Donald Trump recently came out in support of multiple discriminatory policies aimed at Muslim Americans. He told NBC news that he “would certainly implement” a database system, which all Muslims would be required by law to register for, in order to track all Muslims in the U.S.
Trump has also suggested monitoring and even closing mosques, claiming, “We’re going to have to look at the mosques. We’re going to have to look very, very carefully.” He also said he would consider Raymond Kelly, former NYPD commissioner, for a position in his administration, saying that “Ray’s a great guy.” Kelly infamously implemented extensive tracking of mosques and Muslim citizens following 9/11, even going so far as to monitor grocery purchases of Muslim New Yorkers. Trump then said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that the U.S. would have “absolutely no choice” but to shut down mosques when “bad things happen.”
When asked by Yahoo news, Trump wouldn’t even rule out the idea of requiring Muslims to wear a special form of identification.
I’m going to be honest: I wasn’t truly scared about Trump until now. When he was saying outrageously offensive things about Mexicans, it was easy to brush it off as something that could never happen proposed by someone who would never be president. However, he, along with the entire Republican Party, has now reached a new low. It’s impossible to not be reminded of Hitler when reading about these policy ideas. This is the beginning of fascism. The Holocaust is widely considered one of the very worst atrocities in all of human history, and Donald Trump is supporting the very policies that lead up to it.
Obviously, he is not talking about killing all Muslims. He hasn’t suggested concentration camps or gas chambers. But he has now suggested registering and labeling all people who belong to a certain religion. Will he use a yellow star, perhaps?
But at least Americans are tearing him apart over this, right? Wrong.
What is even more terrifying than Trump proposing these policies is that it’s helping him. He’s gaining even more traction among Republican primary voters, and his poll numbers are at a record high. These horribly offensive comments are what put him back ahead of Carson. That is incredibly disheartening. Republican voters responding positively to anti-Mexican xenophobia is one thing, but responding positively to their frontrunner emulating Nazis? That is one line that I personally thought would never be crossed.
Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. The demonization of Islam has been in play for years now, at least since 9/11. Donald Trump has his fellow conservatives and the mainstream media to thank for that. Propaganda is unbelievably powerful. It can persuade Americans to support the denial of other Americans’ rights to freedom of religion and freedom from unlawful searches in the form of the extremely unconstitutional surveillance of mosques. It can even make people forget about the Holocaust and the policies championed by those who caused it.
Americans are proud of our history as a nation that stood up to fascism. One of the greatest achievements of our country is our role in taking down Nazi Germany in the 1940’s. The U.S. is supposed to be a nation that stands up for human rights, for the rights of those being mistreated by oppressive governments in countries all over the world. If we become a nation that tolerates such oppressive policies against our own citizens, what will become of the world? How can we champion freedom internationally if we deny it at home?
Donald Trump, whether or not he wants to admit it, is a fascist. If he is elected president, America will surely devolve into a country that lacks the very basic human rights for its citizens, the same rights that our Constitution so proudly defends. Donald Trump is no longer a joke; he is a serious threat to our nation and its core beliefs and values. A Trump presidency cannot and will not stand in the United States of America.
Sophia Cunningham is a vegan feminist from Orange County. She is interested in studying politics and sociology, and she spends her free time reading, writing, and singing. She hopes to educate others about social issues and the importance of activism in everyday life