It would be great to hope for that kind of rational self-awareness. But it would be naïve. Emotions almost always trump reason, and there is no more powerful emotion than fear. We have done this before, and we will do it again, and again.
Ted Cruz is so thrilled that someone who wants abortion providers to be killed is supporting him that he actually sent out a press release to celebrate the endorsement. Is that what this Republican primary has come to? No one should tolerate calls to put someone to death because of his or her legal profession.
This week, as the death toll in the Paris attacks climbed to 130, the rhetoric in the U.S. turned ugly. Even though all the attackers identified so far were European nationals, American politicians were vying to see who could shut the door on Syrian refugees the hardest. On Thursday, the House voted to add more requirements to what is already an arduous process. Even worse was Jeb Bush's suggestion that perhaps refugees should have to prove that they're Christian, or Donald Trump saying we might have "no choice" but to shut down mosques. Marco Rubio went one step further, saying "it's about closing down any place" where "radicals are being inspired." Even as Americans continue to stand with Parisians, our leaders seem ready to abandon our principles. What the terrorists are attacking is openness and tolerance -- giving them exactly what they want seems like a very odd way to fight them.
When Donald Trump said he would not rule out special identification cards for Muslims, I got the chills. It took me back to when I was a child, and I learned that Jews were forced by the Nazis to wear the Star of David on their clothing.
The reactions of some American politicians imply that civilians at risk of death should be turned away from protection simply because of their nationality, ethnicity or religion. They go against international agreements - including the Geneva Convention - and engage in dangerous forms of xenophobia, racism, and prejudice that the U.S. has learned from in the past.
Trump's outrageous idea of creating a Muslim database, Carson's ridiculous comparison between Muslims and dogs, Bush's Christian litmus test for Syrian refugees, and Cruz's politicization of the issue are all empowering ISIS. The terrorist attacks in France were horrific. But Americans should not react out of fear.
Can we please--finally--have a mature conversation about Islamic extremism? Over the past week a few politicians have dared speak its name. It is no longer treated like Voldemort, but we have yet to transition to a discussion about how we undermine the ideology that motivates terrorists.
What makes the Republicans discourse' on Islam and the Muslim world dangerous is that it is disseminated through a wide and powerful network of media outlets and rightwing think tanks then consumed by a public with no direct contact or firsthand knowledge of the Muslim world.
A new poll out of New Hampshire shows front runner Donald Trump gaining momentum while Dr. Ben Carson is losing ground. And herein lies the makings of Jeb Bush's path to the Republican presidential nomination.
If you were desperate to find a safe place for yourself and your family but were also presumed guilty of terrorist intent, how would you disprove the presumption?
If our political leaders want to lead, and if they want our policies in the region to be successful and endure better than they have over the past decade, they should take a long look at how we got to where we are.
Nowhere has Washington dysfunction shown as quickly and powerfully as in the post-Paris debate about taking Syrian refugees. In a working democracy we would be able to absorb two apparently contradictory impulses, and address them both. That's not how we're behaving recently.
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Comedy captures attention. Will candidates now make the rounds of the TV entertainment shows armed with a barrage of one-liners? Comedy writers alert: This may be a lucrative work opportunity.
In 1939, some 900 Jews fled Germany aboard a cruise liner. They had hoped to reach Cuba and then travel to the United States and safety. But when they arrived at the Florida coast, they were forced to return home. In the end, 250 of those on board were ultimately killed by the Nazis.
Isis, notwithstanding President Barack Obama's singularly ill-timed claim of just a few days ago, is decidedly not contained after a year of American air strikes and stop-and-start ground action. Chaos is again in the saddle.