Dogwhistling Our Way to the Apocalypse
When CNN proclaims "the resistance" to be the good guys, it's a safe bet to assume there is much left unsaid. President Trump's executive order halting travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries for 90 days is anything but the blanket immigration ban or a Muslim ban critics make it out to be, but that won't stop the mainstream media and many Democratic politicians from injecting these mischaracterizations in public debate. In doing so, they are dogwhistling our way to the apocalypse, inciting political violence on a scale Americans have not seen in over a century.
Critics of the executive order from the far left have erupted in violent protest, while 16 Democrat state attorneys general have called the order "unlawful," and all have characterized it as a #muslimban. Many of these actions appear to be orchestrated and funded by none other than George Soros. Some statements by public officials even border on sedition. But what is almost totally absent is a rational discussion of the order itself.
President Trump's executive order ("Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States") does several things. First, it establishes that its purpose is based on national security grounds, citing the 9/11 and other attacks, and that it is the duty of the American government to protect its citizens. Second, it suspends issuance of visas for a period of 90 days to "Nationals of Countries of Particular Concern," which are specifically referred to in 8 U.S. Code § 1187 (a) (12) but are mentioned nowhere in President Trump's own executive order. These are Iraq, Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan, and were declared as "countries of particular concern" by President Obama's administration in 2015. The order then goes into specifics regarding updates and enhancements to security screening procedures to be implemented.
Andrew McCarthy of the National Review has a fantastic piece explaining the legality of the order here, which is well worth the read:
Section 1182(f) plainly and sweepingly authorizes the president to issue temporary bans on the entry of classes of aliens for national-security purposes. This is precisely what President Trump has done. In fact, in doing so, he expressly cites Section 1182(f), and his executive order tracks the language of the statute (finding the entry of aliens from these countries at this time “would be detrimental to the interests of the United States”).
One popular criticism not mentioned in McCarthy's piece is that the order violates the "religious test" of Article 6 of the Constitution. I have personally heard this several times, and it shows great ignorance of both the order and the Constitution, based on the claim that the order is a "Muslim ban" and that Christians are given precedence in entry under the order.
First, the order does not mention any religion by name. At all. It states that refugees will only be admitted to the United States when it is in the national interest, "including when the person is a religious minority in his country of nationality facing religious persecution." This would include a Yazidi in Iraq, a Jew in Yemen, a Druze in Libya, a Sunni in Iran, a Christian in Somalia, or a Sufi or Shia in Sudan, all of whom have faced bloody persecution. Moreover, no Muslims from countries outside the scope of the order are impacted at all. It is absolutely, unequivocally, not a Muslim ban.
Second, no reading of Article 6 of the Constitution can be correctly interpreted as anything but a ban on religious qualifications for holding elected or appointed office or public trust:
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
There is literally no clause in the Constitution or US law preventing a religious restriction limiting alien admission into the United States, objectionable as it may be to the majority of Americans. The Immigration and Naturalization Act in fact would allow for exactly such a prohibition on "class of alien" if it were shown to be detrimental to the interests of the United States. Regardless, that is not the substance of the executive order in any way.
And yet, low information critics on the left continue to falsely describe this as a Muslim ban, aided by the #fakenews media at CNN and elsewhere, and emboldened by Democrat officials. As with those pushing the ugly narrative that Trump supporters are fascists to justify violence against them, they seek to undermine the President by inciting riots and normalizing political mob violence in the hopes of fomenting a Euromaidan style revolt.
Ill conceived at best, treasonous at worst, if successful, it could inspire a backlash from a well-armed and angry faction of the political right that has yet remained on the sidelines. If it comes to that, all bets are off, but the onus is on those inciting violence today.