Just days after Donald Trump entertained the possibility of making Muslims wear ID badges and building a national database of all Muslims, Ben Carson has revealed his plan — to make all foreigners register with a national database.
Next stop, the Alien and Sedition Acts of 2017.
I hope that we have a database on everybody.
The American right-wing has been so desperate for America to be hit by a terrorist attack they’re willing to launch into a feeding frenzy even if the target of the most recent attack isn’t the United States.
In the wake of the Paris attacks, the Teflon Don, running on the twin planks of “xenophobia” and “mindless jingoism,” entertained the possibility of forcing Muslims to wear ID badges and building a national database of all Muslims in the United States.
The problem with Trump’s plan is it falls flat where it counts: There’s no way to tell if someone is a Muslim or not. Kamal Salibi sounds like a Muslim name, but he was actually a Christian from Lebanon. Meanwhile, Shamil Salmanovich Basayev sounds like a stereotypical Russian name — but he wasn’t Russian, he was an Islamist from Chechnya. And that’s before we get into names like Hu Songshan, an imam from Ningxia, China.
Put simply, Trump’s plan doesn’t just run afoul reality — it hops, leaps, and pole vaults in to reality at supersonic speeds. Only the most provincial among us could think something like this would work — the sort of fool who thinks every Muslim has some variation of “Ahmed” or “Abdullah” for a name, and that everyone with a variation of those names is a Muslim.
Carson either realized this problem or is trying to out-Trump Trump, but either way, his solution of creating a database for all foreigners solves this problem — while creating a whole bunch more:
I hope that we have a database on everybody. If we don’t have a database on every foreigner who comes into this country, we’re being negligent… I want us to be able to know who they are. I want to know where they came from. I want to know where they’re going and why they’re here.
Carson also compared blocking the Syrian refugees to handling a rabid dog:
If there’s a rabid dog running around in your neighborhood, you’re probably not going to assume something good about that dog. It doesn’t mean you hate all dogs, but you’re putting your intellect into motion.
Ignoring that Carson has this exactly backwards (it’s more like treating all dogs as if they’re rabid, which is usually what someone terrified of dogs — i.e., a cynophobe — does), let’s take a closer look at this call for a database.
What do you think he wants to do with this information? Sell it to advertising companies? If you’re a foreign national here on a visa, the State Department already has a record of you, but what happens when they become permanent resident aliens or citizens? Do we continue holding their information in a database? What information do we collect on them?
It’s only a matter of time before someone calls for a renewal of the Alien and Sedition acts, and demands we use the Alien Enemies Act to confiscate the property of and deport all Muslims — because these are the next steps.
And after that, if this madness isn’t stopped?
Feature image via Flickr