"Trump is harming the dream of America more than any foreign adversary ever could."


MSNBC host Joe Scarborough faced backlash Tuesday for saying that President Donald Trump poses a "far graver threat" to the idea of America than the terrorists behind the September 11, 2001 attack. 


The "Morning Joe" host made the statements in an op-ed for the ​Washington Post published on Monday, a day before the 17th anniversary of the deadliest attack on United States soil. 


"For those of us still believing that Islamic extremists hate America because of the freedoms we guarantee to all people, the gravest threat Trump poses to our national security is the damage done daily to America’s image," he wrote. 

In the piece, titled, “Trump is harming the dream of America more than any foreign adversary ever could," Scarborough also takes aim at former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, arguing that American leaders did not learn anything from the tragedy, and instead embarked on a path of "endless wars and reckless policies."


“Sixteen years of strategic missteps have been followed by the maniacal moves of a man who has savaged America’s vital alliances, provided comfort to hostile foreign powers, attacked our intelligence and military communities, and lent a sympathetic ear to neo-Nazis and white supremacists across the globe,” he added.


In a way, to be fair, Scarborough's argument is borne out, as global confidence in US leadership has significantly declined since Trump became president, according to a June 2017 study by the Pew Research Center.


But Scarborough's rhetorical provocation, amplified by the article's timing, has set the right aflame.


Many, like Trump's son Donald Trump Jr, demanded the MSNBC host apologize to the families of the nearly 3,000 who lost their lives in the attack.

Former GOP Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin ​deemed the comparison "shameless" and RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel charged Scarborough, a former Republican congressman, with using the tragedy to score political points.

Kyle Kashuv, a survivor of the February school shooting in Parkland, Florida and an emerging conservative personality, was more blunt.

Actor Adam Baldwin borrowed a term from the president and ​tweeted that Scarborough is an "enemy of the people." Conservative radio host Mark Levin ​claimed that Scarborough is
​"increasingly unhinged." 


Between the right bloating with indignation and the left largely remaining silent, it's safe to say that nobody opted to actually grapple with Scarborough's argument.


Germania is a staff writer at Pluralist. 

You can reach her on Twitter.