Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Where the Terror is

Another horrible terrorist attack in Europe, and another round of panic from American media and politicians.  Trump wants to seal the borders and resume torture, Cruz wants to occupy American "Muslim neighborhoods."  Nobody seems worried about American toddlers, who killed more people last year than terrorists did.

No--Trump can dribble uninformed nonsense about fighting terrorism (according to the pros), after unveiling his set of foreign policy experts that no actual foreign policy experts have ever heard of.

Meanwhile, as Jonathan Chiat explains, Cruz's remedies will create the conditions in the U.S. (where Muslims are mostly assimilated) that pertain in Europe (where Muslims are segregated) and give us the terrorist problems they have: "In Europe, ethnically homogenous Christian populations have been unable to assimilate immigrant populations, with disastrous results. The Republican Party now appears doctrinally bound to replicate that failure."

But what about those toddler terrorists?  How do we get weapons out of their dangerous hands?  Don't ask the National Rifle Association, and its frothing at the mouth opposition to any gun regulation.  It is too busy vetoing a Supreme Court nominee.  In this crazy atmosphere, that one seems to have largely gotten a pass, but it shouldn't: the Senate majority leader said on Sunday that a Justice to the Supreme Court can't be confirmed because the NRA opposes him.  Gee, I missed that part of the Constitution, where the Senate cedes its responsibility to advise and consent to a organization representing gun makers.

I am not terrorized by ISIS. They're evil and hateful, but I have more chance of being hit by lightning (and we had a hell of a lightning storm last night) or shot by a toddler than hit by a suicide bomber.  But these guys, these Republicans, they terrorize me.

I'm not alone. Donald Trump is the most unpopular presidential candidate since the former head of the Ku Klux Klan says the Fix headline in the Washington Post.  He is viewed unfavorably by two thirds of the American public, with more than half registering extreme disapproval.

A study of a North Carolina Senate race suggests the Republican incumbent loses 26 percentage points--and his seat--if he endorses Trump.  But it's not just Trump.  That Senate majority leader McConnell is viewed favorably by just 15%---in his home state.  Some 60% of Republican primary voters say they are embarrassed by their own candidates and their campaign.  Hillary is not winning any popularity contests, but an overwhelming proportion of Democrats would be happy with her as President.

Trump's weekend session with the Washington Post proved once again that he is ignorant and unequipped for any national office--nobody with his lack of qualifications (he makes Sarah Palin look like an expert) has gotten this close to the presidency in at least a century. Trump and Cruz are counting on panic over terrorism to deprive voters of their sanity.  Trump thinks it worked for him last time, after Paris.  We'll see if it works now.  A terrifying thought all right.