In case you’ve been living under a rock recently — in which case, lucky you — the Republican frontrunner for president has spent the past few days suggesting that the United States could learn a thing or two from late-’30s Germany. When asked how he would keep our country safe from terrorism in the wake of last week’s attacks on Paris, especially lumpy orangish turd Donald Trump suggested that it might be a good idea to have some kind of national database and mandatory registration program for all Muslims in America.
Although at first he merely said he wouldn’t rule it out, by Thursday he was willing to go all-in and make clear once and for all that he’s a dangerous budding tyrant by saying he would “absolutely” implement Muslim registration — as well as search and even close mosques in the name of eliminating the places where Muslims gather to supposedly plan terrorist attacks on the good, non-Muslim people of the U.S.
The good news in this is that if you’re someone who’s compared Trump to Hitler and been shouted down by the invocation of Godwin’s Law, pat yourself on the back because you’ve been vindicated. The bad news is, again, this asshole is in the driver’s seat of the 2016 Republican clown car, he doesn’t show many signs of relinquishing it anytime soon and he’s already having fantasies about transforming the United States into a fascist dystopia. Welcome to the GOP, circa 2015. God help us all.
The thing is, though, the GOP either refuses to admit or is incapable of even seeing that it’s handed its party — one of the two major political parties in this country — over to dangerous lunatics and unscrupulous grifters, and voices like Trump’s are only a case of the chickens coming home to roost. Trump’s racism and xenophobia isn’t an aberration in the Republican party; it is the party. The conservative movement has been heading toward this for years. It was only a matter of time before the political and thought leaders within the GOP, looking to curry favor with the base by stoking its fears and resentments, stripped away any attempt to sanitize its message for public consumption.
Trump is the party’s id unleashed and conservative voters love him for it. But for him to be so successful spouting rhetoric so offensive shows that this is what the base has been trained to demand and expect — and that’s a direct result of the amount of pandering to that kind of thinking by so-called “establishment” Republicans throughout the Obama years. Maybe this is why it’s so hilariously disingenuous to hear the other GOP candidates for president pretend to fall onto their fainting couches at the thought of Trump’s Muslim registration plan.
Several candidates have expressed “outrage” at the thought of identifying, labeling and tracking an entire faith. “If we’re just going to pick out a particular group of people based on their religion, based on their race, based on some other thing, that’s setting a pretty dangerous precedent,” says Ben Carson. If you’re not laughing out loud right now, you should be, considering that Ben Carson is second only to Trump both in terms of polling and in terms of demonizing Muslims. It was Carson who said just a few weeks ago that a Muslim couldn’t become president of the United States unless he or she was willing to “reject the tenets of Islam,” including, of course, Sharia law.
Ted Cruz, whose head is so far up Trump’s ass he’s practically wearing Trump’s ridiculous hair, also (gently) criticized the plan. He says, “I’m a big fan of Donald Trump’s but I’m not a fan of government registries of American citizens.” But Cruz has also rejected the hypothetical Muslim presidency and just this week he wondered whether only Christian refugees from Syria should be allowed into the country — a suggestion that got him a swift rhetorical ass-kicking by President Obama.
True, Jeb Bush and John Kasich have also slammed Trump’s proposal, but it’s revealing that they don’t stand a chance in hell of winning the nomination. They just don’t have what it takes to succeed in GOP politics anymore — the crazy gene that makes the crowds of yokels go wild. They don’t get that while they weren’t speaking up and trying to crush the rabble uprising underfoot — while they were simply going along with what was happening in the name of party unity — the Republican brand became one inextricably linked with white Christian resentment and Confederacy-style racism. It was always clear this was the way things were moving and it’s not just Trump who’s pushing this shit.
For guys like Ted Cruz and Ben Carson to complain about this now isn’t just hypocritical, it’s a glaring and shameless attempt to have it both ways — to psyche up the base with phantom concerns of Sharia law and scary Muslims while taking umbrage at the potential tyranny their rhetoric has wrought.
By the way, Trump is now trying to walk back his comments, saying that he never suggested registering Muslims. At this point, why not just go ahead and lie your ass off. GOP voters apparently either won’t notice or don’t care one way or the other.
Chez Pazienza was the beating heart of The Daily Banter, sadly passing away on February 25, 2017. His voice remains ever present at the Banter, and his influence as powerful as ever.