Another disgusting and horrendous act of indifference and disregard for human rights and life followed Saturday night’s terror attack in London. Great Britain, one of America’s closest long-standing allies, and its citizens again suffered loss of life, safety, and security — and President Trump’s immediate thought was to leverage a foreign partner’s fear and chaos to advance his xenophobic agenda at home.
Passersby placed “999” calls for police and ambulances at just after 10:00 B.S.T. as a white van began striking pedestrians on London Bridge. A second slash-and-stab incident occurred only blocks away at Borough Market. Londoners went on high alert and Prime Minster Theresa May called for a meeting of Britain’s special security services.
Two hours after the attack, while Great Britain was still reeling to restore peace and treat her injured, Trump tweeted, “We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!” That the president’s immediate thought was not to offer condolences for the dead and wounded, but to scare Americans into supporting his isolationist agenda is the epitome of terror.
Google, “what is terrorism,” and the resulting definition is: the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.
Donald Trump thinks like a terrorist. He uses intimidation against United States citizens to accomplish his political aims. Though it may be lawful, it is still disgusting. His Saturday evening tweet, as grating and incomprehensible as it is to the left, is a strong indication of Trump’s deviousness and self-gratifying tendencies. It should not matter left or right, republican or democrat, to raise the question of why the once leader of the free world does not think first to extend a sincere and sympathetic tweet before launching on his personal crusade.
Merits of the travel ban aside, at what point will the president stop pursuing an agenda of hatred against Muslims? Will his next step be an executive order banning drivers’ licenses for Muslim-Americans? Alternatively, will it be to prohibit car dealers from selling cars to them? Will Trump propel the nation towards policed kitchenware departments and silverware purchases requiring three forms of identification and vetting, while guns are still freely available to any homegrown lone wolf?
In 1930s Germany, Hitler used fear and intimidation to drive the country into a frenzy of hatred that resulted in the unchecked murder of millions of Jews. He blamed the Jewish population for every problem that Germany faced and made the public afraid…afraid that Jews would steal their money and land, commit crimes, or dishonor the nation’s daughters. Hitler parlayed anti-Semitism into a mental, emotional, and physical tool to intimidate civilian support to pursue his political goals. What history does not always teach us is that it was all legal.
None-the-less, Hitler was a terrorist.
Donald Trump began his presidency with an instant aim to intimidate the American public into fulfilling his personal agenda. As one item, the travel ban is strikingly similar to early anti-Semitic laws in Germany that intended to isolate Jews from their fellow citizens and slowly strip them of their citizenship. If Trump gets his way, many Muslim-Americans will find themselves in similar circumstances while travelling abroad — lost in a state of statelessness — if the ban is enacted.
Trump’s continued efforts to scare Americans, combined with his demands for power — his Saturday evening tweet also demanded “the courts give us back our rights” — and disregard for the American political process, border on Hitleresque beginnings. It is not likely that Trump was thinking of a Muslim-American when he tweeted for rights restoration.
Like Hitler, Donald Trump ultimately would enjoy convincing America that all problems are attributable to one group that he can identify as the enemy. He has blamed Muslims. He has blamed the press. Fortunately, for America, he has not been able to convince the country of any of his premises yet.
America must continue standing up for what is right and not give in to Trump’s selfish terrorist methodologies and motivations. We must say loudly and in unity, “We will not be intimidated.” The instant this country falters in that resolve, is the moment America’s future becomes Germany’s past.