Trump thinks we should be monitoring Muslim Americans as a group.
To be clear, Trump isn’t suggesting that we should be monitoring Muslim Americans that pose a potential threat to national security. He thinks we should be monitoring them all.
Americans have in the past acted out of fear and with horrible results. One need only consider Japanese internment camps during World War II when Americans of Japanese descent were rounded up as potential dangers and illegally held in camps. You’d think we would be beyond such embarrassing parts of our history. But, if Trump has his way, we won’t be.
Trump recently suggested that we should be tracking all American Muslims and spying on mosques. Per Trump himself:
“I would hate to do it, but it’s something you’re going to have to strongly consider.” (Huffington Post)
It’s little comfort that Trump would hate to engage in such fascist and un-American a practice as spying on an entire group of Americans and violating their civil liberties in some unbridled, fear-mongering attempt to try and placate our citizens. What Mr. Trump doesn’t realize is that if we did as he seems to think we need to, we’d no longer need external enemies. We could destroy the pillars of democracy and liberty all by ourselves.
Paul pulled no punches in his derision of such a plan, stating plainly on Face the Nation that Trump’s recent comments on surveillance and creating a “Muslim American database” should be sufficient to disqualify him from the presidential race. That’s how un-American the concept is to Paul.
Now Paul has been a firm supporter of intelligence gathering and surveillance – as warranted and on an individual basis.
“Yes, we should follow people who are a risk. Should we talk to their neighbors and friends, should we talk to their Imam, sure all of that is legitimate. But should we target mosques and have a database of Muslims – absolutely not.” (CBS News)
However there is a vast gulf of difference between monitoring an individual who may be an enemy and demonizing an entire set of people based upon their religion or culture. There are few things more un-American than that. We are, after all, a nation built upon and designed around the concept of religious freedom and civil liberty.
Paul went on to center in on the issue that civil liberties are always most at risk in times of fear and government can capitalize on that fear to make people give up their liberties.
“When you have a fearful time or an angry time, the people are coached into giving up their liberty.” (The Hill)
Paul has made a stand against monitoring Muslim Americans en masse. Do you think government is going too far and trying to chip away at individual liberties and our right to privacy? Tell us your thoughts on Twitter. Also, join us on Facebook to continue following this issue.
Written by Mark Davis; Edited by Staff
(Photo courtesy of A Syn, Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)
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