Sean Hannity is easily one of the most partisan members of the media. He’s not just an advocate for conservative ideologies, he’s essentially a cheerleader for right-wing propaganda. Even by Republican standards he’s very far-right.
Take for instance an article posted on his website that built a rather absurd defense for Trump’s “ban all Muslims” push. While I’m not shocked that Sean Hannity and/or his staff took to defending Trump, the way in which they tried to defend him was pathetic. They cited four horrific times from our nation’s history – including two that had links to Japanese internment camps – to claim that what Trump is advocating shouldn’t be all that outrageous.
The first example they used:
Alien and Sedition Acts
The Alien and Sedition Acts were signed into law by President John Adams in 1798 on the heels of the Quasi-War with France. The acts allowed the president to imprison or deport aliens considered “dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States” at any time and any male citizen of a hostile nation during times of war. The Alien and Sedition Acts would later be used to justify FDR’s actions during WWII.
Yes, their first defense of Trump was a pre-1800 act that was later one of the stepping stones used to justify our horrific treatment of Japanese Americans, which was incredibly unconstitutional and one of the darkest moments in American history.
Their second example:
Chinese Exclusion Laws
Passed into law in 1882 by President Chester A. Arthur, this law prohibited the immigration of Chinese laborers.
The Chinese Exclusion Act was a vital test for the power of the Federal Government to restrict immigration. It was upheld by the Supreme Court in the 1889 case of Chae Chan Ping v. United States. In the opinion of the court, Justice Stephen Johnson Field wrote, “The power of the government to exclude foreigners from the country whenever, in its judgment, the public interests require such exclusion, has been asserted in repeated instances, and never denied by the executive or legislative departments.”
The act was repealed by congress in 1943.
Ah, another “great” example from our history, isn’t it? Something literally called The Chinese Exclusion Act. Nothing says “American values” quite like banning workers from coming to this country to try to make better lives for themselves.
The third example they used was an act specifically targeting “undesirables” from being able to come into the country:
Immigration Act Of 1917
Also known as the Asiatic Barred Zone Act, the Immigration Act of 1917 was passed by congress, who overrode a veto by President Woodrow Wilson, in 1917. In addition to barring, “homosexuals”, “idiots”, “feeble-minded persons”, “criminals”, “epileptics”, “insane persons”, alcoholics, “professional beggars”, all persons “mentally or physically defective”, polygamists, and anarchists, this act barred immigration from Southeast Asia, India, and the Middle East.
How ridiculous do you have to be to cite this act as an “example” to defend Trump’s bigotry? When you’re using this act to defend an idea, that only cements how bad that idea really is.
But then came the last example, the legislative moves that ultimately led to Japanese internment camps:
Presidential Proclamations 2525, 2526, and 2527
These three proclamations were signed by president Franklin D. Roosevelt shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Citing the Alien and Sedition Acts as precedence, these proclamations restricted the entry and naturalization of Japanese, Germans, and Italians respectively.
While these proclamations didn’t directly create the internment camps, they paved the way for the executive order that ultimately did create those camps.
But let’s look at the fallacy in comparing these proclamations with what Trump has suggested.
First, a nationality is far different than a religion. Tracking the origin of one’s citizenship is fairly easy. Not only that, but we had specific countries who we were at war with: Germany, Italy and Japan.
What Trump is calling for is blatant discrimination. He’s targeting an entire religion. Every single Muslim on the planet based on nothing but their religious beliefs, regardless of whether or not they have any ties to terrorism at all.
Just think about it. Say you’re a Muslim who happens to live in Brazil, Japan or Australia and you want to come visit family in the United States. If Trump got his way, you wouldn’t be able to. It doesn’t matter if you have absolutely nothing to do with terrorism, or the fact that you’re not even from areas known for Islamic terrorism, you’re Muslim – and that’s all that matters to Trump.
I could write a small book about why Trump’s “plan” is a horrific idea on just about every level.
But let’s get to the real concern: What would come next?
What happens if he enacted his “temporary” plan, but there was an attack carried out by an American Muslim, is he going to start trying to force all Muslims out of the United States? Would he try to enact a law that banned mosques and Islam altogether? He’s already suggested he would be in favor of a national registry to track Muslims, so nothing seems far-fetched when it comes to Trump. If he’s crazy enough to suggest banning all Muslims from entering the United States, to what level won’t he stoop?
Would it really be shocking to see a “President Trump,” following an attack carried out by an American Muslim, to call for something similar to an internment camp for Muslims? Would it shock anyone to see him push for the deportation of anyone he deems “radical”?
I know it wouldn’t shock me, and that’s exactly where I would see all of this going under his leadership. It would be America’s first true embrace of a fascist leader.
Then again, this article posted on Sean Hannity’s website only helps the argument showcasing how vile Trump is. Because when you have to go back to four rather embarrassing moments in our nation’s history, in a very sad attempt to defend the outrageous and hateful rhetoric of your party’s leading presidential candidate, that pretty much proves how deplorable that person is.