Has anyone actually read the El Paso killer’s manifesto?

I haven’t. I don’t do evil mass murderers the honor of reading their deranged writings.

Byron York has read the manifesto*, and he reports that the media, led by the New York Times, is not providing a truthful account of the document. As he puts it, “the impression one gets after reading the manifesto is quite different than some press accounts.”

Byron begins by stipulating that the document is “insane.” But can its political content fairly be said to draw inspiration from President Trump? Byron says it’s “hard to make that case looking at the manifesto in its entirety.”

Crusius [the killer] worried about many things, if the manifesto is any indication. He certainly worried about immigration, but also about automation. About job losses. About a universal basic income. Oil drilling. Urban sprawl. Watersheds. Plastic waste. Paper waste. A blue Texas. College debt. Recycling. Healthcare. Sustainability. And more. Large portions of the manifesto simply could not be more un-Trumpian.

(Emphasis added)

According to Byron, Crusius’s manifesto is strongly anti-corporate. He bemoaned “the takeover of the United States government by unchecked corporations.” That’s a left-wing view. Trump doesn’t share it.

Crusius also decried the cost of college and mounting student debt. That’s a valid concern, but one that liberals are more fixated on than Trump is.

Crusius denounced urban sprawl and the degradation of the environment. “Our lifestyle is destroying the environment of our country,” he opined. I’ve heard this from liberals. I’ve never heard Trump say it.

Crusius’s biggest concern, according to Byron, seems to be with automation. Immigration comes across as a subsidiary problem. The killer wrote: “Continued immigration will make one of the biggest issues of our time, automation, so much worse.”

Still, Crusius stated flatly:

This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas. … I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion.

We should take him at his word. But we should also take his word that “the Hispanic community was not my target before I read ‘The Great Replacement’.” This is a manifesto by Brenton Tarrant who, in March of this year, murdered 51 people and wounded 49 others in attacks on a mosque and an Islamic center in Christchurch, New Zealand. Thus, it was Tarrant’s manifesto, not anything Trump said, that apparently led to Crusius’s attack on Hispanics.

Anti-Trumpers focus on Crusius’s use of the word “invasion,” a term Trump sometimes uses to describe the mass influx of migrants into the U.S. through the southern border. However, Byron notes:

The word “invasion” has been used in connection with illegal immigration since long before the president ran for office. In the 1990s, for example, the state of California unsuccessfully sued the federal government, claiming the government did not protect states from an “invasion” of illegal immigrants. In 2010, the state of Arizona also unsuccessfully challenged the federal government over a similar “invasion.”

The word was also used, well before Trump, in general commentary, usually by those who sought to restrict immigration levels into the United States. And more generally, too: Bobby Jindal, the son of immigrants and governor of Louisiana who ended his 2016 presidential campaign with a bitter attack on Trump, used to say that “immigration without assimilation is invasion.”

Crusius anticipated, as anyone — sane or insane — could have done, that the left/media would tie his murder spree to the president. He called this “fake news,” stating that his views on immigration and automation predate Trump’s emergence on the political scene.

Again, we should take his word for it. Furthermore, the fact that Crusius held so many non-Trumpian views supports his claim. If he could be swayed by Trump, his views on a host of matters would have been different.

If any political utterances converted Crusius’s anti-immigration views into mass murder, it was those of the Christchurch killer in New Zealand. More likely, it was the deterioration of Crusius’s mental health and grip on reality.

* Most news outlets have declined to link to the manifesto. I will decline, as well. However, it can be found without difficulty on the internet.

Responses

Books to read from Power Line