After the Brussels attacks, Donald Trump called for the closing of U.S. borders and the increased used of torture ("Waterboarding would be fine and if they could expand the laws, I would do a lot more than waterboarding"). Ted Cruz proposed a different variety of totalitarianism:
Just hours after attacks by Islamic State (ISIS) extremists in Brussels, Belgium, presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) seized the opportunity to call for more intense police surveillance of Muslim neighborhoods in the U.S.
... Along with stepping up security at the Mexican border and refusing refugees, “we need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized,” the senator said.
Steve Benen has a few questions about that:
... how would Cruz determine what a “Muslim neighborhood” is? How many Muslim Americans does it take, exactly? Is it every community with a mosque? Is it constitutional for public officials to dispatch law enforcement to “patrol and secure” American neighborhoods based on the religious beliefs of some of its residents?
And what would law-enforcement officials do in these areas, exactly? After a neighborhood has been “secured” to Cruz’s satisfaction, does the Republican envision a semi-permanent police presence to monitor Americans in the area based on their faith, or can the American neighborhood eventually go back to normal, everyday life without police monitoring?
According to Cruz, once the government dispatches law enforcement to “patrol and secure” neighborhoods with Muslim Americans, the plan would be to prevent radicalization. One wonders if he realizes the extent to which such a plan actually encourages the opposite.
I don't think Cruz has thought the logistics of this through. He's just pandering -- on the question of what constitutes a "Muslim neighborhood," he's expecting his intended audience to envision the alleged "no-go zones" Fox News endlessly depicts on TV, neighborhoods dominated by radicalized Muslims that even the police are afraid to enter.
I'd like to remind Senator Cruz that the recent U.S. incident that most resembles the attacks in Brussels and Paris -- the mass shooting that took place in San Bernardino in December -- was the work of terrorists who clearly didn't live in a predominantly Muslim neighborhood. You'd think right-wingers would remember this, because they spent a lot of time after the attack citing one particular local news story in which a white neighbor claimed that another neighbor believed she saw something suspicious at the home of the mother of one of the terrorists, but chose not to report her suspicions because doing so might be seen as "profiling." Notice the succession of white interviewees in the clip below:
So does Senator Cruz think the mostly non-Muslim neighborhood that was the home to Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik should be "patrolled and secured"? Or the mostly non-Muslim neighborhood where Farook's mother lived?
Or maybe Senator Cruz thinks Muslims should be rounded up and compelled to live in all-Muslim neighborhoods, to allow more effective patrolling and securing. Hmmm ... that has a historical precedent, doesn't it? Let me try to remember....
Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog