Donald Trump is a different kind of candidate, which is why I have spent more time than usual in writing about him. I have had good things and bad things to say about him. That is significant because I don’t usually have much good to say about anyone running for political office.
There are occasional exceptions, such as Ron Paul. Actually, he is about the only exception for someone belonging to one of the two major parties.
As I’ve pointed out in the past, Trump is very far from libertarian, but there are some things for libertarians to like about him. He seems less belligerent when it comes to foreign policy. He is not afraid to be different and say different things. He is not politically correct. He can’t easily be bought by the establishment, which is bugging the big players. It is just fun to watch the establishment people so worried because they have someone on their hands who they can’t fully control.
With that said, Trump has really stepped over the line recently for me. There is a fine line between political incorrectness and collectivist and authoritarian thinking.
With the recent mass shootings/ bombings in Paris, and more recently in the U.S., Trump has been increasing his rhetoric against Muslims. I believe Trump is playing to a silent majority – or at least a large minority – but he is really treading in dangerous territory.
First he suggested that the U.S. government should target mosques for surveillance. Of course, with the NSA, they may already be doing that, unless they are just focusing on all of the anti-government types who might expose the lies and crimes of bureaucrats and politicians in high places.
Now, Trump is saying that Muslims should be prevented from entering the United States. He is playing off of the fears against terrorism that have been built up by the media.
To target Muslims is absolutely ridiculous, in more ways than one. The U.S. government has killed literally hundreds of thousands of Muslims over the last decade alone. The number may be in the millions. The wars in the Middle East alone have certainly upended the lives of several millions of people, including Muslims, Christians, and others.
But when 14 people die in a shooting in the U.S. by two Muslims, then a large percentage of the American people are really angry and want revenge against an entire country or an entire religion. Just because two evil people committed murder, does that justify assuming everyone of that same religion is evil? Does it justify the mass murder of innocent people overseas because they look similar or they pray to the same God?
For most Americans, I really hope it is just a matter of ignorance of history and politics. I hope there aren’t that many evil Americans out there. I don’t think that is the case.
Meanwhile, I have to hear the likes of Sean Hannity and his followers say things like, “Obama is afraid to use the words ‘Islamic terrorism’ or ‘radical Islam’. How are we supposed to confront something he won’t even identify?” This is just such stupid rhetoric, I can’t even begin to explain how much it bugs me.
How about we talk about “radical Christians” who continually advocate more war and don’t seem to care at all about millions of innocent people dying at the hands of the wars that they push for?
Back to this whole deal about fighting terrorism, the whole thing is actually silly if it weren’t so serious. Statistically speaking, there should be almost no money spent on fighting terrorism because of the astronomically low probabilities. If the U.S. government stopped bombing and occupying other countries, the odds would just drop that much more.
Almost 100 people a day die on average on the U.S. roads. If you are going to spend a trillion dollars fighting terrorism, wouldn’t it be better spent on roll cages for all cars? I’m not saying it is the best use of resources, but at least it would make us safer.
And if you want to talk about political incorrectness, why is Trump just going after Muslims? There are murders ever day in the inner cities of the U.S. The black population commits a hugely disproportionate number of violent crimes, including murder, as compared to the rest of the population as a percentage. In fact, the black population commits far more murders than the Muslim population in the United States as a percentage.
Is Trump going to suggest that we increase surveillance on the black community? Or is he going to suggest that we put them in internment camps? We know the answer to that. He is not that politically incorrect. That might actually cost him votes, and rightly so.
To be clear, I don’t believe the government should do anything to the black community to solve the problem of violent crime. If the government is going to do anything, it should be to get out of the way – just like terrorism. The government should stop the drug war, get rid of minimum wage laws, and stop incentivizing a culture of welfare.
The point is that it is absolutely wrong to punish a group of people for individual behavior, whether it is Muslims, blacks, or any other group. This is collectivist thinking and that is what Trump is doing.
There was a story discussing Trump and his channeling of Franklin Roosevelt. Trump actually cited F.D.R. as an excuse for his proposed ban on Muslims entering the country. He said that F.D.R. set up internment camps for Japanese-Americans.
In other words, he is excusing his own policies based on an argument from authority. “Just because F.D.R. did it, then it must be ok.” If any state ever tries to secede from the union, then the president can just kill 600,000 people and say that it is ok because that is what Abe Lincoln did.
The internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II was an atrocity. It is amazing how many Republicans and Democrats revere F.D.R. I try to remind “progressives” of what Roosevelt actually did. You can’t get much worse than that on civil liberties.
I hate to invoke the Nazi-Germany argument here, as we know it is too frequently used. Still, I think it is worth consideration.
The Jews weren’t just marched off to concentration camps one day by Hitler and his henchmen. It was a long build up. They were disarmed. (Will Trump suggest that Muslims be disarmed?) They were tracked. (Does that sound familiar?) There was a lot of anti-Jewish rhetoric by politicians.
This all eventually led to them being marched off to concentration camps – for their own safety of course. This was a process. Hitler never stood up and said he was going to kill millions of Jews.
I am not accusing Trump of wanting to send Muslims to concentration camps to kill them. I am accusing him of engaging in similar tactics and rhetoric as the Nazis used in Germany, just on a different group of people.
Maybe Trump is just playing to the crowd to get the Republican nomination. It is still disgraceful to me. It is also a shame that so many people buy into his rhetoric on this subject. There are things to admire about Trump, but his collectivist thinking here is not one of them.