It's become perfectly clear that GOP frontrunner Donald Trump has decided that the best way to overcome terrorism is by being more of a terrorist than the terrorists themselves. What separates Trump's use of fear as a campaign tactic from every other candidate doing so is that, for Trump, it's an unabashed attempt to demonize, isolate, and punish people for their identities. Others may do two of those three things, like Ted Cruz or Jeb Bush, but only Trump pushes his rhetoric to the point where he's obviously talking about violence against innocent people abroad, as in "bomb the shit out of them," and, more importantly, here in the United States.
This is what Trump told Yahoo News, in an interview published today, about what he'd do as president about Syrian refugees who are let into the United States during the Obama administration: "They’re going to be gone. They will go back...I’ve said it before, in fact, and everyone hears what I say, including them (the refugees), believe it or not. But if they’re here, they have to go back, because we cannot take a chance. You look at the migration, it’s young, strong men. We cannot take a chance that the people coming over here are going to be ISIS-affiliated." Trump said he would be willing to look into issuing Muslims special identification, which would have to be something akin to "show me your papers" or a cloth crescent and star, perhaps, worn on one's garments. And he has said that mosques need to come under scrutiny or perhaps be closed. This is not to mention that he wants to start up warrantless surveillance of Muslim communities.
On undocumented immigrants from Mexico and Latin America, in addition to his wall, Trump has said that he will deport all 11 million people currently in the United States illegally. He'd end birthright citizenship, and he'd stop issuing green cards for a period of time. And if you think he's moderated his tone since June, when he called Mexican immigrants "rapists" and criminals, just last month, Trump offered a take on Mexicans that was straight out of the Archie Bunker book of insults: "I mean, the way our country is run, if it doesn't happen to be me that wins, you know what's going to happen? They're going to build a plant and illegals are going drive those cars right over the border. And they'll probably end up stealing the cars." Of course, the crowd cheered madly.
Ultimately, Donald Trump is promising to tear apart the families of millions of people and send thousands back to be killed or abused in Syria. This is not to mention the paranoia, no, the terror that Trump wants to instill in the legal immigrants who are here or the American Muslims who have lived in this country for several generations. And what if someone resists carrying an i.d. card, like an American citizen? Will they be arrested? Beaten? Shot by cops? Trump has no compunction about widespread punishment or about rallying the nationalist idiots for some kind of restoration of an older America, a goal that is not that different from those who want a caliphate. And this doesn't even get into his China-phobia.
Yeah, many others have said the obvious, that Trump is now essentially a fascist without the coherent ranting of a Hitler or Mussolini. He's delineated people into superior and inferior populations, and he's calling for the repression of those he deems inferior.
But we can also call Trump a "terrorist" for the way he wields fear as a cudgel, forcing everyone to respond and freak-out and change how they live and what they think of the world around them. Frankly, we should be more frightened of Donald Trump than any ISIS fighter creeping into the nation. Trump is here. And, as he'll tell you, he's armed and dangerous.
Update: Last night, Trump said he would "absolutely implement" a database registry for Muslims living in the United States. Asked if people would be "forced to register," he said, "They have to be." He is a clear and present danger.