin of unbelievable cultural insensitivity, Trump is being attacked viciously. But it is the Tom Coburns in the Congress who owe America an apology, not Donald Trump.

Most Americans have a hard time grasping and accepting that a religion can be at war with America; it is a foreign, really an un-American concept. Americans wonder why Islam is different –“Why can’t we all just get along?” Quakers, Catholics, Presbyterians, Jews, Buddhists, and Mormons — all live together in relative tranquility with freedom of religion protected by the First Amendment.  Why is Islam different?

Yet, unlike Senator Coburn, most Americans do understand there is something fundamentally hostile about Islam’s attitude toward Europe and America, something that is not explained by the “religion of peace” mantra they have heard from our leaders, from George Bush to Barack Obama, and more recently from Jeb Bush to Tom Coburn.

There are an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims on the planet. Do the math. If only one percent of them hate America enough to actively plot our destruction, that would be 16 million jihadists plotting our destruction– not a few thousand scattered across the deserts of Syria, Afghanistan, and North Africa.  And some of them live in Detroit, San Bernardino, Dallas, and Atlanta.

But the threat from Islam is deeper than the armed jihadists plotting terrorist attacks.

  • Reputable, professional polls in a dozen Muslim nations show strong sympathies for ISIS and al-Qaeda expressed by 5% to 15% of those Muslim populations.
  • Closer to home, in a recent poll, 51% of Muslims in the United States – and 60% of Muslims under 30— told Pew Research they would like to live under Sharia, not the US Constitution. Asked if they felt more loyalty toward Islam or to America, a majority chose Islam.

When Americans ask that the 75,000 Syrian Muslim migrants being brought to our shores by Obama be screened for jihadist views and sympathies, and Congress does nothing, something is wrong. Americans are not “anti-immigrant” in asking such questions, they are only being sensible. Trump is pointing a finger at politicians’ inexplicable complacency and asking, “Why?”

Trump is willing to openly discuss the scope and seriousness of this existential threat.  He’s not the only presidential candidate who has done that– so has Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). But when Trump does it, he gets attacked mercilessly as a “Xenophobe.” What is clear is that the attacks on Trump for violating political correctness in raising the Islamist issue only expand his popularity. The establishment has been slow to learn that lesson: thanks to self-deluded idiots like Tom Coburn, Donald Trump’s chances of being elected President of the United States are growing.


Tom Tancredo pic 2

Tom Tancredo is the founder of the Rocky Mountain Foundation and founder and co-chairman of Team America PAC.

Tom represented Colorado’s sixth congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1999 to 2009, and he is a former presidential candidate.


He is the author of In Mortal Danger: The Battle for America’s Border and Security.