Jordan King-Lacroix weighs in on the latest Trump scandal, speculating that what he insinuated was far more dangerous than what he said.
As far as the 2016 Presidential Election is concerned, Donald Trump is an implacable force. Regardless of what he may be polling, his feet are firmly set in the electronic tide of TV airtime. So much so that the latest Trumpism passes without real thought or lingering comment.
This past week however, a story popped up that gave me a significant pause. The story boomed on how Trump “cross[ed] the Nazi line” stating that “Muslims should wear special ID badges.” If you dig deep enough into this story, you’ll find that he didn’t actually say that.
But I find what he did say equally disturbing.
A reporter asked whether or not increased security measures for Muslims were necessary, and whether or not ID badges or a database would be an operable solution. Trump said he “wouldn’t rule it out” and that it was “all about management. Our country has no management.”
Now, these sorts of comments seem the average fare for Trump. Thinly veiled racist rhetoric that gets people excited and births good headlines. In this case, however, a quote was attributed to the man that said he would, “certainly implement that – absolutely,” which Trump refuted:
Trump did, however, explain in vague terms the need to increase security and “look at the mosques.” These vague terms make it easy to draw comparisons to Jewish people under the Third Reich. As a Jewish person myself, of course, I’ve been concerned about what he’s said. Just look at this:
“We’re going to have to do things that we never did before. And some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule. And certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy. And so we’re going to have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago.”
It concerns me because World War II and its atrocities are still within living memory. It’s frightening because there are those in America who still remember being interned in camps on home soil. Fun fact: most of the people held in the Japanese Internment Camps were US citizens. They just happened to have Japanese heritage, in a plan enacted by a president who sat on the furthest political chair away from Trump: FDR.
Different times, perhaps, but this is something that America has done.
Trump is playing into the ridiculous trend of governors and mayors trying to pressure President Obama into not allowing Syrian refugees to be resettled in their areas. Can you guess how many? Those from 31 states. More than half of the states in the USA don’t want to help house and relocate these displaced peoples.
“Refugee invasion”? Where have we heard that before? What’s scary is that this kind of vague, security-based rhetoric is the kind of thing people drool over. For people so keen on the Founding Fathers, Trump and his ilk don’t seem to want to take heed of the advice passed onto them from former president Thomas Jefferson:
“Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”
Trump isn’t just fear-mongering. Trump is extolling a dangerous mindset which could plunge the US back into the same politically facetious quagmire they were in during the George W Bush years of 2001 to 2009. The United States became a laughing stock on the world stage, and then became essentially everyone’s enemy. At home and abroad, few were keen on the bold directions that Bush Jr took. It was a politically uneasy time for a wounded nation and rash actions were taken.
And Trump is set to bring that all back to a head if he’s made President.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe for a moment that he can win. The American people, and us lucky few international journalists who can write on the elections, can get some great headlines and airtime about the man’s insanity. We can compare him to former leaders, measure him up against opponents, and even make glib remarks about the kind of rhetoric he uses being similar to Hitler’s.
I firmly believe the American people will snap out of it when the time comes and foist him off a cliff and into Forgotten Moron Bay just like they’ve done for Mike “Why am I still here” Huckabee and Rick “My name is now synonymous with gross stuff” Santorum.
In the end, no matter whether it’s a Democrat or Republican victory in 2016, it will be a real candidate. It will be Carson, or Bush, or Clinton, or Sanders. I refused to believe – I cannot believe – that someone like Trump will be given enough credence and votes to lead such a powerful nation.
What is on offer, despite the Presidency, is a chance to be on the right of history. To shake off the vestiges of twentieth century racism, and better assist those maligned by circumstance.
And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want us all to be sewn into history’s pages, to have us grimly look back in fifty years and know that we were part of another acidic political environment – one that refused to help the innocent victims of a war-torn nation, leaving them to wither on the stoop of Democracy’s door.