Iowan David Rock Exemplifies Republicans’ Irrational Fear Of Muslim Terrorists
This morning on NPR, reporter David Green played a clip from an interview he had with, David Rock, who Green described as a businessman in western Iowa. “I asked him if he agrees with Donald Trump that Muslims should be barred from entering the country for a time,” explained Masters.
Here’s how Rock answered: “I, for one, do not believe that every Muslim is a terrorist, you know. I am not that irrational.
However, when there seems to be a high incidence of that radicalism within a certain group, you tend to become a little gun shy.
If, all of a sudden, everybody with blond hair started shooting people, I’d get pretty leery of blond haired people.”
With this statement, David Rock claims to represent a rational case for banning Muslims from entering the United States. That plan to implement a national plan of discrimination against Muslims at the borders is a central plank in the presidential campaign of Donald Trump. Today, the day of the 2016 Iowa caucuses, therefore, is an excellent time for us to examine the quality of the rationality of David Rock’s pro-Trump argument.
Here’s the argument that David Rock is making:
Premise 1: Not all Muslims are terrorists.
Premise 2: There is a high incidence of terrorist radicalism within Islam.
Premise 3: If ALL members of a group starts shooting people, we should be afraid of them, and discrimination against them is warranted.
Implied Conclusion: We should discriminate against Muslims, banning them from entering the country, because there is a high incidence of terrorist radicalism within Islam.
This is not a shining example of rational argument.
First of all, the standard that David Rock sets in Premise 3 doesn’t match the standard that he describes in Premise 2 and Premise 1. Rock suggests that discrimination against a group of people is justified if ALL members of that group commit violence. However, in Premise 1, Rock admits that not all Muslims are terrorists. In Premise 2, Rock doesn’t even clearly identify violent behavior among Muslims, but merely claims ideological “radicalism”.
So, even by the logical standards that David Rock sets up himself, his conclusion that Donald Trump’s discrimination against Muslims is justified does not hold water. Rock’s argument is irrational, in the sense that it doesn’t have a coherent logical structure.
However, rationality isn’t merely established through the sound logical structure of an argument. In order for an argument to be rational, the content of the premises upon which the argument is based need to be adequately researched for accuracy.
David Rock didn’t provide NPR with any source of information to support his assertion that there is a high prevalence of terrorist radicalism within Islam, much less his implicit suggestion that all Muslims are shooting people.
In fact, Rock’s Premise 2 is factually false. There is not a high prevalence of terrorism among Muslims either living within or entering the United States.
As David Green points out during the NPR broadcast this morning, Iowa has some of the oldest Muslim communities in all of the United States. There have been Muslims living in Iowa since the 1800s.
In all that time, there has not ever been a single Muslim terrorist attack in Iowa.
Conspiracy theorist David Chase Taylor, a self-proclaimed “truther”, has warned that Barack Obama is planning to use the CIA to conduct an “Islamic” terrorist attack against the Iowa caucuses. Taylor writes, “Based on breaking news and events, it appears that the Obama administration (at the behest of CIA Headquarters beneath Lake Geneva) is plotting an attack on the state of Iowa and/or the Iowa Caucuses of February 1, 2016, as pretext to suspend the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. Exactly what type of attack is planned for Iowa and/or the Iowa Caucuses is not known, but a 9/11-style terror attack by a plane laden with bio-chemical weapons is the most likely terror scenario. Needless to say, the attack would spark the bio-terror pandemic planned for 2016.”
However, even Taylor isn’t willing to fully commit to the delusion of an Islamic-CIA-Obama terrorist attack against the Iowa caucuses. He puts a disclaimer at the end of his conspiracy theory, claiming that, “Terror alerts and warnings made by Truther.org DO NOT necessarily imply that these terror events will transpire in reality but rather that there is a distinct possibility that they may occur based on breaking terror-related news, events and data. Historically speaking, once a major false-flag terror plot is exposed, it is immediately canceled, postponed, or reworked (e.g., the 2011 Super Bowl Nuclear Terror Plot, the 2014 Super Bowl Nuclear Terror Plot, the 2014 Freedom Tower Nuclear Terror Plot, etc.).”
As crazy as David Chase Taylor’s conspiracy theory sounds, David Rock’s assertion that, despite the available evidence, all Muslims are suddenly shooting people, isn’t that much more rational. Yet, it’s the tendency of voters like David Rock to indulge in this kind of weak-minded, illogical paranoia that Donald Trump has exploited in order to become the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination.
The association between the Trump for President campaign and irrational extremism with a taste for discrimination against minority groups would, if Iowa voters were rational, hamper Donald Trump’s ambitions. We will see tonight whether Iowa Republicans are willing to exercise level-headed judgment, or prefer to follow the convoluted irrationality of David Rock and Donald Trump.
David Green didn’t offer any identify There are three people living in Iowa with the name of David Rock listed at Whitepages.com – one in Hartford, one in Bettendorf, and one in Wheatland. None of those towns is in western Iowa, though. It seems that we’re not likely to identify the irrational businessman named David Rock that NPR spoke to.
If there’s a reader out there who happens to know which David Rock in Iowa was interviewed by NPR, please leave a comment here to let us know. The last thing we want to do is accuse the wrong David Rock of the sloppy thinking that one particular Iowan with that name proudly displayed on the radio this morning.