As you may have heard, “Bridgegate” kept Chris Christie off Donald Trump’s transition team. Still, what’s the bigger scandal — shutting down lanes on some bridge for political revenge, or selecting Mike Flynn as national security adviser? Christie’s scandal is bad, sure, but so is everyone else Trump associates with. Among other things, Flynn has said “Islam is a political ideology” — implying that all Muslims believe the exact same things, and presumably that they are all dangerous.
Of course, that assumption is untrue, and we know that through a simple thought experiment: If over a billion people all wanted to destroy the United States, couldn’t they have done it by now? Think about it. The sheer magnitude of that number would be enough to overwhelm the United States, and quite easily. So, yes, based on this elementary principle, it’s pretty easy to assume they aren’t all out to destroy the United States.
Other fools have joined Trump’s team, with the predictable viewpoint; All Muslims are scary and out to get us, and we therefore need to bulk up our defenses. Never mind that the United States has already been obsessed with bulking up its military — and in the process bulked up Islamic theocrats, terrorist groups and human rights abusers around the world. Consider Saudi Arabia, Saddam Hussein, Pakistan’s ISI, the Mujahideen (which included Osama bin Laden himself), or less talked about groups like the Kosovo Liberation Army. There are plenty of non-Islamic human rights abusers out there, too, and some of them have enjoyed key US support as well. Still, it almost seems like America enjoys supporting Islamic extremists the most.
There’s also the fact that ISIS grew out of the Iraq War. Trump has actually noted this. However, being a fool, he treated it like it’s merely a Hillary Clinton failure, when in fact ISIS grew precisely due to militant attitudes and mass incarceration in Iraq. It’s not that hard to understand this, either (and it’s not just a “liberal attempt to blame America for ISIS”). When a large number of people were thrown in jail in Iraq, it proved to be a solid recruiting ground for Islamic radicals. That Iraq was essentially a destroyed society didn’t help things, either. It’s similar to how gangs are grown in the American prison system. When you’re deprived of freedom and constantly exposed to violence, it’s easier to fall victim to a crooked ideology claiming to bring order to the world. On that note, it’s highly unlikely Trump will be as big an isolationist as some claim. The inherent contradictions in his logic will bear fruit, and it will be of bitter taste.
Even the economic perspective looks particularly grim, especially in light of what came before Trump. The Iraq War is said to have cost over 2 trillion dollars, which is an almost unthinkable sum of money. How on earth is he (or anybody else) going to minimize the impact of this? Fiscal discipline is just going to start happening?
Trump advocates tax cuts for the wealthy (of course), but how is he going to pay for the massive wall to keep out all the supposedly wicked Mexican illegal immigrants? Is it coming out of his own pockets? This wall concept by itself demonstrates a fundamental flaw in Republican thinking. They’ll claim to be for small government, yet seemingly do everything they can to beef government up. They’ll claim to be for fiscal discipline, yet won’t care how much things cost or where they’ll get the money from. And that might be fine if they decide “Okay, we’ll just not worry about paying for anything,” but that’s not what they decide. They pick and choose which spending they consider outrageous and which spending is acceptable, and the spending they dislike is almost always the social programs. However, they love military spending, prison building and corporate giveaways.
Of course, the irony is that social spending is relatively modest in its aims, whereas this other spending is about trying to conquer the world. One may disagree with welfare spending, but you can’t reasonably and fairly condemn it while supporting all this other, far more wasteful (and far more harmful) spending that kills or maims people, destroys other cultures, and helps spread panic and fear the world over. Personally, paying for someone’s food stamps or health insurance seems a little more modest and realistic when it comes to making anyone great again.
On that note, I will say that if you want to complain about Muslims, actually get to know some of them first. Don’t hide behind Trump and his emerging big government schemes. Talk to average, everyday Muslims if you can. You’ll find they’re not all cartoon villains who’d slit your throat at the first opportunity. Similarly, not everyone who lives in a small cabin is the Unabomber. Quite simply, if all Muslims wanted you dead, you would surely be dead already. Okay?
Also, because I mentioned it: If you’re going to criticize social programs for people struggling, you should be prepared to hire someone, and/or give them food, money, medical care, health insurance, and a place to live. If you’re not prepared to do any of that, you aren’t going to accomplish anything. If you can’t do that for a stranger, we’d be better off letting the government do it all. That’s why these programs exist in the first place. People — including conservatives — have not created practical alternatives on a scale wide enough to render a “safety net” unnecessary. As a nation — and to some extent as individuals — people are too busy screwing up the world and making each other’s lives worse.