The naked Muslim-bashing that has attended the Syrian refugee subplot to last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris has reached epic heights, and I’m not even talking about the orphan-blocking bill that 47 House Democrats joined Republicans in voting for Thursday. No, I’m talking about the likes of Donald J. Trump, who has been advocating some truly frightening measures in one-upping his rivals for the title of Most Yuge Bigot.
On MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow program Thursday night, for example, the host tried to pin down Trump’s position on things like forcing all Muslims to register into a federal database. Here’s what he told a reporter in Iowa:
Vaughn Hillyard: Is that something your White House would like to implement?
Donald Trump: I would certainly implement that. Absolutely.
Hillyard: What do you think the effect of that would be? How would that work?
Trump: It would stop people from coming in illegally. We have to stop people from coming into our country illegally.
Hillyard: For Muslims specifically, how do you actually get them registered?
Trump: It would be just good management. What you have to do is good management procedures. And we can do that.
Hillyard: Would you go to mosques to sign people up?
Trump: To different places. You sign them up at different — but it’s all about management.
…Hillyard: Is there a difference between requiring Muslims to register and Jews?
Trump: You tell me.
A normal person might think that Trump was being cagey at the end there because the reporter had him trapped, but Trump said “You tell me” because to him, the answer is obvious. Of course there’s a difference, because Jews aren’t a bunch of murdering terrorists. Just wait and see if he tries to walk any of this back, or doubles down on it.
Amazingly, Maddow concludes her deconstruction of Trump’s subtle policy cues by wondering if this could possibly be where Republican politics are really going these days (emphasis mine):
“This would seem to be a qualitatively different kind of proposal in American politics and this will — it will be hard to see this as a natural evolution of what’s happening in the Republican party right now. I think this will have to be seen as a break. I hope.”
Are you sh*tting me here? Jeb Bush just got done saying we should implement a Christians-only refugee policy, and he’s the Republican candidate who’s being nice to Syrian refugees. Ben Carson, with whom Trump shares the support of a clear majority of Republicans, just got done comparing Syrian refugees to rabid dogs:
This is not some aberration, and it is not a new thing. For months, the media has pushed this bogus notion that it is an “outsider” that Republicans are looking for, when clearly, most Republican votes are attracted specifically to this kind of racism and xenophobia. Poll after poll shows that this sort of anti-Muslim sentiment is not a fringe belief among Republicans, or even mainstream. It is the majority.
Trump is not going to walk any of this back. He is going to soar on this hatred like an eagle, a racist, badly-coiffed, but yuge eagle, and if you think things are getting ugly now, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.