Hello to you all in the blogosphere (or the handful of you who visit and my Mum). Just a quick post today, primarily due to the fact that I couldn’t sum up my feelings in the 140 characters of a Tweet and that nobody likes screen-filling Facebook posts.
So, before I dive into the world of US politics, let me highlight that, beyond watching every season of The West Wing at least three times, I know little about it. That said, it doesn’t take a genius to see the bloody terrifying threat that Donald Trump represents. It’s my sheer abhorrence of his ideas and rhetoric that I want to get off my chest here. Yes, I'm venting. Hey, be thankful it's just my blog and not your social timeline!
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, Germany. Those in tune with foreign affairs in the 30s likely worried about the rise to power of an emo-looking Austrian with extreme views and a side parting. This New Yorker with frankly inexplicable hair is now the one causing winces the world over as he battles his way toward the Republican nomination with controversial sound bites and proposals that become more radical by the day.
Now you, my well adjusted, reasonable friends, might think comparing Trump with Hitler is a bit of a stretch. But when someone suggests blocking those of a certain religion from a nation, tracking their movements via a database and ID cards, even going so far as to hint that internment camps aren't such a bad idea, there are terrifying parallels. In fact, let’s not beat around the bush (the proverbial, not Jeb), it has all the hallmarks of persecution.
I fully appreciate the threat jihad-wielding extremists pose, but that doesn’t mean it should give rise to just as reactionary and remorseless a force via a Trump-led government.
This chest beating and so called “Americanism” plays right into the hands of ISIL and its goals: to create an “us versus them” scenario where increasingly marginalised Muslims are forced to face off against the rest of the world. No good can come of it.
Similarities also exist between Trump and the very organisation he wants to wipe out at whatever cost. Preying on the fear of a public wracked by an uncertain economy, ongoing war, terrorism and civil unrest is nothing new. Both Trump and ISIL are making the most of it in their respective corners of the world.
Of course, some will argue that it’s just this kind of “desperate times” thinking that the world needs. That we need to throw off the muzzle of political correctness and take a stand. Being politically correct is one thing, being correct politically is another.
While other frontrunners in the Republican race, along with the White House, have been quick to criticise Trump for his statements, another pertinent question arises: is it not more worrying that he got into this position at all?
The freedom that Muslims would be barred from in Trump’s America is the same freedom that enabled him to step on to his current soapbox, with the presidency in sight, without ever holding a position in public office. His weapons of choice are money, influence, scare tactics and an outlandish ideology that captures the hearts and minds of the pissed off and disenfranchised. Sound familiar?
This week we heard of a ban that should be put in place “until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses…” - That’s Donald Trump’s view on Muslims. It should also be America’s view on Donald Trump.