Sometimes I get the feeling that conservatives — especially Republicans — truly believe they’re the only ones who not only appreciate, but even understand the Constitution of the United States of America.
You’ll hear them moan and wail about activist judges — because to them Judicial Review isn’t a thing (even though it most-totes is). You’ll hear them kvetching about how liberals want to turn everything into a human right — even though a) the right to own a gun wasn’t a right until some rather liberal people in the 18th century created and b) that’s exactly what the purpose of the Ninth Amendment is. But while that might seem like it makes them hypocritical and downright comically ignorant to their own massive misgivings about the Constitution, Donald Trump has taken the Republican Party into truly bizarre, unconstitutional territory with what he’s proposed during his campaign.
…and I don’t want to hear him — or a single person who votes for him — tell me he or they understand the Constitution.
Let’s just set aside that Trump has outright called for a Muslim immigration ban in this country. Let’s ignore, for the sake of argument, that proposal doesn’t just completely fly in the face of the Separation of Church and State, much less the actual text of the First Amendment preventing any religious discrimination from being baked into legislation. Set all that aside because what the alleged-billionaire and confirmed moron proposed today proves without any doubt that Donald is completely delusional about the powers of the government, and what the Constitution would allow.
This morning, Trump announced that he was proposing an ideological test for all people attempting to immigrate to the United States. Yes, you read that correctly. As reported by ABC News, Trump announced that he wants to quiz immigration applicants on their feelings on a whole host of subjects.
Donald Trump on Monday will call for a new ideological test for admission to the United States, vetting applicants on their stance on issues like religious freedom, gender equality and gay rights. The policy would represent a significant shift in how the U.S. manages entry into the country.
In a speech in swing state Ohio, Trump will also call for “foreign policy realism” and an end to nation-building if elected president. And he’ll argue that the United States needs to work with anyone who shares the mission of destroying the Islamic State group and other extremist organizations, regardless of other disagreements. (source)
What an enormously stupid, unproductive, and ultimately unconstitutional idea this is. For starters, people can just outright lie. So unless you’re going to shoot them up with truth serum before you interrogate them, good luck getting a straight answer out of anyone. But way more to the point — has Trump even heard of the First Amendment? Of the concepts of Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Expression? Clearly not.
Because the whole idea of the First Amendment is that words are not actions and vice versa. It is completely legal and acceptable to believe in Sharia Law here in America, because we don’t tell people what they can say or think here, within reason of course. You can’t shout “Theater” in a crowded fire, and you can’t incite treason or violence. But other than that, if you want to be a card-carrying Nazi, you can do so here. I mean, just look to Trump supporters as proof that we don’t put any restrictions on thought — or actually lack of thought in their cases — here in America.
The very concept of an ideology test before entering the country is patently against the principles this country was founded on. But what Trump said about immigrants and their children is perhaps most stunning, if not shocking anymore. The Politico transcript of Trump’s ideology test proposal contained this pretty insanely chilling remark.
The common thread linking the major Islamic terrorist attacks that have recently occurred on our soil – 9/11, the Ft. Hood shooting, the Boston Bombing, the San Bernardino attack, the Orlando attack – is that they have involved immigrants or the children of immigrants. (source)
This could easily be the stupidest thing that Trump has said. Sure, immigrants or their children carried out these attacks. But immigrants or their children also founded the country, built the railroads, helped us win every war we’ve ever fought, contributed to the invention of the Internet, and well, pretty much everything else in this country’s history. Because we’re literally a nation founded on immigration. So on the face of it, it’s just really shallow and pretty stupid to try and pin the blame for terror attacks on the issue of immigration. It’s the reddest of herrings.
It’s also an incredibly dangerous thing for him to say. Most Americans won’t hear his words and take them as inspiration and encouragements to act out against immigrants, but some most definitely will. Abuse won’t have to come in the form of physical violence either; maybe Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric will inspire local and state governments to draft laws demanding special IDs for immigrants. Maybe they’ll try and restrict immigrant voting. Systemic oppression can take many forms and morons like Trump only embolden those that would seek to continue it.
You can call yourself a conservative and believe in an ideology purity test for new citizens. You just can’t call yourself a lover of the Constitution when you do it. That is of course unless you live either on Bizarro World or in Republican Town, where up is down, down is up, and Donald Trump in any way, shape, or form, is presidential material.
Follow James on Twitter @JamboSchlarmbo.