Monday, November 16, 2015

Trump doesn't get the First Amendment

(CNN)Donald Trump on Monday suggested he would "strongly consider" shutting down mosques in the U.S. as part of the response to the terror attacks in Paris.
"Well, I would hate to do it but it's something you're going to have to strongly consider," Trump said during an interview on MSNBC.

Wow! If I thought Trump had any chance of winning the White House, that would be a really frightening statement.

On Monday, Trump also took a shot at New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for his decision last year to halt a covert NYPD program used for surveillance on Muslim communities.
"You're going to have to watch and study the mosques," Trump said, "because a lot of talk is going on at the mosques...Under the old regime we had tremendous surveillance going around and in the mosques in New York City."

I don't know how much of what comes from Trump's mouth he actually believes, because he says things like maybe we should boycott Starbucks as if he gives a shit about their lack of Christmas spirit, but whether or not  he believes that mosques should be shut down, that certain people's right to practice their religion should be curtailed, the thing is that he said it. Out loud and in public. And it's not going to hurt him. His poll numbers aren't going to drop from this. He might even gain a point or two. He might steal a couple points from Ben Carson, now that he has made the latest outrageously offensive staement. (Ball's in your court, Doctor!)

And none of his fellow Republicans will condemn him for it. None of them will have the balls and the decency to stand up and say "Mr. Trump, in this country we believe in the free exercise of religion as enshrined in the First Amendment." None of the conservative figures who are constantly blubbering on about protecting religious freedom are going to raise a single word of objection to this quasi-fascist suggestion. And the window of what is considered acceptable political discourse will be streched to the right once again.