Not content to merely impose religious tests for people wishing to emigrate to the United States, Donald Trump is tripling down on his isolationist xenophobia by cancelling visas for visitors from nations with a “history of exporting terrorism” and proposing an “ideological test” for hopeful migrants looking to build a new life. The fascist rabble-rouser declared an end to American “nation-building,”to be replaced with what he calls “foreign policy realism” in a stunning rejection of the pluralist values our nation was founded on.
The ideological test will supposedly include questions of “candidates’ beliefs on religious freedom, gender equality, and gay rights and searches of social-media accounts…Through questionnaires, searching social media, interviewing friends and family or other means, applicants would be vetted to see whether they support American values like tolerance and pluralism.”
It is painfully ironic to hear him pretend to suddenly use these liberal values as a descriptor of American society when he and his supporters – and the idea of this ideology test in and of itself – are a disgusting affront to the very values they claim to endorse.
Let’s see a brief recap of just how tolerant Trump and his supporters are.
- Trump called Mexicans “drug dealers and rapists” in the opening speech of his campaign
- Trump has been endorsed by multiple Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi groups
- Trump attacked the family of a slain Muslim war hero
- Trump has called for government repression of the media
- Trump’s supporters created an app to attack Jewish journalists online
- Trump accused a federal judge ruling against him of being “biased” because he’s Mexican
- Trump’s company was sued twice for not renting to black people
- Trump was a main propogator of the ridiculous allegation that President Obama is a secret Kenyan Muslim
- Trump has proposed making Muslims wear special identifying marks, like the Nazis did to Jewish people
- Trump has proposed a ban on Muslims entering the United States
- Trump’s supporters regularly assault innocent non-whites
The hypocrisy is just mind-blowing.
In a shallow attempt to prey on the fears of his misinformed voters, Trump then proposed a foreign policy focused on destroying “radical Islamic terrorism,” calling for any nation willing to participate an ally. “Mr. Trump’s speech will explain that while we can’t choose our friends, we must always recognize our enemies” said Trump senior policy adviser and professional racist Stephen Miller. This is extremely disturbing for several reasons, and not just because it sounds like something Josef Goebbels would say.
It plays right into the hands of radical extremist groups like Daesh (ISIS/ISIL), who claim that Western civilization is incompatible with Islam and that the West despises Muslims, providing justification for Daesh’s calls for violence in the Western world. As former CIA operative Susan Hasler notes, “they [Daesh] need a hateful response to those attacks to make their point. Anti-Muslim violence and rhetoric and calls for banning and registering Muslims all play beautifully into their plans.”
It also signifies a striking shift in American foreign policy – one that dictators and tyrants across the world will gleefully embrace. The autocrats of the world quickly learned how to use George W. Bush’s “Global War On Terror” as a blanket excuse for internal violence and repression. Democratic protesters become terrorists. People will vanish into political prisons, never to be seen again. Censorship of the internet and the press – which Trump has endorsed several times – becomes the norm. Downtrodden peoples who once looked to America as a beacon of hope will find only despair in Trump.
Oppressed separatists soon become allies of al-Qaeda. A Trump presidency will be a devastating blow to free speech and democracy across the world as the inevitably violent responses only breeds more terrorists, which then leads to more violence and oppression in a never-ending cycle. This very day, Saudi Arabia fired American-made bombs from American-made jets and leveled a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Yemen. On Saturday, they destroyed a school. How many children will emerge from the rubble with hatred in their hearts, their family dead around them, their town destroyed? How many of them will find solace, purpose, and vengeance in the beckoning arms of al-Qaeda or Daesh?
The key to solving the problem of global terrorism is in peace, equitable economic prosperity, and organic democracy. Closing off our borders will do us no good, nor will it make us safer. The Daeshi attacks in Europe and the massacres that take place on a regular basis in the United States were all committed by home-grown terrorists with easy access to weapons of mass murder. This kind of anti-immigration rhetoric is nothing but a shameful dog-whistle for racial purity that will make his racist supporters screech with joy, but one that should be resoundingly condemned by the rest of civilized American society. This is not what America represents. This is not the role our nation was destined to play.
Colin Taylor is the 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.