Targets: Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, and former presidential nominees Mitt Romney and Senator John McCain.
Goal: Denounce Donald Trump’s insensitive, Islamophobic response to the mass shooting in Orlando.
Hours after a mass shooter killed nearly fifty people in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump took a moment to congratulate himself. “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism,” Trump tweeted through his official Twitter account. “I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!”
It is sickening that a nominee for our nation’s highest office would use the unspeakable horror of the Orlando tragedy in such a cynical way. At a time which called for pausing to reflect on the human costs of gun violence and bigotry, Trump instead tried to use the Orlando shooting to further his own hateful political agenda. Republican Party leaders must respond to Trump’s hateful rhetoric by refusing to endorse Trump for president or rescinding their existing endorsements.
In the days following the Orlando shooting, Trump’s hateful rhetoric has only gotten worse. The day after the tragedy, he reiterated an earlier call to ban all Muslim immigrants from entering the United States. Not only that, Trump added that he would extend this policy to bar all immigrants from countries with a history of terrorism. If Trump gets his way, refugees desperately seeking to escape terrorism in Syria, Iraq, and other countries could be prevented from finding safety in the U.S.
Trump has mistakenly implied that the Orlando killer was an immigrant from Afghanistan, saying that “The killer…was born in Afghan [sic] of Afghan parents.” However, Omar Mateen, the Orlando shooter, was in fact a native U.S. citizen born in New York. By equating terrorism with Islam and immigrants, Trump does a dangerous disservice to millions of peaceful Muslims in the United States and around the world. Sign the below petition and call on Republican leaders to denounce this hateful rhetoric by refusing to endorse Donald Trump.
Dear Republican Party leaders,
In the wake of the Orlando mass shooting, Donald Trump’s hateful rhetoric has achieved a dangerous new level of unacceptability. Trump says he wants to bar all Muslims — and people from any country beset by terrorism — from immigrating into the United States. To justify this bigoted policy Trump has implied the Orlando shooter was himself an immigrant, a statement which is patently false. Blaming Muslims and immigrants for terrorism makes our country weaker, not stronger, and we the undersigned call on all Republican Party leaders to make it clear that you will not endorse Donald Trump for president.
Already, principled Republicans like South Carolina’s Senator Lindsey Graham have distanced themselves from Trump’s hateful campaign by pledging not to support Trump for president. We now call on party leaders including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, and former presidential nominees Mitt Romney and Senator John McCain to make it clear that they do not agree with Trump’s hateful rhetoric and that they will not support him for president.
After the national tragedy in Orlando, it is incumbent on all our nation’s political leaders to make our country stronger by bringing Americans together regardless of race, nationality, or religion. Do the right thing and refuse to endorse Donald Trump for president.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore