Donald Trump “is a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot.... You know how you make America great again? Tell Donald Trump to go to hell.”
Well said, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. We only wish more Republicans running for president would join you in clearly rejecting the latest abhorrent views from the current national leader of the GOP campaign.
And yet Trump’s hate-filled and utterly impractical idea of blocking Muslims from entering the United States is getting traction within parts of the party.
The same GOP presidential candidates who could be speaking against Trump’s buffoonery have uttered similarly appalling approaches to national affairs.
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After the November attacks in Paris, they spoke out in ugly fashion against allowing Syrian refugees into the country. And the anti-immigration crowd is strong in top GOP circles.
Most of the candidates have made their pact with the devil, all to woo older, ultra-conservative, white Republican voters eager to vote in the party’s primaries.
It’s particularly disturbing, and even shocking, to see crowds of fawning Trump supporters yelling in favor of the dangerous nonsense their candidate is spouting.
As Trump’s idea on Muslims circulated Tuesday, some Republican voices did speak out against it. They included Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, who said, “I disagree with it. I question its constitutionality as well.”
Trump’s plan would violate the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom and the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal treatment under the law.
It’s worthwhile to point out — if just to have some kind of hope to hang on to in this crazy political season — that the great majority of Americans do not favor the kind of ignorant bile Trump is peddling.
Yet his speech has real and dangerous effects around the globe.
Fomenting hate of Muslims plays into the hands of the Islamic State. It allows the extremists to claim Americans are opponents of the religious views held by hundreds of millions of Muslims.
Donald Trump is the best recruiting tool ISIS has today.
As Graham aptly noted, “He is helping the enemy of this nation. He is empowering radical Islam.”
That makes Trump appear to be something like a domestic terrorist. He has no business running for the White House, much less ever sitting in the Oval Office.