Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Trump Muslim Ban Shows (Again) Why He's Unfit to Lead
"Mr. Trump claims to be serious. Seriously tough and seriously clever, 'the best in the world at finance'. But Mr. Trump is not at all serious. He is a clown and an increasingly sinister one. His shtick is to describe a make believe, fallen America, beaten by everyone, emasculated, and immiserated by having the worst government in the world. Then he proposes outlandish ideas to make America great again.
Mr. Trump's biggest fans are middle-aged or older, white, rather poorly educated and disposed to be awed by a shouty billionaire.". - The Economist, Dec. 5-11, p. 27)
Let us accept as a proposition that any presidential candidate who doesn't know or who actually rejects the Constitution is unfit to lead this nation. After all, our country is built on that document which is not "just a piece of paper" as Gee Dumbya Bush once referred to it. Thus, the rational citizen - of which I still believe there are many - must see Donald Trump as unfit to lead this country after his "Muslim ban" outburst yesterday, i.e.
"Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of all Muslims entering the United States...We have no choice"
Note that Trump's proposal targets Muslim Americans, i.e. who leave the country say on holiday then return, not just immigrants.
This insane, out of touch with reality blather brought instant condemnation not only from Democrats but from the whole Republican establishment, including Dick Cheney.
When you have Cheney weighing in against your proposals you KNOW you're a grade A dingbat and a-hole and really not presidential caliber. Cheney said:
"the whole notion that somehow we can just say no more Muslims and just ban a whole religion goes against everything we stand for and believe in"
The Donna spewed his offal in South Carolina, before a crowd that actually reminded me (as they chanted "Trump!, Trump!, Trump!") of the Hitlerites in Leni's Reifenstahl's film 'Triumph of the Will' bellowing "Sieg Heil!" as the Fuhrer unleashed a torrent of insane bollocks - just like Trump. See e.g.
Not coincidentally the South Carolina GOP Chairman, Matt Moore, may have likewise recalled or referenced those images from the past as he said:
"Donald Trump's bad idea and rhetoric send a shiver down my spine"
Well. as they should any citizen aware of history and George Santayana's famous words: 'Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.'
And for reference, let's indicate the parts of the Constitution - namely in the Bill of Rights - that Trump's vicious and anti-American proposal has inveighed against:
"Make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.."
"Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. "
Trump's proposal would trample these rights as well as due process as provided for in the 5th amendment.
Worst of all, which had to be on Cheney's mind, and was certainly on war correspondent Richard Engel's (last night on MSNBC), is the clear security issue involved. While Trump bellows loudly how he will protect the people, his proposal would in fact make us much more likely to suffer attacks. The reason, as Engel noted when he said:
"The reason there are five thousand people in western Europe that have joined ISIS and left Europe is because they feel ghetto-ized. They feel they are not part of the community. The reason we only have two hundred and fifty people who have gone to join ISIS is by and large they feel they are getting a fair shake and they have a shot at the American dream.
If you change that equation you will change the numbers"
Also, by belligerently keeping people of a particular religion out you will ensure those who remain become much more secretive, less willing to divulge critical information to authorities - and hence eliminate a whole swatch of human intelligence ("humint") This puts the nation at far greater risk without knowing what's going on.
As I believe I made clear in an earlier post, while it's true the Qu'uran contains outlandish statements from the Prophet in terms of "jihad" and "infidels" it is also true that most Muslims today don't literally accept those statements any more than Christians literally accept the extreme sanctions such as stoning homosexuals or adulterers to death as seen in Deuteronomy or Kings. For instance, 2 Kings 2, 23:24 allows children to be slain by wild animals ("she bears") if they insult their elders or any authority (in this case a prophet). Similarly, by Deut. 22:22 both John Edwards and his former girlfriend (Riele Hunter) would have been stoned to death.
The point is that enlightened followers of a religion do not mindlessly follow its every admonition, phrase injunction or prescription. Even most Catholics I know no longer follow the idiotic anti-birth control dogma. (Which to be fair, is nowhere in the Bible anyway.) I've also met Catholics that no longer believe in papal infallibility but they still remain nominal Catholics. Why can't the same be true for Muslims? Just because their book says "slay the infidels" doesn't mean they need act like zombies or robots and obey it any more than Xtians need follow an injunction from Leviticus to slay homosexuals. We have to give religious people a modicum of credit for common sense and temperance.
Thus, it is baseless to inveigh against and vilify an entire religion based on what a minor subset of radical fundamentalists (who adhere to every word) do.
Trump, in order to try and justify his nonsense, cited a "poll of Muslims" that purportedly reveals "ominous levels of support for Islamic Supremacists' Doctrine of Shariah". But it is well to point out the source of this poll: none other than the right wing Islamophobe Frank Gaffney, Jr. The Southern Poverty Law Center - which always keeps one eye on the hate mongers, describes Gaffney as "one of the most notorious Islamophobes".
The take of The Economist (Nov. 30- Dec. 4, p. 24) is that this bout of protracted nativism (recall Trump earlier called for a "registry" of Muslims) follows earlier episodes of religious intolerance. It cites, for example, how at the turn of the 20th century Catholics were almost universally reviled as "papists" who gave allegiance to a foreign power (the Vatican) and conducted their services in a strange foreign language (Latin).
That Catholic rejection eventually settled down as Catholics became ever more integrated into their communities. Also, it eventually dawned on American Protestants that Catholics were Christians too.
Whether the current mindless intolerance of Muslims can be resolved in the same way is an open question. As long as terror attacks are mounted by Muslim extremists it will be difficult to get the demographic that supports Trump (mainly non-college educated whites) to trust that faith or its followers. That means their being led even more down the path of paranoia and hate by Trump.