Donald Trump won’t rule out mass surveillance, special IDs for Muslims

Alright, it’s time to go there. Donald Trump just earned himself a Hitler comparison.

In a lengthy interview with Yahoo News, Trump promised to deport Syrian refugees who are already in this country, doubled down on his promise to monitor mosques and, when pressed by Yahoo News as to what other drastic actions he would take, expressed an openness to warrantless and widespread surveillance on the general Muslim population:

Donald Trump's historical precedent, via Wikimedia Commons

Donald Trump’s historical precedent, via Wikimedia Commons

“We’re going to have to do things that we never did before. And some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule,” Trump said. “And certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy. And so we’re going to have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago.”

Yahoo News asked Trump whether this level of tracking might require registering Muslims in a database or giving them a form of special identification that noted their religion. He wouldn’t rule it out.

Trump didn’t elaborate on whether the “form of special identification” could be, say, a yellow crescent that every Muslim would be required to sew into their clothing. But he may as well have. I’m a big proponent of reserving Hitler comparisons for the most extreme circumstances, but this is one of them. Donald Trump just pulled a policy proposal straight out of the Nuremberg Laws.

What’s more, unless he’s called on it, he’s going to say something worse tomorrow. Since the attacks in Paris, Trump has been inching further and further toward advocating for open fascism. First he said we should “seriously consider” closing mosques associated with extreme clerics. When that claim didn’t hurt him, he went a step further, saying we have “absolutely no choice” but to close them. He’s going to keep going back to the anti-Muslim bigotry well until the Republican base signals for him to stop. And they’ve shown no intention of doing so.

Yesterday, we heard an elected official say that Japanese internment wasn’t actually that bad of an idea. Now we have the frontrunner for the Republican nomination seriously considering a policy that was one of the defining characteristics of pre-war Nazi Germany. All over a contrived threat and an irrational bout of Islamophobia.

America needs to chill the hell out. This is going south fast.

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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20 Responses to “Donald Trump won’t rule out mass surveillance, special IDs for Muslims”

  1. 2karmanot says:

    True, I’ve always seen him as Number two.

  2. goulo says:

    The comparison to Nazi Germany’s policies certainly came immediately to my mind as well and seems scarily appropriate. And you seem right about Trump proposing such fascism tentatively then more firmly as he sees that the base likes it. WTF is wrong with people?

  3. The_Fixer says:

    You’re quite welcome, it was one of the funnier things I’ve seen on that show.

  4. NewDCFan says:

    I always wondered by so many were registering as independents. This shows why

  5. FLL says:

    Thanks for telling me about the segment on The Nightly Show. Much fun.

  6. Opinionated Cat Lover says:

    I’m one of the first to tell you that inappropriate comparisons to Nazi Germany (or Fascist Italy) are damaging to arguments. But we do need to remember: One of Fascism’s core tenants is make an outsider for the peons to fear….

  7. JaneE says:

    I am very much afraid that the USA will be remembered as the Nazi Germany of the 21st century.

  8. FLL says:

    Carson is now showing a pathetic 9%—fourth place—in New Hampshire polling as of yesterday. Looks like curtains for Dr. Stabby.

  9. BeccaM says:

    I’ve been saying for a while now that Trump is the GOP’s most openly fascist candidate. And the Hitler comparisons have long been apt — including the fact at the beginning, many were mildly disturbed by him and his supporters, but most laughed at him.

    And let’s be clear here: Trump’s popularity among Republicans is due in large part because a significant number of them now want America to become a fascist nation.

  10. mf_roe says:

    The Donald is right up there with “Blazing Saddles” in terms of extreme flatulence. He is probably responsible for more global warming than all the pigs in China.

  11. mf_roe says:

    Name ANY war where Religion wasn’t a major component. It’s primordial.

  12. nicho says:

    Just to reiterate, for those who may not know or may have forgotten — “Trump” is British slang for “fart.” Once you realize that, everything falls into place.

  13. Bill_Perdue says:

    War, like racism, homophobia and union busting are bipartisan.

    The parties are the same.

  14. The_Fixer says:

    It occurred to me this morning that what we have been experiencing is the germination of an all-out religious war. Add a few more things necessary for it to develop, and we’re there.

    We’re supposed to be beyond that, or at least that’s what we tell ourselves. But it’s really the SOS – Same Old Shit – it’s just that we can do it so much faster and “better” than in the past. The tools might be more modern, but at the heart of it, it’s still “My God’s Better Than Your God. Therefore, I will kill you.”

    Modern civilization at its finest.

  15. mf_roe says:

    I don’t know which is the darker irony, the fact that Obama outdid Bush or that he eclipsed Bill Clinton.

  16. The_Fixer says:

    They did a hilarious bit on this last night on The Nightly Show.

    Overall, that map is a glorious illustration of Ben Carson’s incompetence.

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  18. Bill_Perdue says:

    Is that really different from Obama’s NSA mass internal spying or the internal spying authorized by FISA or the illegal racist murders of 6 Arab American and muslim citizens like Ahmed Farouq, Adam Gadahn, Anwar al-Aulaqi, Samir Khan, ‘Abd al-Rahman Anwar al-Aulaqi and Jude Mohammed. One was a sixteen year old boy from Denver Colorado.

    “The Obama administration has asked a secret surveillance court to ignore a federal court that found bulk surveillance illegal and to once again grant the National Security Agency the power to collect the phone records of millions of Americans for six months.

    The legal request, filed nearly four hours after Barack Obama vowed to sign a new law banning precisely the bulk collection he asks the secret court to approve, also suggests that the administration may not necessarily comply with any potential court order demanding that the collection stop.

  19. FLL says:

    The full graphic from the Ben Carson campaign saying “NO” to Syrian refugees, complete with the twitter tag, @RealBenCarson:

  20. FLL says:

    Please forgive the off-topic comment, but the Ben Carson campaign’s map of New England is so hilarious that one twitter comment stated that the Ben Carson campaign is secretly being funded by The Onion. Below is the U.S. map of Ben Carson’s with the following legend: “We’re supporting the majority of our nation’s governors in saying NO to Syrian refugees.” Another twitter comment: “Who knew that Vermont [which is now southwest of Connecticut] had such a long coastline?”

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