I suppose I must say something about this, since he said it here in South Carolina — yet another blot on our ledger.
Not that we control what Donald Trump says. No, the really, truly shameful thing about it for us is that some people present — most of them likely to have been South Carolinians — cheered when he said it:
At a rally in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina on Monday evening, Trump pointed to the statement he released earlier in the day.
“Should I read you the statement?” he asked.
The crowd enthusiastically agreed that he should.
“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on,” he said, adding the word “hell” for emphasis this time.
Supporters erupted in applause….
In another version of that story, that applause is described as “a boisterous standing ovation.” Is that accurate? View and listen to the video clip above, and judge for yourself.
The response is important because it is our shame, but also because Trump, employing his usual odd logic, used it to defend himself this morning: Hey, these people loved it, so it must not have been a bad idea….
In a way, for the rest of us to have to condemn this is an insult itself. We shouldn’t have to say anything, because anyone who thinks we wouldn’t be sickened by hearing something so stupid and hateful is insulting us by such a supposition.
But since South Carolinians applauded, we need to separate ourselves from them. How about if we do it this way: Let’s deport everyone who applauded and cheered, and then refuse to let them back in. It might not make us safer, but it would certainly make this political season less objectionable. (And no, I don’t mean it.)
So yeah: It was horrible. Probably the most horrible thing he’s said yet, although he’s got quite a competition going with himself. He’s an idiot, and he’s evil. But that’s not the problem. The problem is that vast numbers of likely voters love him for his worst qualities, which points to a profound sickness in our body politic.
He’s been denounced — by Muslims of course, by Lindsey Graham, by Paul Ryan, by Dick Cheney (no soft-on-terror guy he), by leaders all around the world. And pundits, of course. I like what Alexandra Petri said: “What will make America great again is getting rid of Donald Trump.”
South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Jaime Harrison said:
Donald Trump’s comments offend the very fabric upon which our country was founded. His racist and offensive campaign for President of the United States should embarrass the Republican Party. His comments are an embarrassment to South Carolinians, who believe in equality, fairness, and justice for all.
… which would have a lot more impact if Jaime didn’t denounce pretty much everything any Republican candidate has to say.
What else is left to say? I’ll leave it to you…
If you read the above a few minutes ago, and the first few lines didn’t make sense, that’s because I originally had a different headline on it, and the first graf or two played off the headline.
I’ve fixed it now…
The Onion has perfectly captured my reaction to all of this:
‘This Will Be The End Of Trump’s Campaign,’ Says Increasingly Nervous Man For Seventh Time This Year
I had to smile at the headline on the original release from the SC Democratic Party:
Four minutes later, they corrected it to say “condemns”…
Trump claimed the following: ” According to Pew Research, among others, there is great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population. Most recently, a poll from the Center for Security Policy released data showing “25% of those polled agreed that violence against Americans here in the United States is justified as a part of the global jihad” and 51% of those polled “agreed that Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to Shariah.” I did some research. The Center for Security Policy is run by an anti-Muslim extremist. It was an online survey of 600 people. It was an opt-in poll with questions designed to encourage answers favoring violence toward the US. Pew Research found no such hatred. The mainstream media needs to “trumpet” the truth about his statements. Otherwise, people will tend to believe him.
In the United States, a 2011 Pew survey found that 86% of Muslims say that suicide bombings and other forms of violence against civilians are rarely or never justified.
An additional 7% say suicide bombings are SOMETIMES justified and 1% say they are often justified in these circumstances
Muslims are far more likely to identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party (70%) than the Republican Party (11%) and to say they prefer a bigger government providing more services (68%) over a smaller government providing fewer services (21%).
Trump is a bit more vocal but really are his proposal’s any more dangerous to most Americans than the other candidates? Rubio’s tax plan is more destructive to the fabric of working class men and women than anything ISIS will ever do. And before anyone goes, there goes that hyperbolic bud again, it’s worth noting that working class, white, middle-aged men are experiencing an epidemic of premature deaths. Much of it is the result of heavy drinking and suicide. We don’t need more tax cuts for the rich. What we need is real economic stimulus to help people get ahead. None of the Republicans are addressing this issue. And only Bernie Sanders seems really passionate about it.
If we could only get a Democratic President! One promising hope and change… surely he would do SOMETHING.
“hyperbolic bud” – now available in most Denver marijuana dispensaries. Side effects include delusion, jealousy, blaming others, and strong desire to take other people’s money. If feelings of class envy last more than four years, consult your Obamacare doctor.
What’s the new mary jane?
I like this Tweet about Bernie:
Bud- working class white guy’s best friend.
I think Trump might possibly be Voldemort. So the question is where did he put his horcruxes and how can we destroy them?
Nonsense! Voldemort is much smarter, not to mention more handsome!
Scout, you must have seen the item I reTweeted last night:
That suggests that immediately, we should all stop saying his name…
Ha. Actually I missed it.
Seriously. Horcruxes could explain why he won’t go away. I’m thinking we should start with his hair. Wonder if he has a pet snake.
The hair MUST be horcrux! A possibly his limo?
Brad, glad you read my stuff. I read your “stuff” also. When I critique the Republican candidates I don’t do it because they are Republicans, I do it because odds are whatever is being espoused is divisive, short sighted, and Un-American. There are times when I applaud Republicans for doing the right thing I.e. Haley and the Confed. Flag, but most of the time as of late they tend to do something to set us back, I.e. after a flood destroyed already deteriorating state infrastructure, Tim Scott and other SC Congressional Repubs voted against transportation reauthorization which included reauthorization of the EXIM bank (a crucial program for Boeing and other companies). Besides, Matt does a good job promoting his guys…. A tough job given their daily actions.
Welcome, Jaime! Thanks for joining the conversation…
I still assert that Trump gets far too much buzz as a legitimate “leader” based on having support of about one fourth of the 30-35% of self-identified Republican primary voters. That’s no more than 8% of the electorate and quite in-line or below the number of generally hostile voters who will support whoever wins the “harsh rhetoric” contest. Pointing to “them” (latino immigrants, black people, Muslims) as the problem provides a simple, convenient target for frustrated voters who are often uninterested in any deep analysis and who want somebody to blame.
More disturbing to me is the sentiment stated by Senator Cruz this morning that we need a President with a “singular focus” on defeating ISIS and keeping us safe. Singule-focus politics can easily lead to election of persons with no ability to address the complexity of governing, who hold hidden agendas, and who can be polarizing and dangerous. A loud singular focus doesn’t even guarantee that the loud one will be effective in addressing the problem being focused upon.
None among Islamic terrorists, crazy home-grown mass shooters, hedge-fund billionaires, Wall Street manipulators, high-tech thieves, public dole cheats, medical fraud mongers, ineffective educators, corrupt or abusive police, or climate change deserves “singular focus.” All need serious attention. My list would include struggling parents, clueless parents, violators of commercial robocall laws, and the widespread disrespect and disregard for laws and rules that seems to pervade our “me first and only” society. We need leadership at all levels who can lead in many areas, actually govern effectively, and refuse to use single, emotionally charged issues to seek political advantage by ginning-up fear, mistrust, hatred, and division.
“More disturbing to me…”
Well, maybe it’s more disturbing to you, but not to me. Your statistical breakdown puts the situation in the most positive light. Here’s the most negative: Trump has completely dominated the GOP contest so far. If the trend continues, he will be the nominee. That means that next November, about 40 percent of the country will vote for him just because he’s the Republican nominee (I’d like to think that wouldn’t happen in this particular case, but I’ve been bitterly disappointed by Americans’ tendency to vote blindly along partisan lines far, far too often), just as about 40 percent will without question vote for Hillary Clinton.
We hope that additional 10 percent that he needs to win won’t vote for him. We say it can’t happen. But we would also have said that he wouldn’t be in the position he is in now. I, personally, still don’t think he’ll be the GOP nominee. But he has defied all commonsense predictions that he would self-destruct so far.
It’s not all that hard, in the last weeks of an election, for some scandal to come up and cause 10 percent of the electorate to move away from Hillary Clinton.
This is a serious matter. And as I say above, the problem isn’t Trump — it’s all these people who like him.
As for Cruz, if Trump (and Carson and maybe Carly Fiorina) weren’t in it, Cruz would be seen as the most extreme candidate in the field, with the possible exception of Rand Paul. He is certainly the candidate most eager to embrace the Trump supporters if and when the Donald stumbles…
I think you’re right about Cruz. From the beginning, he seems to have positioned himself to inherit the Trump followers when he implodes or fails. It just seems to confound even knowledgeable political observers that Trump’s antics haven’t done him in yet.
I did a double-take about 3 weeks ago when I noticed that the two most unqualified and uninformed candidates, Trump and Carson were poling 50% of the Republican side. That’s a case of the shivers for anybody interested in governing or problem-solving.
And on Hillary, you can bet there will be pre-election scandal, even if they have to resurrect Harry Dent and Lee Atwater to help Rove and company invent and promote one. My second-biggest dismay with her is the likelihood she will respond in kind. The mud and blood in the water could make weak sauce of the below and over-the-counter attacks on Obama (You remember, the foreign-born Muslim socialist America-hating Saul Alinsky-trained fist-bumping Antichrist who never had a real job and had a loudmouth pastor) .
” It just seems to confound even knowledgeable political observers that Trump’s antics haven’t done him in yet.”
It’s the horcruxes.
I’m appalled that a candidate for President can propose to “shut down the Muslims” and be taken seriously. I’m embarrassed that a crowd in South Carolina would applaud the rhetoric. When a clip like that plays nationally, we have to let the rest of the world know that not all of South Carolina feels that way.
If any candidate proposes investigations into individual immigrant’s backgrounds or a tightening of the screening process, that’s reasonable. That’s prudent. But we have no need to deny refuge to an entire group of people based solely on their religion simply because terrorists have hijacked the name of their religion. The terrorists are no more Muslim than the KKK is Christian.
The Muslims fleeing Syria are fleeing the same people we call our enemies. The terrorists want to frighten us–to make us compromise the values we hold as Americans. We’re not some sniveling coward of a nation. We’re the United States of effin America. We have the resources and means and courage to welcome refugees while protecting ourselves. Trump plays to our basest instincts, and it’s disturbing that he continues to draw support from so many.
I agree with everything you said 100%.
I cringe every time I hear his name on BBC radio. It always seems to be “–before the loud cheering of an anxious crowd of supporters in South Carolina”. A few minutes later there is the obligatory: “Sir, are you saying his supporters aren’t followers of Nazism?”
The governor got it right.
Lindsey got it right as well…
Why don’t we get real for a moment and consider one small relevant point. While I may not agree with Trump, first of all, it is not unconstitutional to cease allowing immigrants from another country or from anywhere for any particular reason. The Syrian refugees, mostly Muslim, are not citizens of this country and therefore, do not have protection under our Constitution or have the right to immigrate to America unless someone amended the Constitution in the last 5 minutes. Bryan, you are the attorney, am I wrong?
Next, if Trump had made the comment in any other state where he has support, the reaction would have been the same and each one of you know it to be true. Trump has tapped into an anger that will no longer be silenced and the reaction in South Carolina is no exception. I wish it had happened in another state but it didn’t and it doesn’t give me cause to be ashamed of my state, only the ones who applauded and cheered because they do not represent me.
The media has made Trump the three ring circus leader by giving him so much air and print coverage. He has always made outrageous comments no matter where his podium may be and he is playing the public like a cheap violin with some of the strings missing and it is working. Donald Trump is the best thing to happen to the Democrats since FDR. He has or will almost single handedly hand the presidency to Hillary Clinton if he continues to rise in the polls and it will be assured if he does become the Republican candidate. But, if he doesn’t and decides to run as a 3rd party candidate, the odds of Hillary winning go up to close to 100%.
Think about the choices facing us this time around. Another Clinton and a field of weak Republicans is one of the worst possible scenarios. Just to address the Clinton possibility, it is not that she is a woman or she is a Democrat, it is I simply don’t trust her nor do I believe her at any level. If she ran as a Republican, I would vote Democrat.
Even though it is tempting to sit this one out as previously noted, it is not my nature to sit on the sidelines and not participate. I will vote but all the while, holding my nose.
“The Syrian refugees, mostly Muslim, are not citizens of this country and therefore, do not have protection under our Constitution or have the right to immigrate to America unless someone amended the Constitution in the last 5 minutes. Bryan, you are the attorney, am I wrong?”
People often conflate whether something is a good or bad idea, and whether something is constitutional/unconstitutional. In this case, I think we all agree that banning immigration by religion is a bad idea. However, the other question of whether Congress could constitutionally do so is different.
When looking at that question, you have to divide people into two groups. American citizens and non-citizens. It’s my opinion that it would be unconstitutional to deny American citizens the right of re-entry to the United States based upon their religion. You can’t be exiled from your country for having a religious belief.
As for non-citizens, I don’t believe they have the same rights or constitutional protections. While I think it would certainly raise some international law questions, and while it would certainly be bad policy, simply being bad policy isn’t the same as being unconstitutional. I think SCOTUS would likely defer to Congress in the area of immigration of non-citizens as it has in the past.
While the United States is certainly a country of immigrants, there is no universal right to immigrate here. The body politic of the United States, expressing its will through Congress, determines who may join it.
Bart, one thing. He’s not barring Syrians; he’s barring Muslims. Presumably a 3rd generation Muslim from England would be barred as far as he’s concerned.
Karen, I do understand he is targeting Muslims but the fact is that it is the Syrian refugees are at the center of the storm and unfortunately the face of the issue. Therefore, referencing Syrians is not off base at all.
He says he’d let Christian Syrians in. And insofar as I can tell, of all the terror attacks that I have heard of since the rise of ISIL only one of the terrorists was a refugee. The rest were either citizens of their different countries or were in another country on a visa, or the snuck in. Many of those refugees are fleeing ISIL. It seems to be religious prejudice to deny Muslims simply because they are Muslim, and callous to be unwilling to help with the refugees.
After reading one of the NYT stories this morning, again, Trump is threatening to run as an independent. His rhetoric and appeal to a larger than anticipated segment of the voters will send Clinton to the White House and it will further divide the country.
As for your comment about religious prejudice denying Muslims simply because they are Muslims, I don’t disagree with you but it is important to understand that prejudices are not restricted solely to religious factions, they are across the board in many areas. We have a couple on this blog who are prejudiced against those whose political views are in conflict with their own.
Donald Trump is a product of our fractured political landscape and what it has become. His comments about Muslims is a manifestation of what it has become. He is not engaging in politics, he is engaging in a game that he can play and create havoc with the public.
He is partnering with a group in Dubai to build a golf course and his face is plastered on billboards. Yet, his products are taken from the shelves of stores but he is still a high profile partner because of the twisted logic used by the Muslim partners to justify keeping his name attached to the project. I worked in Dubai many years ago and this does not surprise me at all. Go figure.
It’s pretty bizarre — probably unprecedented — for the guy who’s leading in the polls for a party’s nomination to threaten to run as an independent. Usually, that’s what you get from the losers. Jeb Bush should be making that threat, although the grandson of Prescott Bush would never do that.
This is further evidence, as if we needed it, of what a bizarre phenomenon Trump really is.
Maybe he senses that, despite the polls, he won’t win the nomination when the actual voting starts.
Or maybe — this is more likely — it’s just his chip-on-the-shoulder egotism descending to another level.
He whines that “the establishment is not exactly being very good to me,” and threatens, “If they don’t treat me with a certain amount of decorum and respect. If they don’t treat me as the front-runner…If the playing field is not level, then certainly all options are open…”
Speaking of Jeb Bush’s grandfather: Trump wants not only Prescott Bush’s party’s nomination, but its respect — which is probably a goal too far for the huckster…
Kind of sounds like Fredo in Godfather II: “It ain’t the way I wanted it! I can handle things! I’m smart! Not like everybody says… like dumb… I’m smart and I want respect!
You can force compliance. You can’t force respect.
What I find funny is all the people who would prefer a politician who lies. Please, let me have more false promises from Hillary and Jeb. More hope and change. More “We will eradicate terrorism doing all the same stuff we’ve been doing for 15 years”. Trump is a reaction to the status quo which is based on lies and greed.