Trump is everything I feared

Fear, anger over potential 'Muslim registry'
Fear, anger over potential 'Muslim registry'

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Fear, anger over potential 'Muslim registry' 03:04

Story highlights

  • Haroon Moghul: Whomever Trump tries to move against first, we must be ready, as a society, to defend
  • No less than the future of your country, and your planet, is at stake, writes Moghul

Haroon Moghul is a senior fellow at the Center for Global Policy. His next book, "How to be a Muslim," will be out in 2017. The views expressed are his own.

(CNN)I'd long suspected Donald Trump had a great chance at winning, but that still didn't prepare me for seeing him sitting in the White House, as our next president. Not only is Trump very much what I feared him to be, but the people he's surrounding himself with are like a rogue's gallery of Bond villains.

And the news keeps getting worse.
    On Wednesday, a prominent Trump supporter, Carl Higbie, suggested to Fox News' Megyn Kelly that Japanese internment camps were a good, and constitutional, precedent, for a Muslim immigrant registry.
    Haroon Moghul
    "Look, the president needs to protect America first, and if that means having people that are not protected under our Constitution have some sort of registry so we can understand -- until we can identify the true threat and where it's coming from, I support it," he said.
    That's where we are right now. That's how extremism functions. You float an idea, let it enter public consciousness, wait until it doesn't seem so bad, and then go ahead and make it happen.
    Almost half of eligible Americans didn't bother to vote -- a right people have fought and died for. About half of those who voted decided threats to their fellow humans just weren't compelling enough to outweigh their own cultural anxiety. Some Muslims didn't vote because, they claimed, Trump and Hillary Clinton are basically the same. Meanwhile, whole countries might disappear from climate change, but there were still those emails.
    All that makes me want to headdesk.
    But what angers me the most might be the people who still tell me I'm being melodramatic, that I should not be full-on freaking out, that Trump must be given a chance, because maybe he didn't mean what he says, or maybe he won't be that bad after all.
    Of course, if Trump was just lying all this time, then even setting aside the fact that we just elected a total fraud, what does it say about the country that insulting people is a legitimate path to power?
    Hardly reassuring.
    But I'm anyway in the camp of those who think Trump knows exactly what he's saying, and what it'll lead to. From defeating Nazis to embracing them, all in one American century, the specter of a registry of immigrants from Muslim majority countries has again been raised.
    Team Trump has also previously proposed waterboarding, plus other, more severe methods of torture (only for Muslim terrorists, presumably, not the #MAGA kind), the murder of the families of terrorists (we might assume the family of alleged Charleston shooter Dylann Roof is exempt), and you can bet he'll cast the net in the widest, most general and discriminatory possible.
    At what point is it not excessive to have a panic attack, but actually unreasonable -- and even stupid -- not to? Trump didn't even believe the current President, Barack Obama, was an American. If he can cast doubt on the President's citizenship, then it's hard not to be alarmed by the possibility of his policies coming together.
    Trump has talked repeatedly about banning Muslims from entering the country, and simultaneously telegraphs his intent to deport millions of insufficiently American Americans. At some point, he'll have a pretext -- and you can bet groups like ISIS would absolutely love to bait him into a broad overreaction -- to fuse these thoughts together.
    Not just too dangerous to let Muslims in, but too dangerous to allow them to stay! "At least until we know what's going on."
    Some people think I'm crazy for thinking this. I think they're crazy for not connecting the dots. That's why Wednesday's exchange so troubled me. Japanese internment camps? This is where their minds go in moments of calm, and they're facing nothing on the order of World War II. Imagine what they'll be like under duress, or enraged.
    Which is why we must take our response to this moment so very seriously.
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    Maybe it's because Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, or because so many of Trump's policies target so many, or because we've come too far to be whitelashed back, but right now most people I talk to are unbowed. Thank God. A righteous indignation, in opposition to the progressive demolition not just of our political process, but of the social trust and moral decency without which no mature democracy is possible. Let's use that.
    Whomever Trump tries to move against first -- against gay rights, against reproductive rights, against immigrants and the undocumented, against Muslims or Mexicans -- we must be ready, as a society, to defend. If he is not broken early, and clearly, and decisively, we may well never recover. And don't waste my time telling me it'll never come to that. It was never supposed to come to him being in the White House in the first place, and yet here we are.
    No less than the future of your country, and your planet, is at stake.