I mentioned before my theory that Trump, far from being rock-solid and independent, is very susceptible to manipulation. His political persona requires projecting “strength”, “winning”, “decisiveness”, regardless of private hesitation or reality itself. Anything else risks collapsing the house of cards underlying his populist mandate.
Now we have the first inkling of this phenomenon at work. In response to the Orlando shooting, Trump advocates … airstrikes against ISIS! “We have to really increase the bombings.” Because the shooter apparently “pledged allegiance” to ISIS in a 911 call shortly before his shooting. The reality is there was no operational link between the shooter and ISIS, or any other organized group. He was simply a mentally unstable person who used Islam as rhetorical cover for his actions.
The political consensus seems to be on the right-wing this time – this was Islam vs. innocent gays and therefore we need to hate Muslims. Trump fell right into this narrative trap and took it to its most absurd, yet internally logical, conclusion. It doesn’t take much imagination to see how he could be easily goaded into a brand new war.