A poll on 760 AM talk radio, based in San Diego, asks its listeners the following:
During a time of war, should we register as many practicing Muslims as we can find in a national database?
No – it’s an invasion of privacy.
Yes - gun owners have to, why not Muslims?
The poll results currently are 75% in favor of forcing Muslims to register, 25% against. Featuring loathsome personalities such as Michael Savage, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck, 760 AM is undoubtedly a standard right-wing propaganda machine. Thus, the results of this poll are admittedly skewed, and not representative of the general American population (and who knows how many people even responded to this).
Even so, it appears there is at least a non-negligible group of Americans out there who are basically Nazis, plain and simple. I remember the days when liberal protesters compared George Bush to Hitler, or certain Republicans to Nazis, and I recall thinking at that time those tactics were a bit extreme.
Apparently I was mistaken.
Such comparisons may be misguided for some Republicans or conservatives, but it has shown to be a largely accurate portrayal of at least these conservatives who listen to 760AM radio in San Diego.
It is no longer extreme, if referring to this particular group of people. Arbitrary compulsory registration is exactly what the Nazis did to the Jewish population of Germany. The Nazis did not kill 6 million Jewish people overnight and go from being perfectly amicable one day to burning them in ovens the next. It started with small steps. They instituted certain restrictions or regulations, then it was mandatory yellow stars, then it was curfews; it was the culmination of many smaller civil liberty infringements that eventually led to mass murder in concentration camps.
There is no logical differentiation between these two situations. Any claim that Muslims are more dangerous than Jews is an entirely subjective and arbitrary distinction. Certainly, the Germans, as misinformed and inaccurate as they were, thought Jewish people were dangerous and harmful to society. Otherwise they wouldn’t have focused so much effort on completely rooting them out of society.
As such, any claim that Muslims are more dangerous, more harmful, or somehow worse than Jews in Nazi Germany, is purely subjective, and still offers no logical distinction between forcing Muslims to register during wartime versus forcing Jews to wear a yellow star. The distinction might as well be that such a measure would differ from Nazi Germany because the word “Muslim” begins with an “M” and “Jew” begins with a “J.”
The poll of course is worded in incredibly biased terms. “During a time of war” is juxtaposed with impliedly petty concerns of “privacy.” People forget that it is during times of war that civil liberties prove most important. A government that abuses civil liberties during wartime demonstrates just how tyrannical and ugly it is capable of being. Further, and more importantly, the qualification of “during a time of war” is essentially meaningless because this country is always at war.
I am 25 years old and in my lifetime, there have been 2 wars voted on by Congress, and about 12 other military actions by the United States involving bombing, killing and other things you don’t learn in school (see here). The War on Terror has been going on for over 1/3 of my lifetime. So the distinction again, is meaningless. “During a time of war” has no import; this nation is constantly at war, so the implication of this poll is that Muslims should almost always be subject to some kind of compulsory registration on a national database.
The words “as many practicing Muslims as we can find” also are incredibly disturbing, as they evoke images of stalking, wiretapping, following or even accosting American Muslims while they go about their private business, to see if and when they “practice” Islam. That so many of 760AM’s listeners think this is a great idea is deeply troubling.
The great irony of all this is that I’m willing to bet many of these conservatives are the same types that rail against Obama, his socialism, and other types of collectivist ideology. What they fail to realize is that forcing random Muslims to register on a national database is the ultimate form of collectivism.
It is centrally-controlled, centrally-planned management (be it discrimination, subjugation, robbery, deprivation or oppression) of a group of people under the claim that it is for the “good of the whole,” the safety of all and the betterment of society. The idea that because some Muslims commit violence, all Muslims should be subject to discrimination, deprivation of liberty and humiliation operates on the exact same logic underlying socialism and communism. These conservatives do not truly have any anti-collectivist or pro-freedom agenda. What they want is freedom to do the things they want, and socialism for the particular issues they deem appropriate.
This nation is already a police state. The number of bans on victimless crimes is insane. In most states in this country, a person can be arrested for doing absolutely nothing. The United States incarcerates more of its own people than any other country in the world. Why add one more offense against liberty to the list? Enough is enough.
In the words of the great Ron Burgundy, go fuck yourself, San Diego!***
***Yes I realize the irony of me blaming San Diego for the actions of a few weirdos in San Diego, especially in light of my arguments above, but I really really had to work that line in somehow.