by Jeffery Lord, American Spectator, 12,8,2015 - So Donald Trump saying that there should be a “total and complete
shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” makes him some sort of
crazy, dangerous guy?
If liberals — and even, astonishingly — some Republicans believe this? Wow. What in the world to then make of President Franklin D. Roosevelt? FDR, if one takes in the current wisdom, was Trump on steroids.
For those who read history, and alas, perhaps lots of people who should do not, there was FDR in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor and the entrance of the U.S. into war with Germany, Italy, and Japan doing the following things that would make Donald Trump look like a nerdy weakling.
Germany, Italy and the Japanese were the Muslims of the day in December, 1941. And FDR responded as follows, first with the Germans in presidential proclamation 2526 that was titled as being targeted to …this is a direct quote — “Aliens: Germans.” And what of those “Alien” Germans? FDR demanded that
… all natives, citizens, denizens, or subjects of the hostile nation or government, being of the age of fourteen years and upward, who shall be within the United States and not actually naturalized, shall be liable to be apprehended, restrained, secured, and removed as alien enemies. The President is authorized in any such event, by his proclamation thereof, or other public act, to direct the conduct to be observed, on the part of the United States, toward the aliens who become so liable; the manner and degree of the restraint to which they shall be subject and in what cases, and upon what security their residence shall be permitted, and to provide for the removal of those who, not being permitted to reside within the United States, refuse or neglect to depart therefrom; and to establish any other regulations which are found necessary in the premises and for the public safety. (link)My Comment:
By executive order, unchallenged by Congress, FDR ordered the internment of between 110,000 to 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry who lived on the West Coast. They were moved to camps in the interior of the country. Sixty-two percent of them were American citizens. They were not convicted of any crimes; they were relocated simply because they were Japanese. Instead of using FDR to again justify bigotry, maybe FDR's image needs to get the Nathan Bedford Forrest treatment and buildings named after him need to have their name changed, and street names need to be renamed, and the FDR statues need to topple. FDR is not an example to emulate. He is an example of the evil we should avoid.
By being forcible relocated, Japanese Americans lost their freedom and of course their jobs and then of course lost their businesses and their homes and their belongings. Thanks to the census bureau the government knew where all of these people of Japanese ancestry were. If I were a Muslim American, I would probably lie to the census bureau and claim to be a Christian when completing the census. I think it is morally OK to lie to the government.
It was not until 1980 that the government examined our World War II policy of putting Japanese-Americans in concentration camps. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the Civil Liberties Act, which apologized for the internment on behalf of the U.S. government and authorized a payment of $20,000 to each individual camp survivor. The legislation admitted that government actions were based on "race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership."
I am not for doing nothing about the threat of radical Islam. I am for temporarily restricting Syrian immigration. Those against a restriction on Syrian immigration claim that all of these Syrian refugees are well vetted but that is obviously bogus. There is no way to vet them if you can not do a background check or access records. They are checked against a list of known terrorist and interviewed. In addition to the possibility that radical Islamist are mixed in with the refugees, there is a danger that some of those who arrive to our shores will be radicalized once they are here.
I am also for closely monitoring the Muslim community and look for incidents of terrorist planning or attempts to radicalize American Muslims. I do not want the government doing illegal break-ins or wire taps, but I hope FBI agents are infiltrating mosque across America. We should level the same scrutiny toward the Muslim American community as we did the pro-Nazi American Bund and American First organizations during the World War II era, or the pro-Communist and Communist and New Left movements during the Cold War, or as we did in the effort to bring down the Ku Klux Klan during the civil rights era. I would hope we have paid informants and agents as members of every mosque congregation in America. And I hope we are reading every Facebook post and website that might possibly have connection to radical Islam. So, I am not for naively assuming that radical Islam is not a threat. I am not for doing nothing.
On the other hand however, we do not want to let bigotry and war hysteria lead us to again violate our basic values and ignore the constitution. We must resist the call to consider every person of the Muslim faith as the enemy. We must resist the call to do things like close all mosque in America. We must resist those impulses that would lead us to treat Muslim Americans the same way we did Japanese Americans in World War II.