Earlier this week, Donald Trump refused to rule out requiring American Muslims to wear special badges if he succeeds in buying the presidency. He also indicated that he would also consider security measures that would have been “unthinkable” in the past. Well, on Thursday, we learned just how far Trump is willing to go Donald Trump quadrupled the ante. It turns out that a President Trump would set up a full-fledged database of everyone in this country who identifies with Islam.
NBC’s Vaughn Hillyard collared Trump at a campaign town hall in Newton, Iowa. When Hillyard asked him about the database idea, Trump said, without hesitation, “I would certainly implement that”–along with a number of other ideas. Watch here.
Trump says that his database would be implemented via mandatory registration at “different places” across the country, and would be enforced via “good management procedures.” Hillyard remembered that in Nazi Germany, Jews were required to register with the state. He asked Trump how his database idea would be any different from this odious Nazi-era system. Trump’s response? “You tell me.” Don’t take my word for it–Hillyard posted that part of the exchange on Twitter.
— Vaughn Hillyard (@VaughnHillyard) November 20, 2015
The criticism came fast and hard. Ibrahim Hooper, national spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said his organization was “at a loss for words” when he learned about Trump’s comments. He was dumbfounded that Trump not only suggested an idea that was so similar to a Nazi-era policy, but that he “seems to think that’s perfectly OK.”
Rabbi John Moline, executive director of the Interfaith Alliance, said that his father fought in World War II “to preserve America against what the Nazis were doing.” As he sees it, Trump doesn’t know that this country exists “to not be like that.” I’d go further than that. It sounds a lot like Trump’s idea of “good management” sounds like something out of Big Brother’s Ministry of Love in “Nineteen Eighty-Four.”
The situation also triggered a rare moment of bipartisan criticism of Trump. Hillary Clinton was among the first to dive in.
This is shocking rhetoric. It should be denounced by all seeking to lead this country. -H https://t.co/qs2TJI5spu
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 20, 2015
Notably, the tweet was signed with an “H”–meaning Hillary herself wrote it, not her staff. Jeb Bush also condemned the proposed database as “just wrong” and intended to “manipulate people’s angst and fears.”
In the face of this criticism, Trump backed down–well, sort of.
I didn't suggest a database-a reporter did. We must defeat Islamic terrorism & have surveillance, including a watch list, to protect America
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 20, 2015
If you didn’t suggest it, Donald, then why are you still running with it? Plus, you didn’t sound too outraged when Hillyard collared you.
And just in case Trump didn’t make himself clear earlier, a Trump spokeswoman quashed them when she told Fox Business that Trump hadn’t ruled out anything in order to fight terror. Including, we can only assume, measures that any fair-minded person would consider Hitlerian and Orwellian.
If there wasn’t already enough evidence that the prospect of a Trump presidency should send a chill down your spine, here’s another reason. If Trump succeeds in buying the presidency and you’re a Muslim, Big Brother would be watching you.