Last week Donald Trump sank to new lows in both presidential credibility and polling. So today he stepped up to his former enemy, the TelePrompter, to try to salvage his floundering campaign. He delivered what was pitched as a foreign policy speech that promised to enumerate the details of his plan to destroy ISIS. It didn’t.
Trump unveiled a laundry list of the same vagaries that he has been spewing on the campaign trail for months. There was not a single substantive proposal directed at defeating ISIS. However, he did repeat his racist calls to limit immigration based on religious grounds. In fact, nearly everything he suggested was related to immigration rather than confronting terrorists on the battlefield. And when he wasn’t talking about immigration he was reiterating his preoccupation with President Obama saying the words “radical Islamic terrorism.”
What stood out in Trump’s address was the ideological test he is now advocating for admission to the country. He stipulated that any aspiring immigrants must pass a test that certified their acceptance of the American values of equality. Among those are religious freedom, gender equality and gay rights.
On the surface that seems like a decent pivot for The Donald to a position of tolerance and inclusion. There’s just one problem: A fair number of his supporters, and most of the Republican Party, would fail the test. If the people attending Trump’s rallies were subjected to this criteria they might risk deportation under his rules.
The official GOP platform defines marriage as between a man and a woman. It rejects anti-discrimination laws to protect transgender individuals. Parents of LGBT children would be allowed to force their children into conversion therapy. These views are shared by Trump and a majority of the Republican Party. Consequently, party members would be excluded from entry into the U.S.
With respect to gender equality, the GOP has opposed fair pay laws for decades. They have voted down family leave proposals. Overturning Roe v Wade has been one of their highest priorities. In the meantime they have been legislating away women’s reproductive choice bit by bit in states they control. Defunding Planned Parenthood has become an obsession.
On the question of religious freedom, Trump and his party have used the issue as an excuse to discriminate against same-sex marriage. Only Christians are permitted to demand special rights to deny other Americans their constitutional liberties. And Heaven forbid if someone were to wish you a “Happy Holiday” in December. Republicans insist that Christians be allowed to practice their religious rituals in government facilities, but lobby to prevent Muslims from even opening a mosque in many communities.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
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What Trump delivered today was a speech that was stuffed with retreads from prior speeches. And when he wasn’t regurgitating himself, he was lambasting the President and Hillary Clinton, mostly for things they didn’t do, or for things Trump made up. But the lasting impression from this address is that under a Trump Administration he, his followers, and his follow Republicans would be turned away at his border wall for failing the bigotry screening he says he would impose. Come to think of it, that would actually make America great again.