Facing a massive failure of seven years of Democratic foreign policy stewardship, the GOP candidates have instead tried to outbid each other in being tough on Syrian refugees. This descent into xenophobia was led, as usual, by Donald Trump. Amid bushels of word salad, he concurred with registering American Muslims, raised alarms about Arab American treachery (“thousands and thousands” on TV cheering the World Trade Center collapse) and promised not only to deny entry to Syrian refugees, but to send back the ones already here.
Can you see it? Packing them into his 757, the one with gold-plated seat belts, then dumping them — orphans, widows, the lot — into a war zone to await the next barrel bomb.
Other GOP candidates have issued Trumpian echoes. The Muslim registry had no takers. But some have advocated shutting out all the refugees or taking Christians only. They are chasing the polls showing strong anti-refugee sentiment.
How deeply shortsighted. It may work in the GOP primaries. But Trump-like anti-immigrant, anti-foreigner, now anti-Muslim, anti-Arab rhetoric — and don’t forget those cunning Chinese stealing our jobs and ruthless Mexicans raping our women — will not play well in a general election.