Just the other day I realized I had yet to post to my new blog. I aim to fix that right now. I haven’t written much lately, instead focusing on my day job and my mock presidential campaign. Speaking of mock presidential candidates, today Donald Trump announced his most divisive plan yet:
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.
A few observations:
- The referenced poll was released in June. If, as Trump’s statement alleges, Muslims pose a “dangerous threat” that could potentially make us “the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad”, why is he just now presenting this proposal? Was he unaware of the poll, had a different opinion about how to respond, or did he have this idea worked out in advance but kept it under wraps for fear it was too extreme? Surely such a dire threat to America–if it were real and present–would require immediate and decisive action.
- The poll itself seems to have been conducted with flawed methodology by questionable actors. I’m not a statistics expert by any stretch, but it’s common knowledge that leading or biased questions can vastly skew survey results. The issues with this particular survey have been discussed at length by various commentators, as has the integrity of the organization that conducted it (and that of its founder). I will leave this for the reader to decide, but it’s clear to even a casual observer that the Center for Security Policy has one or two horses in this race, if not more.
- If you support Trump, please take the time to actually read the (short) full statement he released today. Note that, as is typical of Trump proposals, it is short on (read: completely lacking) specifics. He offers no timeframe or actual process to “determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses” beyond “until we are able”. Why is Trump so unwilling to offer specifics about his plans to stop Muslims from entering the country, or his other plan to round up 12,000,000 immigrants and deport them? Similar to the question I asked in point 1 above, is it because he doesn’t have the plan worked out, or because he’s afraid the details will be too… off-putting?
It’s clear Trump is pushing this poll because it fits his agenda, and the fact that the founder of the Center for Security Policy has invited him to speak at an event surely helps too. Perhaps Trump will finally start vocalizing more of the extreme views his supporters hold. If he does, will that affect his lead in the polls? Only time will tell.
I have one last point to make, and it will require watching a one minute long Trump video (so sorry!). Here’s a link to the video he released today where he proposes the immediate cessation of all Muslim immigrants coming into the country if elected. Please watch it. I only have one thing to say in response to this video: we have a choice. I want to say it one more time in case you missed it: we have a choice. I’ve watched several Trump stump speeches, and something of a recurring theme is the man behind the podium advocates these drastic changes because “we have no choice”. How bizarre is that? “We have no choice but to do this vile thing we aren’t yet doing, but that I’m proposing we do.” See how contradictory that statement is? The fact that we’re not doing it proves our choice in the matter.
We do not have to continue down this path. We have a choice, every one of us. You have a choice. I have a choice. We can base those choices on something other than our uncertainty and doubt. We can choose reason over blindfolded fear.
We always have a choice. We can choose together.