How tone-deaf is the American political establishment?
If his candidacy does nothing else, it will vividly illustrate for the public just how cowed by establishment opinion the Republican Party has become. It seems that Mr. Trump has once again, albeit clumsily, said what was on everyone's mind but nobody dared say.
Rasmussen released a poll today of 1,000 likely voters. The poll was conducted on Tuesday evening and through Wednesday of this week (December 8-9, 2015). It asked this question: "Do you favor or oppose a temporary ban on all Muslims entering the United States until the federal government improves its ability to screen out potential terrorists from coming here?"
Rasmussen's polling memo states: "Despite an international uproar and condemnation by President Obama and nearly all of those running for the presidency, Donald Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims coming to the United States has the support of a sizable majority of Republicans – and a plurality of all voters.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 66% of Likely Republican Voters favor a temporary ban on all Muslims entering the United States until the federal government improves its ability to screen out potential terrorists from coming here. Just 24% oppose the plan, with 10% undecided.
Among all voters, 46% favor a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States, while 40% are opposed. Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided."
The poll also found that "Fifty-nine percent (59%) of voters believe it is too easy for foreigners to legally enter the United States. Only 10% believe it is too hard, while 23% say the level of difficulty is about right."
And get this...
Back in April 1980, then President Jimmy Carter issued a blanket ban on visas from Iran, in an effort to secure America's borders from Islamic terrorists. The Washington Post reported (April 9, 1980):
Iranians holding visas to enter the United States were turned away from planes at London airports yesterday, following President Carter's latest crackdown in response to the hostage crisis...
Carter announced Monday he was canceling all visas issued to Iranians for entry into the United States and warned that they would be revalidated only for "compelling and proven humanitarian reasons or where the national interest requires."
...Since the 50 American hostages were seized Nov. 4, more than 14,000 Iranians have been admitted to the United States -- about half of them religious minorities who fear persecution under the regime of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, officials have said. About 14,700 Iranians have left the United States in the same period, according to figures from the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
More than 200 students have left the country since their visas were found invalid last fall.
Some 2,500 more have been ordered out and 7,700 face deportation hearings, an INS spokesman said.
State Department spokesman Hodding Carter said in a separate briefing that the administration would take a close look at Iranian students trying to renew visas, with the view that "we're not interested in prolonging essentially frivolous stays in the United States."
While the administration's public posture has been a hard line against Iranian visa holders, its unstated policy has aimed at trying to help the religious minorities who have fled Iran, several officials said.
So shouldn't former President Carter have some sympathy with Trump's position?