The Platform Of Hate The Republican Party Built For Donald Trump
Some Republican politicians have responded to Donald Trump’s demand that all Muslims, including American citizens, be prevented from crossing the border into the United States by condemning his statements. They want to create the impression that Donald Trump’s comments aren’t representative of the Republican Party.
The GOP has a long history of support for efforts to deprive Muslims of their constitutional rights, however. A few years ago, Republican Congressman Allen West led a coalition of GOP members of Congress who wanted the federal government to have the power to prevent mosques from being built. After her failed 2008 campaign for Vice President, Sarah Palin joined a smiliar ban-the-mosques crusade. Carl Paladino, Republican candidate for governor of New York State, and Earl Sholley, Republican congressional candidate in Massachusetts, joined in the anti-mosque movement as well. Republican protesters in Murfreesboro set fire to a mosque around the same time. Though they were joined by some gutless Democrats, Republicans in Congress were the majority of those who recently voted for legislation to obstruct aid to refugees because of their Muslim identity. Ben Carson supports Donald Trump’s idea of forcing American Muslims to carry around ID cards displaying symbols of their religious identity, and compelling Muslims to submit their personal information to a database to be used by the government to spy against them. Ted Cruz has insisted that only Christians – not Muslims – from certain countries should be allowed to visit the USA. Marco Rubio has proposed closing down businesses if the owners of those businesses practice Islam in a way that the federal government has not granted approval of. Mike Huckabee has insisted that Christians be given the power to impose their beliefs through fundamentalist religious laws, while denying the same power to Muslims.
The upshot is this: Donald Trump is only the loudest, richest, most recent voice in a long, ugly Republican tradition of paranoid discrimination against Muslim Americans. This point was made by Senator Harry Reid this week, who commented,
“Donald Trump has become the Republican Party, because it is just not him – many of the leading candidates for the Republican nomination have said the same hateful things, especially about Muslims. Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz proposed religious tests for refugees. You can’t condemn Trump when you want to impose a religious test on women and children fleeing death and persecution. Ben Carson has called Muslims ‘rabid dogs.’ Chris Christie said they should be tracked.
Today, Donald Trump offered the only true statement he has made for some time, referring to some of his fellow Republicans, those running against him for President. He said: ‘They have been condemning almost everything I say and then they come to my side.’
That is disturbing, but it is true. Republican candidates condemn Trump’s remarks and then adopt his racist policies as their own.
We shouldn’t try to fool ourselves: This sort of racism has been prevalent in Republican politics for decades. Trump is just saying out loud what other Republicans merely suggest.
Political leaders must condemn these hateful, un-American statements with their words and their actions. Silence only empowers bigots.”