By Doug Porter
The debate went on inside my head throughout the night as I drifted in and out of dreams. Should I call out this latest batch of hate-mongering from The Donald? Or am I just giving him what he wants? The man sees his polls drop in Iowa and he’s at the ready with some new bit of outrage to keep his name in the headlines.
‘If you see something, say something’ won the debate. Plus, I realized Trump’s merely surfing the wave of fear empowered by his fellow chicken hawks and amplified by the media. Today I’ll examine reaction to the latest proclamations from the GOP candidate.
The press has also been remiss in letting the whole issue of the Planned Parenthood shooting get swept under Trump’s and the GOP’s rug. After what amounted to a conservative campaign to question whether or not the women’s health care provider was targeted, we now know the shooter was indeed after Planned Parenthood.
Dropping the Bomb on Pearl Harbor Day
At some point in the future, Donald Trump will probably claim he was misquoted when he called for banning Muslims from entering the United States. Or, in the alternative universe where he wins the Presidency and makes America great again, this press release will be included in a future version of Mein Trumpf.
So, here’s the complete and unedited press release:
Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on. According to Pew Research, among others, there is great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population. Most recently, a poll from the Center for Security Policy released data showing “25% of those polled agreed that violence against Americans here in the United States is justified as a part of the global jihad” and 51% of those polled, “agreed that Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to Shariah.” Shariah authorizes such atrocities as murder against non-believers who won’t convert, beheadings and more unthinkable acts that pose great harm to Americans, especially women.
Mr. Trump stated, “Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life. If I win the election for President, we are going to Make America Great Again.” – Donald J. Trump
Esquire’s Charles P. Pierce read the statement and took about a nanosecond to unwind it’s “factual” foundation.
The Center for Security Policy is the locked ward where Islamo-nutburger Frank Gaffney found a home. So, no, I’m not sure I’m buying the poll numbers here, unless they took a survey of the voices in Gaffney’s head.
Reactions and Responses
Even his fellow fear-mongers in the GOP thought Trump had crossed a line here… except for Texas Senator Ted Cruz, the candidate whose rise in the Iowa caucus polls triggered this latest bout of political diarrhea.
Shaun King, writing at the New York Daily News, summed up the progression of hatred that’s been the distinguishing characteristic of the Trump campaign:
Trump has already said he wants to “round up” over 400,000 undocumented immigrants per month for 24 straight months and drop them off somewhere in Mexico. He has already made the false claim that more than 80% of white murder victims are killed by African Americans when the truth is that more than 80% of whites are killed by other whites.
He has already made fun of a disabled journalist, called a woman fat, inferred a woman was having menstrual issues, and more. That he has done all of this, and soared to his highest lead yet in the polls is a frightening reflection of the true American soul.
Any one of those issues should have disqualified Donald Trump as a candidate, but because his views on Mexican immigrants, women, African Americans, and the disabled don’t actually bother tens of millions of Americans, he has been nearly impervious to real criticism of his horrendous views. Call him Teflon Don. It’s not that nothing sticks, it’s that a huge percentage of Americans actually agree with him.
Now though, Trump has gone full-blown Nazi on us. Having already stated that mosques across America should be closed, his new policy of banning Muslims from America is sick and dangerous. If, for just a few seconds, you begin to tease out how such a plan would actually work, and be administered, you see just how horrendous it is.
The Donald has been making the rounds of the talk shows, defending his statement. MSNBC’s Morning Joe, which has long served as an outlet for Trumpian thought, cut him off this morning, going to commercial when he refused to answer questions.
Did I mention how Isis loves The Donald? (And The Ted)
Invoking Roosevelt’s Internment Policy
From Reuters News:
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Tuesday likened his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States to policies implemented by former U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt against people of Japanese, German and Italian descent during World War Two.
“What I’m doing is no different than FDR,” Trump said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” program in one of a round of heated television interviews where he defended his plan in the wake of last week’s California shooting spree by two Muslims who authorities said were radicalized.
“We have no choice but to do this,” the candidate seeking the Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential race told ABC. “We have people that want to blow up our buildings, our cities. We have figure out what’s going on.”
You Can’t Make This Stuff Up
Over at Fox News, soon-to-be-retired Elisabeth Hasselbeck found a way to blame President Obama for Trump’s proposal:
Discussing the reaction to Trump’s statement with her co-hosts, former Survivor contestant Elisabeth Hasselbeck claimed that the celebrity billionaire wouldn’t have had to go to these extremes if this country had a real leader who would “make us feel safe about terrorists.” This came on the heels of half-sanded block of limestone Brian Kilmeade essentially defending Trump’s proposal, saying Trump’s plan “might make a little bit more sense” when it comes to preventing people from war-torn countries from coming to the United States.
This latest bit of logic comes the day after two Fox talking heads (on different shows) were suspended for going all potty-mouth while analyzing the President’s Sunday night speech from the Oval Office.
For this bit of insanity, I’ll share snarktirical Wonkette’s insight:
As you’ll recall, Obama’s utter weakness in the face of Radical Islamic Terrorism drove Fox News Strategic Analyst Lt. Col. Ralph Peters to call the president “such a total pussy” on Fox Business Network, prompting a harsh rebuke from host Stuart “I hate poor people” Varney. And then, mere hours later, on Fox News’s Outnumbered, actress and geopolitics expert Stacey Dash exclaimed she “felt like [Obama] could give a shit … er, like he could care less” about terrorism, because obviously the president of the United States was really only interested in getting through the speech so he could run off to an event at the Kennedy Center:
The knuckle-draggers of the nation have responded to recent events in a predictable fashion.
In Philadelphia (and also in Australia) a severed pig head was left at a mosque. In Irving, Texas, so-called patriots have been patrolling outside mosques with loaded weapons. At SDSU a woman was assaulted while walking on to her car.
From the International Business Times:
In the weeks following the Paris Nov. 13 terrorist attacks, the Council on American-Islamic Relations has received more reports about acts of Islamophobic intimidation, threats and violence targeting American Muslims (or perceived Muslims) and Islamic institutions than during any other short period of time since 9/11.
In San Diego, a person allegedly shoved the stroller of a visibly pregnant Muslim woman wearing a hijab into her stomach. In Meriden, Connecticut, shots were fired into a mosque. In Cincinnati, a University of Cincinnati pre-med student wearing a hijab reported she was called a “terrorist” and almost run over by an angry driver.
Numerous experts pointed to some of Donald Trump’s statements as a recent example of Islamophobia going mainstream. Trump repeatedly has insisted that thousands of American Muslims in New Jersey celebrated, “dancing in the streets” on 9/11. He also suggested all Muslims be tracked by the federal government by having to have “special IDs” and said that he would consider shutting down mosques.
Meanwhile, in Colorado…
In the hours and days following the attack on the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic, conservatives did their best to cast doubt on the premise that the women’s healthcare provider was the target of the shooter.
San Diego’s answer to Rush Limbaugh, otherwise known as Carl DeMaio, mocked Hillary Clinton’s tweet saying she stood with Planned Parenthood, saying he stood with CitiBank, prompted by chatter holding the attack as a failed robbery attempt.
The rightist Gateway Pundit published a story, later referenced by Senator Ted Cruz, claiming the shooter was a transgendered activist.
Ryan Parsell, El Paso County’s chief deputy clerk and recorder, said his office incorrectly recorded Dear’s gender in October 2014, leading to the issuance of both a driver’s license and voter’s registration card erroneously identifying him as a woman.
The Associated Press has now confirmed that Planned Parenthood was targeted by the shooter:
Prosecutors this week plan to charge Robert Lewis Dear, 57, with murder and other crimes in the Nov. 27 attack that also left nine other people wounded. Colorado Springs police have refused to discuss a motive for the fusillade, but there’s mounting evidence to suggest Dear was deeply concerned about abortion, having rambled to authorities about “no more baby parts” after his arrest.
Dear asked at least one person in the nearby shopping center where the Planned Parenthood was earlier that morning, an official told the Associated Press.
A second law enforcement official said Dear assembled propane tanks around a vehicle and brought at least 10 guns, including rifles and handguns, to the clinic, where he swapped gunfire with officers during an hours-long standoff. It was unclear whether Dear purchased all of them, but despite brushes with the law, he had no felony convictions that would have prevented him from buying a firearm.
Let’s Talk About Violent Radicalizing
Why is it that the focus of reporting and, apparently, law enforcement is on learning how the couple from San Bernadino became violent radicals and not on the Colorado shooter’s journey to the dark side?
Including the most recent attacks, the number of people killed by extremists claiming to be Muslim and those killed by extremists claiming to be patriots since 2001 is roughly even. (45-48) In terms of actual attacks, righteous rightists completely dominate the numbers, coming in at 7 to 1.
So, if we’re going to talk about violent radicalization, doesn’t it make sense to include all the parties prone to this affliction in this discussion?
It comes down to “everybody knows,” the catchall presumptions underlying the rhetoric of politics. Issues of race, ethnicity, religion, class and gender are all played upon by demagogues.
Responsible humans (especially those of the journalist persuasion) need to drill down to understand the falsehoods woven into points of view. We all NEED to say something, to not be silent, no matter how much it inconveniences us.
Rounding up Muslims or deporting Mexicans will spell the end of the American experiment in democracy. We won’t be safer. We won’t be more secure. But the means to these ends will necessitate the creation of a totalitarian state.
On This Day: 1886 – Twenty-five unions found the American Federation of Labor (AFL) in Columbus, Ohio; Cigarmaker’s union leader Samuel Gompers is elected president. The AFL’s founding document’s preamble reads: “A struggle is going on in all of the civilized world between oppressors and oppressed of all countries, between capitalist and laborer…” 1980 -In New York City, Mark David Chapman shot John Lennon to death. Earlier in the day, Lennon had autographed an album for Chapman 1998 – The Supreme Court ruled that police could not search a person or their cars after ticketing for a routine traffic violation.
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