Sunday, 22 November 2015

How bigotry and cowardice are becoming fundamental Republican "values"

The contest to lead the Republican Party into the next Presidential election would be a hilarious spectacle if it weren't for the very real fear that the American public might well end up electing the likes of Donald Trump or Ben Carson as their President (and the commander of the most powerful military the world has ever seen). 

This fear is not without reason either. Not only did the American public (kind of) elect George W. Bush in the first place, they actually re-elected him despite the fact that he let 9/11 happen on his watch, then gave the Islamist fanatics the stateless chaos they thrive in by attacking Iraq when not a single one of the 9/11 terrorists had anything to do with Iraq (15 out of the 19 were Saudi Arabians)!

Bigotry and cowardice

Donald Trump and Ben Carson seem to be engaged in a competition to come up with the most reactionary, bigoted and unconstitutional declarations possible. Whether it's plans to create a Nazi style national database of Muslims, or to impose Christianity tests on Syrian refugees, the Republican Party seems to have fully embraced religious bigotry and outright cowardice as core principles of Republican politics.

Nazi undertones

Many people have drawn parallels between the Republican Party proposals for a government blacklist of Muslims, and the treatment of Jews by the Nazis.When challenged about the similarities between his policy of discrimination against Muslims and the policies of discrimination towards Jews in 1930s Germany, Donald Trump simply evaded the questions.

Rabbi Jack Moline of the Interfaith Alliance attacked Trump's plans to create a Nazi style Muslim blacklist by saying "My father was in World War II, and he fought to preserve America against what the Nazis were doing," he said. "This is exactly why there is an America, to not be like that".

Victim blaming

The evidence is absolutely clear that the atrocities in Paris were masterminded and carried out by French citizens, not by Syrian refugees. Yet the Republican Party have taken to openly fearmongering about Syrian refugees, who are fleeing exactly the same breed of Wahabist fanatics as those who carried out the Paris atrocities.

Using fear over what happened in Paris to attack Syrian refugees is about as clear an example of victim blaming as it's possible to see. 

American values?

As an outsider it's absolutely amazing to see how these leading Republican candidates seem to be getting away with such openly bigoted policies. I always thought that stuff like religious freedom, the separation of church and state and the provision of a safe haven to the victims of religious persecution were fundamental, pretty much unquestionable American values? Yet here we have people like Trump and Carson shitting all over these American values, and somehow maintaining their popularity.

The idea of shutting the door to Syrian refugees (unless they pass some kind of warped Christianity test) seems about as contrary to proclaimed American values as is possible to imagine. Not only is turning away the victims of persecution on the basis of their religious beliefs contrary to the American principle of religious freedom, it's also an appalling display of ignorant cowardice in the wake of the Paris atrocities given that the perpetrators were French and Belgian citizens, not Syrian refugees.

Collective punishment

Using the Paris atrocities to call for state sponsored discrimination against all Muslims in the United States is appalling stuff. Since when was it an American trait to collectively punish all people within a particular group for the actions of a tiny minority within that group?

In fact, given that this global wave of barbaric Wahabist terrorism has been carried out by non-American Muslims, it's possible to argue that the Republican Party are planning to collectively punish a group of people (law-abiding American Muslims) for the heinous actions of people completely outside that group (non-American Wahabist fanatics) 


Maybe it's worth comparing these Republican calls for collective discrimination against Muslims with the way they might react to calls for some kind of government blacklist for gun owners in response to the appalling killing sprees that keep happening in American schools and colleges? 

Surely they'd argue that it's wrong to clamp down on millions of law abiding gun owners due to the crimes of a small minority?

Of course the Republicans would wail and scream at any proposals to monitor and discriminate against all gun owners, but they seem incapable of seeing their own hypocrisy when they decide they want to collectively punish all American Muslims for the crimes of Islamist fanatics from elsewhere in the world.

What about Saudi Arabia?
Instead of fearmongering about Syrian refugees and devising plans to collectively punish American Muslims for the crimes of foreign terrorists, perhaps it might make a little more sense for American politicians to reappraise their relationship with the barbaric Saudi Arabian regime? 

15 of the 19 terrorists on September 11th 2001 were Saudis and the barbaric Islamist fanatics committing terrorist atrocities all over the world follow the same brand of militant Wahabist fanaticism as the Saudi regime, yet leading Republicans would rather clamp down on law abiding American Muslims rather than confront Saudi Arabia over their role in spreading their dangerous fanatical Wahabist ideology all over the world.

Where are the Republican moderates?

Surely there must be someone within the Republican Party capable of seeing that mass discrimination against law abiding American Muslims is an unjustifiable response to the actions of non-American Wahabist fanatics elsewhere in the world?

Assuming moderates within the Republican Party still exist, and that the whole show hasn't been completely taken over by TeaBaggers, why are they so quiet? Where are the Republicans asking questions like whether the maintenance of a government religious blacklist goes against the First Amendment right to religious freedom? Or how does the maintenance of a massive government blacklist for all Muslims fit in with the small state ideology that the Republicans claim to support?

To an outsider it really does seem like the lunatics have taken over the Republican Party asylum, and that there is nobody with the requisite level of sanity to restore some semblance of order.


Perhaps the most embarrassing thing for Americans must be that these Republican anti-Muslim policies are a display of appalling cowardice on the international stage. 

Do Americans really want their politicians to foster and project such ignorant fear of displaced Syrian women and children when France is still vowing to take in tens of thousands of Syrian refugees, despite what happened in Paris? 

Do Americans really want their politicians projecting such ignorance and cowardice when Vladimir Putin is so determined to play the fearless Islamist-killing hardman on the world stage?

In the UK David Cameron has so far resisted the cowardly (and staggeringly impractical) petition to "close the UK borders until ISIS is defeated", so do Americans really want their politicians to come across as even more cowardly and opportunistic than the dish-faced, over-privileged walking embodiment of incompetence us Brits have to suffer?

Is this kind of ignorant bigoted cowardice really the kind of image Americans want their politicians projecting on the world stage? Somehow I doubt it. But then I was naive enough to think that the American public couldn't possibly have been crazy enough to re-elect George W. Bush, and I was proven wrong, so perhaps ignorance, bigotry and cowardice are what the American public want from their politicians? 

 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.

Flattr this

The cowardly and staggeringly impractical petition to "Close the UK borders until ISIS is defeated"

David Cameron's insane rush to war in Syria
Reactions to the Charlie Hebdo atrocity
Who are the real extremists?
How NSA over-reach might be worse than terrorism