Donald Trump is an idiot savant of language. He has a talent for deception unlike anyone I’ve ever seen. He’s the rain-man of raining bullshit. He has a gift for seeming like he’s making sense without actually doing it. He will deny reality just to win. The problem isn’t Trump so much as the people who believe all of the bullshit that pours out of his mouth. In essence, his greatest asset is the average Trump voter’s ability to contort themselves to protect their choice of president. Nowhere was this more evident than the Muslim ban.
So let’s break this down, shall we? Donald Trump vowed to ban Muslims. It was one of his campaign promises. He said it loud and proud like a drunken, racist uncle at thanksgiving. There is video of this (has everyone forgotten that the Internet exists?). He passed legislation to ban entrants for 7 Muslim-majority countries in a move that was lauded by exactly the sort of people who love the idea of a Muslim ban.
Yet, sleeze-bag extraordinaire and winner of the world’s most punchable face contest Piers Morgan insists that it’s not a Muslim ban. The reasoning is that it did not ban enough countries to constitute a total embargo on Muslims. I assume being punched by Jeremy Clarkson gives people brain damage, because that is some high and mighty bullshit. Of course I don’t mean to offend people who have brain damage. No one should face the indignity of being associated with Piers Morgan. This shit-stirring bullshit is no surprise because everything that comes out of Morgan’s mouth is cynical, self-serving, self-aggrandising nonsense.
I’m not surprised that this is the spin they chose. I am however surprised people are falling for it and repeating it. Using a legal technicality to do something unconstitutional is right out of the demagogue’s playbook. It’s how Vladimir Putin suppresses protests. He puts so many constraints on the legality of organising one, you’d probably have an easier time creating your own sovereign state within Russia.
We are now in a position where his supporters are shouting at the rest of us for insisting that he has done the awful thing he said he would do while campaigning. Worse yet, they’re arguing since he didn’t do it fully, and couldn’t do it legally, he hasn’t actually done it “so shut up, snowflake”. This is all despite the fact that Rudy Giuliani went on the air and even called it a Muslim ban on Fox News. It appears Giuliani still has his 9/11 rage-boner and wears it loud and proud like a true conservative.
How Did We Get Here?
Yes, it’s technically illegal to ban Muslims. But when has legality ever stopped Donald Trump? This is a man who brags about not paying his taxes and then runs for president. According to reports, Trump ordered Giuliani to find a way to do it, and he didn’t care how. A sentiment he’s probably shared with many a spray-tanning booth operator. Giuliani did what he does best: combining legal knowhow with policy to stoke the fires of American nativism. The man was a mayor during 9/11, so this was a piece of piss.
Whilst doing his master’s bidding Igor discovered a particular law written in by the Obama administration after the Paris Attacks. The original document only required special interviews for those 7 countries as a security measure. Like with most things Trump does, he ramped it up to 11 and got it to be a ban. They got away with it by targeting countries as opposed to religions.
Here’s the thing that bothers me…
I’m not surprised it happened. In fact I was waiting since day one.
What bothers me is all the people going around saying it’s not a Muslim ban. Not only has the administration said this is a Muslim ban directly, they’ve even placed preferential treatment for Christian refugees. It is by all means, other than on paper, a Muslim ban. It’s actually the people buying into Trump’s bullshit that frighten me more than Trump.
When technicalities are used to breach the US constitution and there are citizens willing to defend it, something is severely wrong. It feels to me like the only thing necessary for a shitty opinion to thrive is for someone to hold it with conviction. Then a whole bunch of onlookers automatically get infected by the stupidity of patient zero.
BUT Even then…
Even the technicalities don’t stand up to scrutiny. While only those people are banned from entering the country why was a Welsh school teacher denied entry to New York? Is Wales a security threat now? I know I blacked out last night, but have they become a terrorist caliphate all of a sudden? We know why it happened. Because he happened to be Muslim. And, if it really is based on nationality and not religion, why are Christians being given preferential treatment.
The truth is it’s not called the Muslim ban because the right-wing want to have it both ways. The world is leaning right like a bloke who’s had his leg blown off. But the sting of post-George Bush buffoonery still has its stink on right-wingers all over the world. So now they have to disguise how little they care about human rights behind a veneer of “security” against “dangerous nations”. Dangerous nations whose citizens have not killed a single American since God knows when.
Personally, I’d prefer it if they just came out and said they didn’t give a fuck. On the other hand, they don’t need to say it loud and proud because the only way Donald Trump could voice his bigotry any louder is if he actively took a shit on the constitution. What worries me is that there are still people willing to defend his every action with shitty excuses.
Just yesterday, a conservative MP insisted that Trump had made no racially insensitive statements to the best of his knowledge. Turns out the best of his knowledge doesn’t include that Trump insisted the central park 5 were guilty without any evidence, retweeted white supremacists, contributed to the gentrification of New York city, insisted the first black president was born in Africa and was a Muslim, said he was nervous about black guys counting his money, instituted a Muslim ban and insisted Mexico sends the US rapists and drug dealers and “some” are good people. I’d love to be capable of that level of ignorant bliss.
It’s clear all the excuses around this fiasco are just legal cover. Perhaps a plausible second purpose is for right wingers to save face and normalise a disastrous situation that is benefiting them immensely even if it does look like a dystopian novel. If the right-wing wants to continue lying to itself, they need to at least do the rest of us a favour and come up with better fibs while they fuck us up the ass.
The only way the muslim ban could be more offensive was if it was printed on sheets of ham with doodles of Mohammad on it. The Muslim ban speaks to the sentiments of a regime that wants to have its cake and eat it too. It wants to pay lip-service to democracy, freedom of religion and human rights, all while shutting out people from regions it bombed based on religion against the will of the majority of its voters.