Following the intense backlash Donald Trump has received over his call to variously ban all Muslims, ban some Muslims, and lately, ban all Muslims from some countries, Trump said he would announce a more detailed vision of what he had in mind. It’s finally here and… it’s absolutely bonkers.
According to an early release of remarks Trump will give on Monday, his campaign will announce a plan to institute ideological purity tests on all incoming immigrants to ensure they have “American values.”
According to the Associated Press:
Trump is also expected to propose creating a new, ideological test for admission to the country that would assess a candidate’s stances on issues like religious freedom, gender equality and gay rights. Through questionnaires, searching social media, interviewing friends and family or other means, applicants would be vetted to see whether they support American values like tolerance and pluralism.
Trump may think he’s being clever, but it’s clear the ideological test was designed exclusively with Muslim stereotypes in mind. The Republican candidate hopes he can design a test that no Muslim can pass while still pretending it’s neutral. The specifics of the test make that even more obvious:
Trump wants new test for entry into US- would seek to ban anti-Semitic, anti-gay views that don't mesh w/ US values of pluralism & freedom.
— Edward Mejia Davis (@TeddyDavisCNN) August 15, 2016
In a hilarious irony, many of Trump’s most fervent supporters would fail this test, while many Muslims would pass it. It’s no secret that many of Trump’s fans are the kind of virulently anti-gay, anti-Semitic bigots that get excited when they see a Republican candidate mirror their own hatred. Trump has repeatedly flirted with neo-Nazis and white supremacists who deal in the kind of anti-Semitism that, under Trump’s plan, would prevent them from immigrating to the United States.
Even worse, if Trump’s army of immigration investigators were to search through his social media accounts, they would likely ban Trump from the United States as well. In early July, Trump spent a week fending off criticism after he stole and retweeted a meme from a well-known neo-Nazi that included a Star of David emblazoned with the word “corrupt” and sitting on a pile of money. Anti-Semitism? Check.
In an even more ironic move, Trump seems to be suggesting that “anti-gay” views conflict with American values. No word yet on how Trump’s running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence feels about that. He’s the man who cost his state millions of dollars in a fight to allow conservative business owners to continue discriminating against gay people. He also believes in the harmful, debunked practice of “gay conversion therapy.” Anti-gay? Check.
In a delicious bit of poetic justice, Trump’s attempt to ban Muslims only proves how comfortable his own followers would be with the kinds of radical extremists found in other societies. Hate and intolerance look awfully similar no matter where you go.
Like many of Trump’s proposals, his plan to keep America safe from immigrants wouldn’t work on almost any level. For one thing, an ideological purity test is contrary to the very foundations of American values of tolerance and multiculturalism. For another, the idea that a group of immigration investigators could sit down and actually administer the test with any semblance of reliability is laughable. Trump, of all people, should know that judging a person solely on their tweets and a few answers on a sheet doesn’t always work out so well. A few ill-advised tweets and one might, say, come across looking like a real asshole.
“@realDonaldTrump: I would like to extend my best wishes to all, even the haters and losers, on this special date, September 11th.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 12, 2013
Featured image via Justin Sullivan/Getty Images