No matter how Trump’s campaign ends up, he will have changed the conversation around American exceptionalism forever.
Heather “digby” Parton — arguably the most respected voice in the political blogosphere — has spoken regarding Trump’s most recent disturbing statement calling for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” Referring to an article she wrote for Salon, she pasted this today to her blog, Hullabaloo:
And now that these “solutions” are on the table we will never be able to go back to a time when such a thing was unthinkable. Trump’s brought these radical eliminationist ideas fully into the mainstream of American political life. Whatever else happens with this campaign that’s his legacy — and it’s already secure.
There have been an endless number of wacko politicians throughout the history of the United States. For God’s sake, just a couple of months ago a mayoral candidate in my own hometown of Toledo, OH was speaking in tongues and threatening God’s wrath upon the city if she wasn’t elected. But digby is right: What is truly terrifying about Trump is not only that he has a massive following, not only that he is running for the most powerful position in the world, not only that he is fueled by hate, and not only that he has crazy ideas, but that all of those things are true as well as the fact that he is proposing discriminatory policies the likes of which have never been entertained before in the mainstream. She says in another section:
There has not been a lot of polling on Trump’s proposal since that really is a new idea in America. We have had a lot of racist and nativist policies in our checkered history but even back in the days when there was widespread animosity toward Catholics and Jews there were no laws banning them from entry. But that’s the danger of Donald Trump: He’s changing assumptions about American values and he’s changing them very quickly.
When Trump proposed monitoring mosques, it brought back nightmares of McCarthyism. When he proposed having Muslims registered in a database, it made the country shudder with visions of Japanese internment. But now it’s gotten to the point where the only historical parallels to Trump’s supremacist interpretation of American exceptionalism are those of genocidal regimes.
Two months ago it seemed outlandish to compare Trump to Hitler. Now it’s the only thing that makes sense.