A new Public Policy Polling survey found that in Iowa, the GOP generally follows the rest of the country in its opinions. But what is truly remarkable is the impact Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and other hardline Islamophobes have had on their intellectually-limited, bigoted base.
The PPP found that the top two candidates among Republicans are flamboyant racist Donald Trump at 24 percent of voters and braindead neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who wants to throw the Constitution in the trash and ban Muslims from becoming President, at 17 percent. In its analysis of poll results, the PPP notes something very frightening about today’s Republicans — they want to make Islam illegal.
While 69 percent of those polled agree with Trump’s sentiment that President Barack Obama is waging war on Christianity, they are perfectly willing to ignore their own war on one of the other two major world religions. Of those polled, 51 percent of Republicans either agree with Trump’s sentiment that Islam should be illegal, or don’t want to share their opinion. A shocking 30 percent answered that Islam absolutely should be against the law, while 21 percent said “not sure.” Only 49 percent — less than half — of Republicans agree that when the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, the Founding Fathers meant it.
Recently, Donald Trump said nothing to stop one of his racist supporters said that we need to “get rid” of all Muslims. In fact, the billionaire GOP frontrunner told the man he was “looking into” solutions, Final or not, to the Muslim problem. Trump later defended his support of the man by explaining that there is absolutely a Muslim problem in America, though he maintains he “love[s] the Muslims.”
As for Carson, he just doesn’t think that a Muslim should be afforded the same opportunities in America as everyone else. “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that,” Carson said Sunday. He went on to explain that a person’s faith should be an issue if it is “inconsistent with the values and principles of America” and unless it “fits within the realm of America and consistent with the Constitution.” Asked whether Islam fits with the Constitution, which guarantees all citizens the right to believe in whichever religion they wish, he answered, “No, I don’t — I do not.”
That the two most popular Republican candidates want to exterminate or deport (it’s hard to tell with Trump) a significant portion of the population based solely on their beliefs, or write special laws effectively making Muslims third-class citizens, is absolutely chilling. Unfortunately, this is where we are with the Republican party.
“For Ben Carson, Donald Trump, or any other Republican politician to suggest that someone of any faith is unfit for office is out of touch with who we are as a people,” Minnesota Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison, one of the two Muslims in Congress, said in a statement following Trump and Carson’s offensive remarks. “It’s unimaginable that the leading GOP presidential candidates are resorting to fear mongering to benefit their campaigns, and every American should be disturbed that these national figures are engaging in and tolerating blatant acts of religious bigotry.”
In 2014, Republicans — many of whom can be reasonably called extremists — managed to win control of the House and Senate. This was not because the Right fields better candidates, but because Democrats are traditionally prone to apathy. By staying home, we ceded control to people who shouldn’t run a hotdog stand, let alone a country. With Republicans becoming more and more extreme and increasingly open about it, the importance of voting in 2016 can not possibly be understated. It is imperative that we keep Trump and Carson out of office, and remove as many of their ideological clones as possible.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.