February 7, 2017

Trump plays with fire, and we get burned

Even if the federal courts overrule him, President Trump's immigration ban on Muslims -- and on refugees who survive the very crimes he claims to defend us against -- has already inflicted permanent damage on our strength and our spirit. Now, his words may add injury to the insult.

The stated and implicit goal of Islamic State and Al-Qaeda is to force a civilizational conflict between the West and Islam, to demonstrate to 1.6 billion Muslims that there is no place for them in the modern world or among non-believers. The vast majority will probably not accept Trump's contrived declarations, or they will take them on face value without acting on that hostility. But the promise and momentum of the post-War decades, stalled at the threshold of globalization and common cause, are now traumatically inundated with doubt and distrust. Thanks, Donald.

I need not elaborate here on the consequent undermining of our security, boosting recruitment by terrorist groups, alienating of military and economic partners, further stigmatizing Muslim Americans, reducing U.S. standing as a global leader, betraying our basic Constitutional principles. 

While every U.S. President faces threat of assassination, today such an attack is far less likely to originate from either Muslim terror cells or white supremacists, as both movements seem to have found the President of their dreams. Muslim-oriented terrorists now have even less need to launch complicated attacks that induce an Islamophobic response -- we're already there. 

And that's not all...

In defiance of uncooperative judges, now Trump -- elected to be our Commander-in-Chief -- claims the court system will be culpable for any future terror attacks. In other words, he is promising that he'll use terror attacks to delegitimize and weaken our independent judiciary -- one of the crown jewels of the American system, a beacon of our shining city on the hill -- undermining our basic Constitutional process. How could any terror group resist such a prize? 

We have the strongest military in human history, but -- even when we defy it -- our true protection and our true cause has always been the Constitution, civil society, and liberal democracy. As President, George W. Bush was seen as inviting terror attacks with the brash call, "Bring 'em on!" President Trump has far surpassed Bush's offhand comment by setting fire to our very fiber and offering up a Grand Prize to any and all comers.

Thanks for nothing.

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