Wall Street Journal writer James Taranto offers his typically reasonable fare on the topic of Donald Trump and the exclusion of new Muslims from the country. Under the headline “Did Trump Just Win?,” Taranto reprints the candidate’s controversial statement in full. Here’s the first paragraph of that statement, in which I’ve italicized what I believe to be the key phrase:
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 is going on. 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.” Shariah authorizes such atrocities as murder against non-believers who won’t convert, beheadings and more unthinkable acts that pose great harm to Americans, especially women.
The key phrase is “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on” because that’s the underlying problem. The whole reason for government is “to secure these rights” of the people, which begins with keeping the people secure, and the federal government under President Barack Obama isn’t doing that. Furthermore, the news media isn’t holding the failing government accountable, and the opposition party isn’t actually offering a strong opposition as its representatives promised to do in order to get elected.
The list goes on. The universities don’t appear to be educating America’s future leaders, but rather, preparing them for a lifetime of narcissistic crybullying. And many of our churches and other religious institutions seem to be too busy trying to figure out how much they can get away with agreeing with the secular liberal zeitgeist, to the point of ignoring an institutional bias against Christian refugees while denouncing a legitimate concern about refugees in general.
Rush Limbaugh is right in his assessment of the political dynamic:
[Trump’s campaign is] causing [the news media] to come unglued and unhinged, while they think it is Trump who is unhinged and coming unglued. Now, let’s look at the politics of this. Take the events of the recent past, last week, last month, last six months. And then add the presidential to those events. Those events have been dominated by Islamic terrorism and illegal immigration and the failing US economy and the absolute disaster that is Obamacare. On the Democrat side, I don’t have any recognition of any of that.
Want to see “unglued”? Look to the long-standing insistence of Democrat leaders — from President Obama to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to Secretary of State John Kerry — that it’s unacceptable even to think that Islam might have something to do with the actions of the Islamic State or people who shout “Allahu akbar” as they perpetrate heinous acts. To give Trump’s political actions some context, Taranto cites recent polling data:
… Another Vox article, written by Zack Beauchamp and also published yesterday, calls attention to a poll by the Public Religion Research Institute that asked respondents if they agreed with the statement “The values of Islam are at odds with American values and way of life.”
Vox’s headline announces the results for Republicans, 76% of whom agree. But the view is shared by a majority of all respondents (56%) and independents (57%) and a substantial minority of Democrats (43%). Blacks and Hispanics are evenly divided, and majorities of every Christian subpopulation, including black Protestants, agree.
Now, as a society, we clearly need to do the work of moderation, taking a simplistic poll question and getting people to think through the practical implications of their concerns. But something that’s been obvious to some of us for decades is dawning on an increasing number of Americans: You people — Democrats, establishment Republicans, progressives, liberals, elites, journalists, professors — don’t trust us to address threats maturely. No matter what our enemies do, you’ll devote the better part of your energy to ensuring that they don’t awaken the famed Sleeping Giant, because you fear that giant and blame it for every atrocity ever perpetrated on the planet, back to the Crusades and on into the future, with climate Armageddon.
You don’t trust us with the truth of what’s happening in the world, so you seek to deny it. And you certainly don’t trust us with the weapons with which we might protect ourselves despite your squishiness, so you seek to take them away.
However over-the-top Trump’s statement may be, you don’t look like reasonable people. However inartfully — even oafishly — phrased his proposal might look to you, to a large portion of Americans, you look like people intent on ignoring reality until it blows up in our faces.
The fact that just about nobody in our governing class — with a few exceptions perhaps including Ted Cruz, in the presidential race — is willing to find the moderate position between Trump’s statement and Americans’ majority concerns, on one side, and the politically correct ravings of the elite, on the other, shows that impression to be correct. The lesson for those who are petrified of Donald Trump is pretty simple: It’s time to let your fantasies go and grow up.
Our betters think of Donald Trump like the crazy uncle whom the teenagers follow because he’s fun and dangerous and plays to our immaturity, but that’s a false cliché. Right or wrong, the kids follow the crazy uncle because it seems to them that the so-called “responsible” adults have things all wrong. Want to knock Trump off his platform over the first part of his statement, that Muslims should be temporarily locked out? Invalidate the second part of his statement and prove that you’ve already figured out what’s going on.
Want to stop the dangerous blowhard from taking the reins of our country and driving it recklessly? Prove that you’re going to rebuild our political and social system, which was brilliantly designed to prevent just that, but which you people have deliberately undermined. Don’t be outraged that Trump is charging the breach that you made; take the lesson and repair it.
Featured image still taken from Trump campaign Iowa Youth Caucus promo video.