Presidential candidate Ben Carson has begun his decline in the polls after a rough couple of weeks of intense scrutiny of his biography. In the wake of recent terrorist attacks, Donald Trump has taken a solid lead once again with his anti-immigration rhetoric which has played well with Republican primary voters.
So, if you were a GOP presidential candidate desperate to keep your
book promotion tour campaign going, what would you do? Well, if you’re Ben Carson, you would compare Syrian refugees to rabid dogs.
“If there is a rabid dog running around your neighborhood, you’re probably not going to assume something good about that dog,” Carson, a front-runner in some opinion polls, said Thursday at a campaign event in Mobile, Alabama.
“By the same token, we have to have in place screening mechanisms that allow us to determine who the mad dogs are, quite frankly,” the retired neurosurgeon said, criticizing President Barack Obama’s plan to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees within a year. (Source)
So far, none of the men in the Paris terrorist attacks have been proven to be refugees, but that hasn’t stopped Republican presidential candidates from fear-mongering. Ben Carson rightly points out that there are screening processes in place to filter out would be “mad dogs,” but GOP calls for even more scrutiny of refugees are little more than political grandstanding for a base that probably can’t tell you the difference between Shiite or Sunni Muslims – let alone find Syria on a map.
According to the State Department, getting approved as a refugee and being resettled is not an easy or quick process. It can take years, and refugees from places like Syria that have a problem with terrorism are screened at an even more intense level. This process is similar to getting a top-secret security clearance that likely rivals that what it takes to become a member of the FBI, and certainly not one that potential terrorists would undergo to gain access to the United States.
As I’ve said before, this renewed anti-immigrant and anti-Islam fever is playing right into the hands of ISIS/Daesh. It’s also important to point out that whether Ben Carson intended it or not, the use of “mad dogs” in his remarks is also an affront to many Muslims who believe that a dog is an unclean animal that they should avoid contact with. It’s very likely that this comparison of refugees who may or may not be Muslims to an animal some consider impure is similar to comparing Jews to pigs, and I do believe it was no accident.
Republican candidates like Ben Carson and Donald Trump, the current two front-runners, are running out of people to insult – and it will cost them dearly in 2016. The real “rabid dogs” are the folks who love the anti-immigrant, anti-everyone-who-isn’t-a-Christian conservative rhetoric from the multitude of hucksters that remain in the GOP field.
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