Islamophobia. And Conservaphobia

By now, I’m sure you’ve seen Donald Trump responding to a question about how we can get rid of Muslims:

Confronted with a questioner who called Muslims a “problem” and asserted that President Obama is a Muslim and not American, Donald Trump did not correct him on Thursday night.

“We have a problem in this country, it’s called Muslims. Our current President is one. We know he’s not even an American,” said a questioner at a town hall in New Hampshire. “We have training camps growing where they want to kill us. That’s my question, when can we get rid of them?”

“A lot of people are saying that and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening out there. We’re going to be looking at that and a lot of different things,” Trump responded.

Trump has been a leading proponent of the discredited theory that Obama was not born in the United States.

I will be as fair as I can to Trump. Politicians tend to draw nuts to them. This is especially true of politicians who are perceived as outsiders challenging the system. Libertarians have had to deal with this kind of crap for decades. The nuts turn up not because they agree with Libertarian philosophy but because they are attracted to just about any political outsider. But even mainstream politicians get crazies. I’ve talked to Congressional staffers about some of the insane letters and calls they get from nutty constituents. Trump laughs nervously halfway through the question and doesn’t really address it. I don’t think he’s embracing the views expressed at all. He’s just not smacking it down.

That having been said, it’s been a couple of days and he’s had plenty of time to disown the man’s comments. He hasn’t. It won’t hurt him right now bceause part of Trump’s appeal to many is precisely that he doesn’t constantly apologize. But it’s yet another thing that could come back to bite him badly should he win the nomination and yet another reason for anti-Trumpers to dislike him. And it’s yet another way the GOP’s willingness to play footsie with the lunatic fringe has damaged the brand.

Here’s the thing, though. As bad as this question was and as bad as Trump’s response was, possibly the worst response has been that of the Left. They are gleefully citing this clip as an example of what conservatives are really like. They are trotting out every invective you can imagine. To hear them say it, conservatives a racist, bigoted, Religious Right fundies who want to purge the country of a religious minority.

And, to me, that’s much worse. The reason it’s worse is because the view that we need to rid our country of Muslims or that Obama is some kind of Islamic caliphatist Manchurian candidate is on the lunatic fringe. Someone says something like that and they are instantly branded as a nut. The question was so nutty, in fact, that some conservatives are wondering if he was a plant or if the question was a joke.

But the view that conservatives are evil racists is mainstream. It is propounded every day by mainstream blogs, mainstream pundits, mainstream comedians, mainstream politicians. And it has a far more malefic effect on our politics. Conservative views and conservative politicians are ignored because everyone knows they’re racist. Objections to things like Dodd-Frank and Obamacare — objections proving increasingly well-founded — were ignored because everyone knew the Republicans just opposed these laws because they were filled with hate.

The most dangerous tendency in politics is to see your political opponents as The Other. To see them as fundamentally deformed and immoral, rather than people who have a different set of values or a different perspective.

Conservatives, including myself, are not immune from this, obviously. We’ve had six years of people trying to tar Obama as a communist or an America-hater or whatever. But again, there’s a difference. The mainstream media writes those views off as irrational and partisan. But the view that conservatives are mean-spirited racists is never regarded as irrational and partisan; it’s regarded as a revealed truth.

No one has a monopoly on rationality or intelligence. I haven’t seen a political figure yet who didn’t have a good point about something. But this incident has once again revealed that the Left and their MSM dogwashers do believe they have a monopoly on racial and religious tolerance. And that’s not just wrong, it’s dangerous. Far more dangerous some fruit loop in New Hampshire who thinks we can get rid of Muslims.

Comments are closed.

  1. richtaylor365

    Trump’s typical response to criticisms is as clumsy as a 16 yr old kid trying to figure out the clasp of his girlfriend’s bra, but in this case he nailed it;

    “Am I morally obligated to defend the president every time somebody says something bad or controversial about him? I don’t think so!” Trump said on Twitter

    nuff said. Let the progressives and their MSM enablers run around with their hair on fire, it amuses the rest of us.

    Here is Bill Whittle’s take on Trump;

    That bait and switch in the first minute, tell me, was there anyone that did not see that coming? Talk about low hanging fruit.

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  2. CM

    I don’t think he’s embracing the views expressed at all. He’s just not smacking it down.

    I think because McCain smacked it down when the same thing happened to him, Trump is exposed for explicitly not doing so. Of course Trump had form on this already too. Whereas McCain even distanced himself from his own VP at least once when she started blowing the ‘unAmerican’ dogwhistle.

    I think we all know that ‘defending the President’ has little to do with the response (or lack of). Rather it indicates how a candidate is willing to be perceived just in order to get votes from the crazies. I think very few politicians have luxury of being able to dismiss crazies, and it’s always interesting to see the approach they decide to take.

    Trump is still a joke candidate but the fact that he’s so well supported by Republican voters suggests the Republican Party is now a joke party. It’s increasingly obvious that there is no limit to what he can get away with. Of course those same Republican voters who support Trump wouldn’t hold a Democrat to the same standard. It’s the inherent hypocrisy of partisan politics. The greater the partisanship, the greater the hypocrisy permitted to occur.

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  3. Xetrov

    To hear them say it, conservatives a racist, bigoted, Religious Right fundies who want to purge the country of a religious minority.

    Many of them were already saying this prior to this latest incident.

     

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  4. CM

    Many on the right don’t think the question is nuts. Some even on this blog believe Obama is a Muslim. How was this guy in the audience ‘nuts’ if he represents a fair proportion of those who will vote Republican?

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  5. Seattle Outcast

    He was a muslim until that label became politically undesirable, then he was suddenly “a christian” – one that attended a racist church with strong anti-American sentiments.

    His actions say he’s most likely not either, but holds very strong muslim sympathies.

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  6. CM

    There we go. The question is not considered ‘nuts’ at all on the right. This is where the main party representing the right is at. No wonder you feel politically lost, Hal.

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  7. richtaylor365

    There we go. The question is not considered ‘nuts’ at all on the right. This is where the main party representing the right is at. 

    How astute of you, to glean the sentiments of “all on the right” by the comments of a single individual. I don’t know what’s better, to watch how progressives (the party of intellect and reasoning, just ask them) take one comment and project it as a core tenet of “all on the right”, or to watch their heads explode when they hear something that does not fall lock step with their own convoluted ideology.

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  8. Hal_10000 *

    The polls on whether Obama is a Muslim or not aren’t telling us much information.  Most people aren’t political junkies and vaguely follow this stuff.  So they might respond that he’s a Muslims just because they think someone’s asking the question for  a reason.

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  9. CM

    It indicates how far people are willing to go to support their team, or alternatively how people are just willing to be believe anything that ‘sounds right’ (just like how so many Americans believed that Saddam was involved in Sept 11 – the Administration managed to get that to nearly 70%). It indicates that reality isn’t of much interest.

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