On Monday, Donald Trump issued a statement advocating “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our representatives can figure out what’s going on.”
Only hours after calling for a "total and complete ban on Muslims entering the United States," the Republican presidential candidate forwarded the notion that America should also consider “closing the Internet up in some way,” as a means of fighting the Islamic State.
During a speech, Trump said that children in America are “watching the internet and they want to be masterminds,” and “we’re losing a lot of people because of the internet.”
Forwarding the narrative that the internet is responsible for radicalizing Muslims, a contentious point, to say the least, Trump called for closing down the internet, by oddly invoking Microsoft founder Bill Gates as a point man of sorts in his ludicrous scheme.
“We’ve got to maybe do something with the internet. We're losing a lot of people because of the internet. We have to see Bill Gates and a lot of different people that really understand what's happening,” said Trump.
“We have to talk to them about, maybe in certain areas, closing that internet up in some ways. Somebody will say, 'Oh freedom of speech, freedom of speech.' These are foolish people."
Let that sink in for a moment.
If you believe in freedom of speech you are a fool, according to Trump.
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What's interesting is that Trump's idea sounds eerily similar to the "Great Firewall of China," a censorship regime that only allows websites that are approved by the Chinese government to be available to those in mainland China.
If this is what Trump thinks "Making America Great Again" involves, perhaps we should be content to not be so great!
The business mogul then turned his ire to those currently in control of the U.S. government.
“We used to call it the quiet majority,” he said of his Republican base. “But people are fed up – they are fed up with incompetence, they are fed up with stupid leaders, they are fed up with stupid people,” said Trump
The real danger of Trump isn’t necessarily his actual policy, as he hasn't even received a single vote, but rather the incitement of bigotry and encouragement of violence, which is legitimized and encouraged on a pop culture level through Trump's rhetoric.
While many consider Trump an outsider, he has shown himself to be a skilled politician by stoking xenophobic fear and hatred in the U.S., first using Mexican immigrants and now Muslims as a lightning rod of bigotry.
Trump obviously knows his audience well and uses his position as a cultural icon and skilled entertainer to embolden his fascist demagogue status… and Americans can’t seem to get enough of it.
Jay Syrmopoulos is an investigative journalist, free thinker, researcher, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs. Jay's work has been published on Ben Swann's Truth in Media, Truth-Out, AlterNet, InfoWars, MintPress News, as well as many other sites. You can follow him on Twitter @sirmetropolis, on Facebook at Sir Metropolis and now on tsu.