Wednesday, November 16, 2016

What did Donald Trump do today?

He allowed a surrogate to claim that the internment of Japanese-Americans during the Second World War provided a legal and practical "precedent" for the registration of Muslims by the United States government.

Trump's spokesperson declined to distance itself from the comments made by Carl Higbie, a fundraiser for a Trump-allied PAC. A spokesperson for Kris Kobach, a pro-registration member of the transition team, also refused to disavow Higbie's comments.

Trump repeatedly promised during the campaign to create a database to track Muslims living in the United States.

Approximately 120,000 American citizens and legal residents of Japanese ancestry living on the west coast were forcibly detained by U.S. authorities between 1942 and 1946. In the intervening decades, the internees have received formal apologies from the government and $1.6 billion in reparations. A 1988 law signed by President Reagan acknowledged that no interned person had ever been shown to be disloyal, and called the decision to establish the interment camps the result of "race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership."

So what?

  • It is not good to base new policies on the "precedent" set by war crimes.
  • If you argue that the government must be permitted to do "horrific things" and "things [that are] not right," people will think that your administration intends to do horrific things that it knows are not right.