The Daily 202: Trump’s Islamophobia may help him in short term but will prove …

8 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Donald Trump says US should ban Muslims — and analyst says it will help him.

Donald Trump’s proposal to shut down the nation’s borders to all Muslims — including Americans currently living abroad — could potentially lead to a swell of support for the presidential candidate, according to one political analyst. “We have a whole bunch of Americans, Trump supporters — and his support I think will grow after this moment — who feel that no one is telling them the truth and no one is saying what is obvious to them,” said political analyst Nicolle Wallace, a former communications director under President George W.Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has been roundly condemned by the White House, GOP rivals and rights groups following an inflammatory call for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” One fellow contender for the Republican nomination described Trump as “unhinged” after the businessman’s remarks Monday.WASHINGTON — Amid fear of terrorism, the Republican candidates for president for months have escalated their rhetoric about the place of Muslims in the United States.

A New York Times story this month quoted a former state GOP chairman in Illinois saying “the repercussions of that in this state would be devastating.” U.S. Trump’s proposed ban would apply to immigrants and visitors alike, a sweeping prohibition affecting all adherents of Islam who want to come to the U.S.

The idea faced an immediate challenge to its legality and feasibility from experts who could point to no formal exclusion of immigrants based on religion in America’s history. At a rally in South Carolina later, Trump repeated his most outrageous and provocative statement yet in a campaign that’s been studded with noxious nativist diatribe: “Donald J. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, one of Trump’s rivals, said a Trump candidacy would be “an utter, complete and total disaster” for other GOP candidates. The idea raised immediate questions about whether it could pass muster under constitutional protections of the free exercise of religion. “Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life,” Trump said in the statement. But in North Carolina, where Trump drew more than 8,000 people to Raleigh’s Dorton Arena last week, several current and former party officials and GOP consultants are more measured about whether Trump would help or hurt. “I don’t think there’s an answer to that,” says veteran strategist Carter Wrenn. “He sort of suspends all the political laws of gravity.

How can you predict whether it’s going to be a meltdown if he’s the nominee or if he keeps on rolling?” State GOP Chair Hasan Harnett won’t predict. We must be vigilant!” Trump’s remarks, coming days after the terror attack in San Bernardino, California, revived a campaign marked by a pattern of inflammatory statements, dating back to his harsh rhetoric about Mexican immigrants. Trump warned during his speech that without drastic action, the threat of attacks is “going to get worse and worse.” “As he says, we have to find out who they are and why they are here,” Rod Weader, a 68-year-old real estate agent from North Charleston who attended the rally and said he agreed with Trump’s plan “150 percent.” ”Like he said, they are going to kill us and we’ve got to stop it.” Since the Paris attacks, a number of Republican presidential contenders have proposed restrictions on Syrian refugees — with several suggesting preference for Christians seeking asylum — and tighter surveillance in the U.S.

South Carolina Republican Chairman Matt Moore, whose state is third on the primary voting calendar, said that “as a conservative who truly cares about religious liberty, Donald Trump’s bad idea and rhetoric send a shiver down my spine.” The nearly unanimous condemnation from fellow Republicans, Democrats and legal and immigration experts showed no sign of affecting Trump. But he says Trump is “speaking to people who are either feeling angry or upset about how politics has been conducted … and people are wanting change.” Rep. David Lewis, a Harnett County Republican who’s on the state party’s national committee, says the GOP is working to turn out out votes regardless of the nominee. John Kasich slammed Trump’s “outrageous divisiveness,” while a more measured Ted Cruz, who has always been cautious about upsetting Trump’s supporters, said, “Well, that is not my policy.” Trump’s plan also drew criticism from the heads of the Republican Party in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, the first three states to vote in next year’s presidential primaries.

But this proposal may have crossed a line. “So far, every boundary he has pushed has worked out for him,” said Ari Fleischer, who served as White House press secretary for former President George W. Trump’s comments Monday came as his lead in preference polls in Iowa, the state that kicks off the nominating contest, appeared to be challenged by Texas Sen. Last time I looked, (Trump’s) negatives were very high.” An October survey by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling found 51 percent of N.C. voters had an unfavorable impression of Trump compared with 37 percent who viewed him favorably. Bush. “I hope GOP voters recognize this time he’s gone too far.” On Monday night, while there was some positive response to Trump’s latest remarks — conservative pundit Ann Coulter tweeted “GO TRUMP, GO!” — repudiation of Trump’s latest comments came swiftly, forcefully and from many quarters.

That tracks national polls. “I think Republicans will coalesce around the Republican nominee, whether that’s Ted Cruz, Donald Trump or Chris Christie,” Pope says. “The thing that unites Republicans more than divides them is … Hillary. There are more than 5,800 servicemen and women on active U.S. military duty and in the reserves who self-identify as Muslim and could be assigned to serve overseas.

Fear about hordes of radicalized Muslim youth in the badlands of Syria, Iraq and even in the heart of Western cities who’re probably mulling the destruction of the Western way of life. Trump’s comments seem aimed squarely at Republican primary voters wary of Muslims, particularly those with direct ties to countries in the Middle East that have spawned violent extremist groups. A 2014 Pew Research Center poll showed Republicans view Muslims more negatively than they do any other religious group, and significantly worse than do Democrats. Unfortunately, it is also dangerously divisive because it often prompts people to look at a fellow human being with suspicion and hate – just because he or she belongs to a particular religion. Following the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris, responsibility for which was claimed by the Islamic State group, surveys showed Americans increasingly opposed to accepting refugees from Syria, the predominately Muslim country where IS has a stronghold.

I think everybody needs to be checked.” Religion can factor into immigration decisions, but that typically happens when people are fleeing religious persecution. In September, Carson said he did not believe a Muslim should serve as president of the United States. “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. By declaring that he intends to halt the entry of all Muslims, including tourists, business travellers and even expats, he is pandering to that fear and, in fact, whipping it up even more. In response to a request for additional detail, Trump said via a campaign spokeswoman: “Because I am so politically correct, I would never be the one to say.

This is exactly what ISIS wants from Americans: to turn against each other.” White House spokesman Josh Earnest accused Trump of playing on people’s fears and trying to tap into “a darker side, a darker element” of American society. And Carson compared handling refugees fleeing Syria’s intractable civil war to dealing with “rabid dogs.” After Trump said he wanted surveillance of “certain mosques” and would considering shutting down some of those houses of worship, Florida Sen.

From the Democratic presidential campaign, Bernie Sanders said “Trump and others want us to hate all Muslims” and Hillary Clinton called the proposal “reprehensible, prejudiced and divisive.” But will it hurt Trump in the campaign? “I have no idea,” McCain said. “I thought long ago that things he said would hurt his prospects, and he continues to go up.” It is unlikely that Trump and his ilk will ever appreciate the fact that extreme anti-Muslim statements of intent exacerbate Islamic fundamentalism everywhere.

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