Trump, Obama, and the presidential response to terrorism

The media is having a conniption fit because Trump will not talk enough about “white supremacy” in the wake of last week’s mass shooting at two mosques in New Zealand:

His response to the carnage in New Zealand, where 49 people died in an attack on two mosques, is also raising fresh questions about his attitude toward Islam following a long history of anti-Muslim rhetoric — and about the extent to which the President has a responsibility to moderate his language given the rise in white supremacy movements across the world.

On Twitter and in remarks in the Oval Office, Trump was clear in condemning the killings. But he did not deliver a message of empathy and support to American Muslims, who may feel scared as security is stepped up at US mosques.

There were many Americans (this one included) who thought that Barack Obama was too hesitant to say the words, “Islamic terrorism” in the wake of the San Bernardino shooting of 2015.  (Obama would never say the words “Islam” or “Islamic” in any negative context.)

Does this mean that Obama was doing somersaults of glee after the San Bernardino  ISIS-inspired mass murder? Of course not. But let’s be frank: The guy didn’t like to talk about Islamic terrorism, as such.

Even the CNN journalist, Stephen Collinson, acknowledges that Trump condemned the killings in Christchurch. Following the Obama standard, that should be sufficient.

The larger issue is  whether Muslims and non-Muslims can live peacefully side-by-side in large numbers. Examine the evidence from the Middle East, to Europe, to New Zealand, and you don’t see much to be optimistic about.

It makes one wonder if the multicultural experiment is really worth the human suffering involved. Or would we be better to acknowledge (without pointing fingers at any particular side) that societies are most peaceful and harmonious when they are also relatively homogenous?  Remember what Robert Frost wrote: “Good fences make good neighbors.”

I’ve spent a lot of time in Japan, one of the most homogenous countries on earth, both racially and culturally. Japan is also very harmonious, and there are no hate crimes to speak of.