Donald Trump once again disqualified himself for President of the United States, this time with an utterly bizarre flirtation with placing all American Muslims in a government database and giving them a special Muslim-only ID.
Here’s how The Hill reported the story.
“Certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy,” he added. “We’re going to have to do things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago.”
Trump would not rule out warrantless searches in his plans for increased surveillance of the nation’s Muslims, Yahoo reported Thursday.
He also remained open toward registering U.S. Muslims in a database or giving them special identification identifying their faith, the news outlet added.
This is so deep into Nonsense Territory that Jonah Goldberg was tearing it to pieces less than three hours later.
Now, I’ll bet Trump walks some of this back in the next 48 hours…But let’s be clear, getting the Federal government involved in tracking and labeling citizens’ religious affiliations is abhorrent on the merits and a huge invitation to profound mischief down the road. Creating databases on all members of any religion is a terrible idea as well.
Trump also called for monitoring, and shutting down, mosques if “some bad things happen” (Hill again). To which Goldberg responds (emphasis in original)…
I don’t mind “monitoring mosques,” if there is intelligence suggesting that a specific one needs to be monitored. But a blanket policy of monitoring all mosques strikes me as a major assault on religious liberty — and a spectacular waste of resources.
Indeed, liberty and efficiency tend to go hand-in-hand for intelligence. Usually, the more time and energy you spend on surveillance, the more you intrude on individual freedoms and the more useless information you actually get. That’s why one is supposed to do analysis beforehand. Finding a “needle in a haystack” is a lot harder when one insists against all reason that one needs to check every single building that remotely resembles a barn.
Of course, Trump isn’t concerned about either efficiency or liberty. He is appealing to Americans’ worst instincts, and hoping people are too afraid or angry to think.
Don’t fall for it, my fellow Republicans. Think.