The Donald must be slipping in the polls, because he opened his big mouth again. His campaign called for a “total and complete shutdown of all Muslims entering the United States.” Reactions to his statement have been predictable – mostly sanctimonious outrage that only entrenches Trump’s supporters behind him.
There are reasonable arguments for some level of profiling of immigrants to this country, but a full-scale ban based on religion simply won’t work, and Trump knows it won’t (or should know). But it’s red meat to those who are frustrated by the unwillingness of the U.S. government to have even reasonable checks on those entering the country. And when government officials appear impotent, then the result is a call for a “strong” (i.e. totalitarian) leader to fix the problems (see “Weimar Republic”).
Speaking of totalitarian, Trump said something else idiotic- even grading on the Trump curve – but it was lost in all the rage over the Muslim ban. He recommended “closing up the Internet:”
“We’re losing a lot of people because of the Internet,” Trump said. “We have to go see Bill Gates and a lot of different people that really understand what’s happening. We have to talk to them about, maybe in certain areas, closing that Internet up in some way. Somebody will say, ‘Oh freedom of speech, freedom of speech.’ These are foolish people. We have a lot of foolish people.”
I’m not sure what is more pure Trump: thinking he’ll have the power to close the Internet, or thinking that being buddies with Bill Gates will make it happen (has there ever been a bigger name-dropper running for President than Trump?). “Hey, Bill, can you turn off the Internet for a few days?” “Um, what?”
I have written numerous times about the danger of government officials banning technologies like encryption and Bitcoin, but Trump takes this to a new level. He basically wants a China-style firewall around the Internet installed, so that he can control what Americans can see. He has no understanding of the Constitution, and thinks that if he were President, he could just do whatever he feels like doing. How are earth are so-called “conservatives” behind this lunatic?
It is still unbelievable to me that Trump has any popularity – he is basically Kim Jong-Un in a nicer suit. Perhaps that is what Americans are starting to look for…