Donald Trump has finally crossed the line with his call to halt Muslim immigration. That’s not who the GOP is as a party, and that’s not Conservatism.
If you want to know what’s truly Conservative, all you need to do ask people like Jeb Bush, Bill Kristol, Paul Ryan, and Lindsey Graham. They’ve Conservatively denounced The Donald as an “unhinged” “racist” “bigot” who is “soiling the robe of conservatism” and should “go to hell.”
Of course, it was Conservatives like Bush, Kristol, Ryan, and Graham who drove the country into the most expensive and longest wars in the nation’s history in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was demagogues like Trump who opposed our massive sacrifice of treasure and blood in the Conservative Iraq war. Trump warned that toppling Saddam Hussein and other secular leaders in the Middle East would destabilize the region and create power vacuums for radical Islamists to fill. What a reckless lack of judgment on Trump’s part.
Trump has also failed to embrace the Conservative policy of arming Islamic rebels in Syria in the hope of overthrowing the secular Assad government. What could possibly go wrong? I mean, the hundreds of thousands of displaced Syrian refugees, and the millions of people posing as them, are natural Conservatives. Just invite them in all in. Invade the Muslim world and invite the Muslim world. That’s the Conservative thing to do. Invade and invite.
Don’t forget to also stir up hostilities with the one country that has enough nuclear weapons to wipe our largest cities off the map. If Trump were a Conservative, then he would be calling for punitive new economic sanctions on Russia. He would be demonizing Vladimir Putin incessantly, never forgetting to compare him to Hitler. Anything that provokes an escalation of tensions with Russia is obviously Conservative. But Trump has said he wants to get along with Putin. If that doesn’t demonstrate just how dangerous a Trump presidency would be, I don’t know what will.
Trump can’t be trusted. He exaggerates. A true Conservative like Dick Cheney doesn’t exaggerate. He flat out lies when it’s necessary to get us into a war against a country that never attacked us. Dick Cheney spearheaded a war in Iraq that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Muslims and the persecution and forced displacement of virtually all Iraqi Christians.
So Dick Cheney is the ideal person to be lecturing Donald Trump about religious freedom. After Trump proposed a moratorium on Islamic immigration, Cheney chimed in and said, no, that “goes against everything we stand for,” especially “religious freedom.”
Because, of course, when the Founding Fathers wrote religious freedom into the Bill of Rights, they wanted Muslims born in Syria, Pakistan, and Somalia to be able to use their religion as an excuse to sidestep any scrutiny over the heightened real-world risk their demographic represents to our freedoms. Religious freedom means Muslims born abroad have the right to come here to try to establish Sharia zones in our cities or Sharia law through the voting booth in areas where immigration has given them demographic strength. As far as James Madison and Thomas Jefferson were concerned, the Koran was just as good a basis for a government of a free society as the Magna Carta.
That’s what a Conservative believes. The great Compassionate Conservative George W. Bush told us that Islam is a “religion of peace” and that what Muslims really want is to have democratic pluralistic societies just like ours.
Conservatives can disregard centuries of divergent history, can disregard cultural incompatibilities, can disregard genetic incompatibilities, and can disregard statistical probabilities. In any conflict between reality and Conservative principles, the Conservative puts his full faith in his principles. If they happen to reinforce the policy prescriptions of the left, so be it. A Conservative would rather support government programs to resettle welfare-dependent Muslims from war-torn hell holes into our cities than have his principles called into question by someone on the left. You’ll know a Conservative who stands on principle by the fact that he carefully avoids taking any position that could be construed by the New York Times editorial page as Racist, Xenophobic, or Islamophobic.
When a Conservative advocates spending a trillion dollars on a foreign war that wreaks havoc, he might be called misguided. But he’s misguided in the name of global egalitarian ideals. He’s operating within the window of allowable opinion. On the other hand, to suggest that immigration policy not be concerned at all with serving the world, to demand that it serve national self-interests, to propose that it discriminate – discriminate! – on the basis of cultural compatibility and population risk characteristics is to commit an intolerable ideological transgression.
That’s why the entire GOP establishment is lining up to denounce Trump. He crossed a line. And in doing so he could move the window of political viability so far from the Conservatism of Jeb, Dick, and Lindsey as to render their wing of the Republican party electorally impotent.