Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Dividing Americans, Again







Think Progress reports as Donald Trump stepped to the podium at the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee convention Monday in Washington, D.C., rabbinical student Jeremy Markiz walked out with two colleagues, intending

to counter Trump’s statements maligning immigrants and his proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the country, saying they intended their actions to model the “opposite to the rhetoric and vitriol that’s happening this year, in particular the language that’s coming out to hate towards Muslims, and Mexicans.” But he insisted that he move wasn’t a rejection of AIPAC itself, but of the rhetoric Trump has introduced into American political discourse.

Few people joined Markiz's act of conscience, even though Trump's xenophobic approach to immigrants, refugees, and all things possible is considered extreme even by standards set by other Republicans.

Until now.   Soon after the deadly terrorist attacks Tuesday in Brussels, Belgium, Trump's primary (pun intended) rival Ted Cruz issued a statement which included

For years, the west has tried to deny this enemy exists out of a combination of political correctness and fear. We can no longer afford either. Our European allies are now seeing what comes of a toxic mix of migrants who have been infiltrated by terrorists and isolated, radical Muslim neighborhoods.

That's a pretty slick slam of European allies; so much for empathizing, or even sympathizing, with the victims of terrorism.  At least Cruz won't succumb to the fear he derides. Oh, wait:

We need to immediately halt the flow of refugees from countries with a significant al Qaida or ISIS presence. We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.

We need to secure the southern border to prevent terrorist infiltration. And we need to execute a coherent campaign to utterly destroy ISIS. The days of the United States voluntarily surrendering to the enemy to show how progressive and enlightened we are at an end. Our country is at stake.

Steve Benen has a few questions for the Texas senator, such as

.... how would Cruz determine what a “Muslim neighborhood” is? How many Muslim Americans does it take, exactly? Is it every community with a mosque? Is it constitutional for public officials to dispatch law enforcement to “patrol and secure” American neighborhoods based on the religious beliefs of some of its residents?

And what would law-enforcement officials do in these areas, exactly? After a neighborhood has been “secured” to Cruz’s satisfaction, does the Republican envision a semi-permanent police presence to monitor Americans in the area based on their faith, or can the American neighborhood eventually go back to normal, everyday life without police monitoring?

Preventing radicalization of neighborhoods by patrolling and securing neighborhoods on the basis of religion gets us into the muck and mire of the self-fulfilling prophecy, It is as if Cruz never noticed that terrorists and terrorism never had it so good until the Cheney-Bush Administration invaded Iraq. And if Cruz wants to create the volatile tension between the Muslim and non-Muslim communities common in Europe, he has offered the ideal prescription.

At every opportunity, GOP front-runner Donald Trump slams "political correctness, and now Senator Cruz blasts "political correctness and fear." For both him and Trump, who so boldly claim to be politically incorrect, there is this: what Ted Cruz calls isolating radical Muslim neighborhoods is what we once identified as a "police state."


















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