Hours after news broke of the terrorist bombings in Brussels, Ted Cruz called for the United States to “empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.” The Texas senator’s apparent premise is that the best way to prevent a given population from becoming radicalized is to surveil their neighborhoods and houses of worship with armed agents of the state. Others might argue that encouraging religious tolerance and a multicultural conception of American nationalism would be more effective. On Wednesday, President Obama chose door No. 2.
“One of the great strengths of the United States and part of the reason we have not seen more attacks on the United States: We have an extraordinarily successful, patriotic, integrated Muslim-American community,” Obama said, when asked about Cruz’s comments at a press conference in Buenos Aires. “They do not feel ghetto-ized. They do not feel isolated … And so any approach that would single them out or target them for discrimination is not only wrong and un-American, but it would also be counter-productive. Because it would reduce the strength, the anti-bodies that we have to resist terrorism.”
Having established the substance of his argument, the president finished with an eye toward style:
As far as the notion of having surveillance of neighborhoods where Muslims are present, I just left a country that engages in that kind of neighborhood surveillance. Which, by the way, the father of Senator Cruz escaped for America, the land of the free.
Hail to the sick-burner-in-chief.