Trump has emboldened terrorists and created reams of footage that terrorists will use as recruitment materials. He has emboldened international terrorists by informally declaring war against Islam. He has emboldened native born U.S. citizen terrorists with anti-immigrant rhetoric and pandering to the “alt-right” aka white supremacists. With a pervasive media presence as a spoiled, morally-corrupt, child snarling/whining “make America great, at the expense of the rest of the world” his daily verbal diarrhea is being pointed to as justification to hate America and Americans. It is also being pointed to as justification for some Americans to hate immigrants and minorities.
The reason that Trump is so helpful to terrorists is that he in fact is a terrorist. When we think of terrorists today, we largely picture a non-state actors who are powerless from a conventional military standpoint and thus resort to acts of violence to create panic and fear in the general population. The fact is that the term “terroriste” was coined in reference to state actors during the Reign of Terror (September 5, 1793 – July 28, 1794) during the French Revolution who advocated repression and violence in pursuit of the principles of democracy and equality.
If you Google “terrorist etymology” you will find “late 18th century: from French terroriste, from Latin terror. The word was originally applied to supporters of the Jacobins in the French Revolution, who advocated repression and violence in pursuit of the principles of democracy and equality.”
The leader of the Jacobian party, Robespierre, came to the conclusion that ends justify means, and that in order to defend the Revolution against those who would destroy it, the shedding of blood of “enemies of the revolution” was justified.
Halfway through the Reign of Terror, Robespierre told the National Convention,”Terror is nothing else than justice, prompt, severe, inflexible…. If the basis of popular government in peacetime is virtue, the basis of popular government during a revolution is both virtue and terror; virtue, without which terror is baneful; terror, without which virtue is powerless. Terror is nothing more than speedy, severe and inflexible justice; it is thus an emanation of virtue; it is less a principle in itself, than a consequence of the general principle of democracy, applied to the most pressing needs of the patrie.”
Although Trump is not yet calling for heads to roll (the symbol of the Reign of Terror was the guillotine) he fancies himself as the leader of a virtuous revolution where the ends justify the means. Trump recently released two executive memos on immigration promising speedy, severe and inflexible justice towards undocumented immigrants in the name of preserving our democracy. Any immigrant who has overstayed a visa or is even suspected of having committed a crime can be imprisoned and held indefinitely until they are removed from the U.S.
Trump has shifted the focus of the Obama administration from deporting aliens convicted of crimes to trying to deport all aliens that entered illegally or have overstayed their visas. Often without due process. And he is using all means available to him to have local police in every community racially profile people of foreign heritage and enforce federal immigration laws against those caught in law enforcement’s dragnet.
As an immigration attorney in Washington, DC, I am getting calls and emails daily from immigrants who are terrified that they will be apprehended by the police for no reason, detained indefinitely and returned to their countries which they fled for fear of persecution. They are afraid to take their children to school, to go to work, to drive, to go to church/mosque, even to leave their homes. I have also gotten hundreds of communications from green card holders who are terrified that they will have their green cards revoked for even minor infractions or if the have taken any federal means-tested benefits (welfare). Knowingly, purposely Trump is creating panic and terror by his broad punitive actions against millions of people.
Unless he is stopped, Trump’s reign of terror is just beginning.
Call your Representatives daily and make your voice heard in order to try to encourage them to resist Trump’s terror creating policies. Legislators can stop Trump’s terrorist policies by refusing to allocate money for building more prisons to hold immigration detainees, refusing to allocate money for more border agents, refusing to allocate money for more ICE agents, refusing to allocate money for the wall, refusing to allocate money to expand local law enforcement’s role in enforcing federal immigration laws, etc. Legislators can also stop Trump’s terrorist policies by finally getting around to comprehensive immigration reform. Please call, write or emails your Reps daily and crush Trump’s momentum.