WATCH: Trump’s ‘Extreme Vetting’ A Perfect Example Of Extreme Bigotry And McCarthyism

This week, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump pledged to wage war against the “ideology of radical Islam.” To combat this misleading threat, Trump promised to establish a policy of “extreme vetting” for visa applicants who wished to enter into the United States. In his surreal plan, Trump praised McCarthyism and the Cold War by asserting:

“Those who do not believe in our Constitution, or who support bigotry and hatred, will not be admitted for immigration into the country.”

Featured Image from YouTube Video
Image From YouTube Video

Trump went on to say he plans to temporarily suspend immigration from regions that have a history of exporting terrorism. In a sad manner of irony, Trump finished by saying:

“Only those who we expect to flourish in our country and to embrace a tolerant American society should be issued visas.”

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Trump has proposed his idea for extreme vetting. In late July, Trump went on Meet the Press to outline his immigration plan after the recent terrorist attacks in France and Germany.

Trump Tightens His Unrealistic Grip

Rather than provide a logical immigration policy, in both instances Trump demonstrated that his extreme vetting is based on the intolerance of Muslims.

Although pointing out the contradictory nature of Trump’s policies of bigotry is easy, understanding what constitutes a set standard of American values becomes a little murky. People who think like Trump believe American values are something universally tangible. They usually point to freedom, as if freedom is something you can see and touch.

Unfortunately, this limited understanding fails to realize that freedom is simultaneously vague and all-encompassing.

Would beliefs on gun regulations, or support for a comprehensive health care policy qualify as un-American in Trump’s narrow definition of American values?

For many, the separation of church and state is a founding principle of American values. Yet Trump’s policy prohibits the freedom of religion, as he has already said he supports a total ban on Muslims entering the United States.

If Trump believes Muslim are harboring anti-American sentiments, then what’s to stop him from harassing Muslims who are already American citizens?

What’s to stop him from harassing another group of people he feels don’t conform to his definition of American values?

Unfortunately, fear has a way of trickling down to embrace other members of society. As history has shown, it doesn’t take much to convince a frightened population to turn on one another.

Trump’s speech praises the paranoia of the Cold War as an era to look back upon with great fondness. Senator Joseph McCarthy and his communist witch hunts used propaganda and fear to spread mass hysteria across America.

As panic distorted American’s perceptions of one another, state legislatures and school boards established McCarthy’s policies of fear. In the process, thousands of people lost their jobs and had their reputations tarnished with McCarthy’s red brush of paranoia.

History About To Repeat Itself

Like McCarthy, Trump is using the same brush of panic to tarnish the reputation of respectable American citizens. While McCarthy used bogus evidence to persuade Americans that a red evil lurked behind a veil of a feigned innocence, Trump has the advantage of using skin colors and facial wear to determine who is un-American.

Trump’s plan of extreme vetting doesn’t make America safe. Instead, it paints Muslims with a broad brush of suspicion, and plants a seed of paranoia. As that seed evolves, people will begin to take a second look at their neighbor because he has a different skin color or different name.

Paranoia never makes people safe. Rather, it creates animosity and suspicion among neighbors.

It raises tension and elevates the possibility of an innocent man being assaulted because he comes from a certain part of the world. Sadly, fear is an easy commodity to sell to the fearful. But as the fearful gobble up the bigotry of paranoia, Donald Trump is taking away one right of a group of people that is the most important American value of them all: The pursuit of happiness.


I am a regular guy from Florida who thought he was following his French wife on a one year trip to Paris so that she could finish her Master's Degree. Seven years and a child later, I am still there. I share unique experiences and observations of being an American Dad in Paris on my blog, American Dad in Paris. You can also catch me on Facebook