The Many Dangers of Donald Trump’s Executive Order

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In November, 2015, the Islamic State mounted devastating attacks in Paris, gunning down more than a hundred people at a rock concert, in restaurants, and outside a soccer stadium. In response, Donald Trump, then preparing for the Iowa caucuses, fulminated about the radical measures he would impose on Muslims seeking to enter the United States, if he were elected President. Trump was hardly alone in announcing rash proposals; on the subject of counterterrorism, it was a time of competitive opportunism among Republican Presidential candidates. Yet, in his nativism and bellicosity, Trump was already separating from his opponents. He began by making a series of loose comments during television interviews, including a suggestion that he might force American Muslims to register in a database. The following month, after a mass shooting in San Bernardino, he issued a formal statement promising “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

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