The New GOP Shuffle? (or, Dancing around Trump and Islam)
So, there is this (via CNN): Donald Trump: ‘I think Islam hates us’
Donald Trump said Wednesday that he thinks “Islam hates us,” drawing little distinction between the religion and radical Islamic terrorism.
“I think Islam hates us,” Trump told CNN’s Anderson Cooper, deploring the “tremendous hatred” that he said partly defined the religion. He maintained the war was against radical Islam, but said, “it’s very hard to define. It’s very hard to separate. Because you don’t know who’s who.”
As a result, a lot of Republicans politicians are going to find themselves doing the kind of dance Governor Rick Scott did on Morning Joe (link):
Scarborough wanted to know whether Scott agreed with that sentiment. Scott dodged the question, saying that Florida is “the best melting pot in the world” but noting that he wanted to stop allowing Syrian refugees in Florida until they could get better security vetting.
Scarborough pressed him. Fine, he said, the vetting of refugees is a fair subject for debate. But what about Trump’s statement?
“I’m just asking generally, do you think that Muslims hate Americans? That Islam hates America, as Donald Trump said last night?” Scarborough asked.
Scarborough tried one more time, again, to no avail:
Scarborough: “No, no, no, I don’t want to know what’s going on in Florida. I want to know what’s going on in your head, Governor. We’re friends. I want you to answer the question. Do you think personally think that Islam is a religion that hates America?”
Scott: “So Joe, what I can tell you, in our state we have a lot of Muslims that live in our state, we have a lot of Latin Americans who live in our state, we all get along … we love people coming to our state.”
At this point, Brzezinski interrupted, and gave it her best shot:
Brzezinski: “Rick, Rick, I know you and Joe are friends and this is a little awkward. Can you answer the question or should we scoot?”
Scott: “I can tell you that I’m glad everybody is in Florida. We’re doing well here. The debate is going to be fun tonight. I hope they talk about jobs. It’s the most important issue.”
I have no idea what Scott actually thinks on this topic, but one thing is for certain: Trump’s views are unfairly over-broad and are, by definition, bigoted. Not only do such statements impugn over a billion people worldwide, but millions of Americans. However, for reasons of political expediency, Republicans who want to be able to support their party’s nominees are going to have to either blatantly endorse these views or take the coward’s way out and equivocate and refuse to answer these question (but, thus, implicitly endorsing them).