Are you more worried about Trump or terrorism?
via Getty Images

Are you more worried about Trump or terrorism?

#TrumpScarier
#TerrorismScarier
Join the conversation and vote below

It goes without saying that 17 years ago, the U.S. experienced an act of terrorism unprecedented in its history. In 2016, concern for international terrorism mounted amidst a scathing election, where strategies to combat terrorism regularly served as a topic of debate. Two years later, headlines have shifted from looming terrorist threats to the Russia probe and President Trump's regular antics. What are you more concerned about: President Trump or possible terrorist threats? 

THE VOTES ARE IN!
#TrumpScarier
63.8%
#TerrorismScarier
36.2%

In 2016, a Gallup poll found that for 48% of Americans, terrorism mattered a great deal. In June of 2015, then-candidate Trump first bragged about his now infamous "secret plan" to defeat ISIS, and as the months wore on, Trump's focus on terrorism gained momentum. These campaign promises ultimately culminated in Executive Order 13769, known as the Muslim ban, in early 2017. 

It's hard not to be terrified when hearing the language Trump uses. As he puts it in this August 2016 speech: 

Overseas, ISIS has carried out one unthinkable atrocity after another. Children slaughtered, girls sold into slavery, men and women burned alive. Crucifixions, beheadings and drownings. Ethnic minorities targeted for mass execution. Holy sites desecrated. Christians driven from their homes and hunted for extermination. ISIS rounding-up what it calls the “nation of the cross” in a campaign of genocide. We cannot let this evil continue.

However, since 2016, Gallup reports that only 40% of Americans consider terrorism to be of a great deal of importance to them. Gallup ranked terrorism as Americans' No. 1 concern as recently as 2015; clearly, another threat has become top-of-mind. Politico's Daniel Benjamin credits increased media attention on possible Russian collusion, trade wars and general White House chaos for the public's shift in focus from terrorism to other, more domestic, topics. Benjamin reports: 

The media, a central player in the feedback mechanism of public opinion, redirected its energies, and today only a small fraction of terrorism stories make the front page of the dailies compared with only a few years ago...With barely more than 100 people killed in the United States by jihadist operatives since 9/11, the record is a strong one that argues for taking this moment to revise our collective thinking about the terrorist threat.

But even Benjamin points out: 

Although ISIS has been defeated in Iraq, many analysts believe the group still has plenty of fighters...and that the group will mount an offensive sometime soon...While the level of terrorist violence globally has been declining for the past couple of years, it is nonetheless at a historically high level and isn’t likely to fall off sharply anytime in the foreseeable future.

Losing sight of the international terroristic threat would be irresponsible. Progress in the war on terror is a good thing, but it should not be an excuse for complacency. 

Even so, it's difficult to worry about external threats more than threats on the country's own soil. An anonymous op-ed writer speaks cavalierly about his or her major influence over the president and the government at large, as reported by the New York Times. Almost simultaneously, Bob Woodward, a renown investigative journalist, published an novel-length exposé on the status of Trump and his White House. Meanwhile, President Trump is at risk of being indicted for violating campaign finance laws, a crime testified to by his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

And this is the just beginning. President Trump began a trade war with China, left Puerto Rico decimated by Hurricane Maria and initiated the country's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. The United States' domestic and international concerns rest on Trump's shoulders; there is no greater threat than fixing what has caused so much strife at home. 

Share

More from The Tylt

Which retailer has the best candle: Bath and Body Works or Yankee Candle?
Which retailer has the best candle: Bath and Body Works or Yankee Candle?
Culture
Which came first—the chicken or the egg?
Which came first—the chicken or the egg?
Culture
What's the right way to pronounce 'GIF'?
What's the right way to pronounce 'GIF'?
Culture