Brussels Attack

John Kasich Says Targeting Muslim Communities Would Lead to More 'Polarization'

Dangerous play with identity politics.

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Gage Skidmore

As Ted Cruz is starting to sound more and more like Donald Trump—monitoring and patrolling Muslim neighborhoods is more a Trumpist idea than any kind of constitutionalist one—John Kasich, the also-ran Republican candidate for president, struck a less destructive tone in response to the terrorist attacks in Brussels.

The New York Times reports:

Kasich told reporters in Minneapolis, "We are not at war with Islam; we're at war with radical Islam."

"In our country," he said, "we don't want to create divisions where we say, 'O.K., well your religion, you're a Muslim, so therefore we're going to keep an eye on you.'" He added that "the last thing we need is more polarization."

"Frankly, for those who want to preserve Islam as a religion that is not at war with the West, we alienate them, how are we supposed to ever get the information we need?" he asked.

Kasich hit on an important point here. The jihadists emerging in Europe are largely European nationals. They are children and even grandchildren of immigrants, who grew up in neighborhoods that were isolated from broader European society, with little opportunity for assimilation and, because of Europe's massive welfare state, little incentive for assimilation.

Not so in the U.S., where for more than a hundred years waves of immigrants have settled and assimilated. Cruz's call to target Muslim communities contributes to the political forces working against what's best about America's immigration culture. And though they wouldn't admit it, purveyors of identity politics do the same, scoring cheap political points and trying to attract new voters by encouraging a kind of balkanization of the U.S.

European history, in the last decade and in the last century, offers countless lessons on what to avoid in order to have a healthy, peaceful multiethnic society. "Thought leaders" and politicians in the U.S. would be wise to heed them.

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  1. He added that “the last thing we need is more polarization.”

    Well, what will lead to less polarization, Governor? We demand absolute answers from our candidates here in America.

    1. Hopefully he was flapping his arms wildly while talking in platitudes.

  2. They are children and even grandchildren of immigrants, who grew up in neighborhoods that were isolated from broader European society, with little opportunity for assimilation and, because of Europe’s massive welfare state, little incentive for assimilation.

    Man, it’s hard to keep up. I thought that assimilation was racist?

    1. No, appropriation is racist.

        1. It’s racism all the way down.

    2. Yes, assimilation is racist. Expecting a third-generation, born in France guy named Mohamed to call himself Michel is super-racist. So is expecting them to be secular, speak local language, marry outside their race and religion, or apply only for jobs they are capable of performing (e.g. if you don’t want to touch pork, don’t work in a supermarket).
      State-paid housing, state-paid education and state-paid welfare are mere slivers of reparations due them from all the racism.

  3. It’s a good thing Obama brought us all together.

    1. Apparently your xenophobia extends to not allowing valid HTML across the border.

        1. Even if the present policies, enable more terrorism.

          What does that even mean?

          Is it implying that liberty enables terrorism?

          And how would one go about disabling terrorism?

          1. It’s an inherent aspect of the “close the borders!” crowd’s argument that liberty (freedom of movement, in this case) enables terrorism. They specifically want to curtail liberty in order to stop shitting their pants. Their entire argument actually boils down to “that much liberty is too dangerous”.

            Don’t let them try and convince you otherwise, because it’s a smokescreen. At their core, they wish to curtail people’s liberty for the illusion of safety. Because they are pants-shitting cowards. What did Ben Franklin say about people like that again?

            1. Fish and visitors stink after three days?

            2. Go back to Somalia!

            3. I believe “Those who would give up essential liberties for temporary safety deserve neither” is the quote you’re looking for.

              Whether Franklin would have considered allowing your country to be invaded by foreign hostiles an essential liberty is left as an exercise to the reader. He certainly didn’t object to giving hostile Britains the bum’s rush, as near as I can determine.

              1. And by “hostile British” you mean people born in the colonies whose sin was not to participate in the rebellion, and who happened to have some property that could be expropriated?

                One man’s traitor etc

            4. “What did Ben Franklin say about people like that again?”

              “Stupid, swarthy Germans?”

            5. Ol’ Ben didn’t factor in that there would be a whole bunch of people who have been following–and taking to heart–a dangerous cult religion since the day they were born. They read one (and only one) book, they pray five times a day and they believe in an afterlife that rewards martyrdom. Sorry, too much liberty for those people, is indeed, too dangerous for the rest of us.

              1. I’m pretty sure Franklin was conscious during the Barbary Wars.

                1. and people killing each other over religion is kinda man’s natural state, man.

  4. As Ted Cruz is starting to sound more and more like Donald Trump

    Well of course he is. Since, apparently, it works. Expect more aping of The Donald in the future from desperate candidates.

  5. Every Muslim I’ve known was “born a Muslim.” That is, like most Christians and Jews, their parents were a particular religion and brought their kids up as the same religion. Not a lot of thought went into choosing one’s religion. So I’m interested in those who have converted to Islam. What is it about Islam that you believe makes it superior to, say, Christianity? What doctrines appeal that don’t appear in Christianity? Serious questions.

    1. I converted for the hairy fat chicks, but stayed for the slowly-killed meat.

    2. She had advanced degrees in biology and computer science. She looked like a mountain meadow in bloom. She was sweet as sugar. She looked like a mountain meadow in bloom.

      There was no way we could have gotten married if I hadn’t converted.

      In the end I couldn’t do it. But I regret it all the time.

      Doing it for a woman is the best reason to do anything. Robbing a bank, getting into a fist fight, going to work at a job that you hate, converting to Islam.

      If there’s a better reason to convert, I don’t know what it is.

      People go to church for women even when they don’t really believe in Christianity, too. Salmon swim hundreds of miles upstream, up waterfalls, against the current, and they do it for women. Really, there’s no better reason to do anything smart or stupid.

      1. “Really, there’s no better reason to do anything smart or stupid.”

        From an evolutionary perspective, if what you did resulted in an opportunity to copulate, then what you did was smart.

      2. Unless you’re more into dudes.

        1. I don’t understand what motivates gay guys.

          They should have all the same rights as everyone else, but what makes them get out of bed in the morning is a mystery to me.

          I don’t understand why so many of them speak with an affected speech impediment either–not that there’s anything wrong with that.

          I assume they’re like really old men whose wives have passed away–like George Burns was! He’s in survival mode. Maybe they’re like that.

          I don’t know.

          I know the most miserable people I’ve ever met were old queens.

          1. You know that there are also women who are into dudes, right?

            1. Check out this nutcase, spouting her nutty thoughts of nuttiness.

            2. Yes, although it’s generally not necessary for women to convert to Islam for the purpose of marriage.

              The standard formulation has it that it’s unacceptable for women to refuse to copulate with their husbands, but, at the same time, Muslims are supposed to abstain during Ramadan. Therefore, Muslim wives would be in conflict. They couldn’t say no (supposedly) during Ramadan, but they’re not supposed to do it during Ramadan either.

              In practice, it’s just become taboo. If a Muslim woman marries a Christian man with her family’s consent, for some reason, she’s simply looked down on at Mosque–and that’s important.

              Speaking of women generally, they aren’t motivated by men in the same way. Women aren’t men with ovaries and breasts. They think differently. Their hormones are different. They even approach child rearing differently. The biological clock is a real thing, but the nature of the sad and lonely, single female is just different.

              When a man’s long time wife dies before him, his life expectancy drops. Some of that is due to suicide, but even apart from that, there’s a spike in the number of old men who die of heart attacks within a year of their wife dying. Such a man’s life expectancy goes back to what it was before if he gets remarried.

              Meanwhile, when a woman’s long time husband dies before her, you know what happens to her average life expectancy?

              Absolutely nothing. She misses him. She creates another support group. She goes on.

              1. I may have oversimplified things a bit on mortality and widowerhood.

                But not much:

                “Analysis of these data indicates that there are significant differences in the mortality risk for widowed men and women, and it is widowed men who have an excess risk of dying in every cohort and nearly every age. A consistent pattern of excess mortality in the comparison of married and widowed women was not observed.”

                http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11824929

                In a lot of species, once the male procreates, he dies. I mentioned Salmon earlier.

                In black widows, the female lays her eggs on the males paralyzed body, so that when the eggs hatch, the baby spiders can use their father as food. You’d think that would be maladaptive, that the males would learn to avoid copulation if it meant death. But no.

                We’re lucky we’re a species where females still find males useful after mating. . . . except for some of the females over at Jezebel anyway. Some of them don’t have any other use for men at all.

    3. My grandfather was a minister, and he wanted me to be a minister, too. By the time I was 14, I’d gone with him to talk to dozens of dying people. When you’re laying on your death bed, staring the ceiling, thinking about your life, you’ll think about a number of things. But none of the things you think will be, “I am so glad I never made any stupid decisions just so I could be with a woman”. It’s something you never really regret.

      That’s one of the reasons it’s so hard to stay with a woman after she finds out you cheated on her. They want to look into your eyes and hear you say–not that you’re sorry for the pain you’ve caused. They want to hear you say you regret being with another woman. And no red-blooded man can really say that and mean it. You can regret the pain you’ve caused. You can be sorry for the problems that came afterwards. You can be sorry you betrayed her trust.

      You can’t be sorry you got some strange any more than a dog can be sorry he ate an entire pot roast.

    4. “What is it about Islam that you believe makes it superior to, say, Christianity?”

      “What doctrines appeal that don’t appear in Christianity?”

      I don’t view it as superior, I view it as part of the whole story. In Christianity I see the fulfillment of Judaism (and Zoroastrianism) and its prophecies. In Islam, the fulfillment of Christianity and its prophecies. In Baha’i I see the fulfillment of Islam and its prophecies.

      But, eh, as a Baha’i my reasons may not be the same as a Muslim’s.

    5. What is it about Islam that you believe makes it superior to, say, Christianity? What doctrines appeal that don’t appear in Christianity? Serious questions.

      Unless people are converting to get married or something, things like this are normally precipitated by a religious experience, which makes questions like these moot.

    6. creech – From what I have read, reason Islam attract converts in Europe include:

      1. Some people really want a religion and nobody else is out there preaching to young people in Europe. Christianity is pretty much gone in Western Europe.

      2. Islam is very structured and disciplined, like being in the army. Some young people – particularly who were raised with little structure in non-traditional homes – really seek that structure.

      3. Some young men are the violent nasty sort who love the idea of being the good guys while indulging in criminal behavior.

      The first 2 types usually go the Cat Stevens route. The third end up waving knives and severed heads in ISIS videos.

      1. Drake nails it. I would just add that Islam is pretty much the modern opposite of libertarianism. Many people are afraid of liberty, and want the security of having every aspect of their lives guided by an ancient book.

        Contra Epi, though, being afraid of Muslim immigration is not “being afraid of liberty”: it’s being afraid of people who believe in a religion that’s diametrically opposed to liberty. For all the pants-shitting that goes on around here every time some violent dimwit manages to get himself killed by the cops, it’s bizarre to me that importing thousands of followers of a theocratic totalitarianism is somehow considered an issue of no importance.

        As for our “assimilated” Muslims:

        Pew Research (2011): 8% of Muslims in America believe suicide bombings are often or sometimes justified (81% never).
        Pew Research (2007): Muslim-Americans who identify more strongly with their religion are three times more likely to feel that suicide bombings are justified
        The Polling Company CSP Poll (2015): 19% of Muslim-Americans say that violence is justified in order to make Sharia the law in the United States (66% disagree).
        The Polling Company CSP Poll (2015): 25% of Muslim-Americans say that violence against Americans in the United States is justified as part of the “global Jihad (64% disagree).

        1. Pew Research (2007): 5% of American Muslims have a favorable view of al-Qaeda (27% can’t make up their minds). Only 58% reject al-Qaeda outright.
          Pew Research (2011): 5% of American Muslims have a favorable view of al-Qaeda (14% can’t make up their minds).
          Pew Research (2011): 1 in 10 native-born Muslim-Americans have a favorable view of al-Qaeda.
          The Polling Company CSP Poll (2015): 33% of Muslim-Americans say al-Qaeda beliefs are Islamic or correct. (49% disagree),
          The Polling Company CSP Poll (2015): 38% of Muslim-Americans say Islamic State (ISIS) beliefs are Islamic or correct. (43% disagree)

          Etc.

  6. My advice is to find companies that make metal detectors, surveillance cameras and those airport porno scanners and buy their stock.

  7. “There’s a time to think, and a time to act. And this, gentlemen, is no time to think.”

  8. I was just perusing Cato and came across this gem, courtesy of Daniel J. Ikenson:

    “Correcting the record after a Donald Trump policy diatribe is a bit like cleaning up after a St. Bernard in intestinal distress.”

    Article here.

  9. Why is anything John Kasich has to say relevant to anything (outside Ohio)?

    He’s not going to “win” anything and if he should somehow get selected at the convention he’s the worst of the GOP 3 by every measure.

    1. He’s just trying to get a brokered convention so that the establishment can kick the two non-establishment candidates to the curb and endorse him.

  10. They are children and even grandchildren of immigrants, who grew up in neighborhoods that were isolated from broader European society, with little opportunity for assimilation and, because of Europe’s massive welfare state, little incentive for assimilation.

    Whatever your opinion of the larger issue, that is just not true. Does Europe have a problem with unassimilated Muslims? Sure. But there is little evidence that being assimilated makes a Muslim less likely to be a terrorist. Here is an interesting proflle of the guys who did the Paris attack

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new…..pects.html

    They all had jobs and seemed to do okay in life. Whatever drove them to become radicals was clearly not because he was some lazy bum on welfare. The couple in California were assimilated. The Fort Hood shooter was a Major in the Army and a Psychologist for God’s sake.

    Kaisich is an ignorant ass clown repeating stupid talking points.

    1. Sorry that is Ed that said that. Ed, you are full of shit here.

      1. On topic, thank you for spurring me to read Black Lamb, Grey Falcon with the quotes from it, John. Specifically the “only one half of each of us is sane…” one. I grew up in Yugoslavia 50 years after Lamb visited it, and fuck if she didn’t describe all good and bad points of the country bang-on. Better, I think, than even Andric did.

        1. It is one of my favorite books of all time. She has her biases but her writing is so fantastic. It is the travel book I will always want to write but likely never will. Glad you liked it.

          1. I loved the book throughout and lost my shit when she got to Podgorica, and described a guy with special coat whose pockets were full of cigarettes that never saw custom’s office nor a taxman. Because that guy’s great-grandson is still in Podgorica, doing the same thing.

            1. I loved the part about the Mongol hoard being poised to destroy Split only to leave at the last minute because of word Kubli Khan had died. So many great parts of that book.

  11. Why is anybody taking what Cruz said seriously?

    He’s just trying to one-up Trump ahead of the next vote.

    Can we please not act like the MSM?

  12. Not so in the U.S., where for more than a hundred years waves of immigrants have settled and assimilated.
    Of course Reason doesn’t mention that the U.S. was mostly taking immigrants of European descent and the welfare state was relatively small compared to today. All that changed in the 1960s, so as the welfare state expands and the U.S. allows more third world and muslim immigrants then problems will grow here.

    1. “All that changed in the 1960s, so as the welfare state expands and the U.S. allows more third world and muslim immigrants then problems will grow here.

      I would say it the other way around.

      Because of the welfare state, people care more about restricting immigration than they did before. Forcing people to pay for each other is conducive to the opposite of a tolerant society.

      Before the welfare state, nobody cared how many Mexicans were coming across our borders. If I’m not paying for it, what do I care?

      1. The US radically restricted immigration in the 1920s, long before the welfare state.

        1. They weren’t targeting Mexicans–at all.

          “The Act set no limits on immigration from Latin American countries.[18]”

          http://tinyurl.com/pbpsuwq

          They were especially targeting Eastern Europeans becasue they were apparently afraid of anarchists and communists.

          1. Absolutely. My grandfather and great uncle Americanized my last name before enlisting in the military in the 1920s.

      2. “Before the welfare state, nobody cared how many Mexicans were coming across our borders. If I’m not paying for it, what do I care?”

        Somebody definitely cared prior or there wouldn’t have been the Bracero Program and Operation Wetback.

        1. I’m not saying absolutely no one cared, but it wasn’t as big of a deal to average people. Not like it’s been since the Great Society. Certainly the more people are forced to pay for each other, the more they care. Bring in the income tax, and the New Deal, and, yeah, people are more concerned about immigration than they used to be.

          Add the Great Society, and now people are even more concerned. The last round of anti-immigration laws in places like Arizona (and I believe Alabama) came on the back of ObamaCare.

          Meanwhile, I’m trying to rationalize the opposite claim to see how reasonable it is. What if making people pay more for each other through the welfare state didn’t cause any resentment in average people? What if people being forced to pay for welfare programs didn’t have any impact on how tolerant people were of poor immigrants?

          Does that seem like a more reasonable claim to you?

          1. “I’m not saying absolutely no one cared, but it wasn’t as big of a deal to average people. Not like it’s been since the Great Society. Certainly the more people are forced to pay for each other, the more they care. Bring in the income tax, and the New Deal, and, yeah, people are more concerned about immigration than they used to be.”

            I think there’s a “column A, column B” thing going on here. The welfare state has only made matters worse but the average person probably didn’t care about Mexican immigration prior to the 60’s because the average person didn’t notice it. Their numbers were lower and they didn’t live in as much of the country (or stay all year).

    2. The Immigration Act of 1924 specifically banned immigration of Arabs and Asians. Probably covered most Muslims.

  13. Can Kasich delineate a clear difference between radical Islam and the other sorts, at the global level?

    Which side of the line does theocracy fall on? Executions for witchcraft? Poll taxes for minorities? Throwing acid in women’s faces? Banning them from driving? Tolerance of rape? Slavery? Genocide of religious minorities? Are state executions for blasphemy in the Middle East as “radical” as terrorist attacks against cartoonists in the West? If not, why?

    1. If we are at war with “Radical Islam”, then why are we not at war with Saudi Arabia? And if Saudi Arabia is not radical, who is?

      1. Saudi Arabia is “our friend and ally in the region”. Just ask John Kasich.

      2. If it isn’t the tagline to a Disney movie, it’s too morally complex for Kasich.

      3. Like most of the ruling elites, if he can see the problem at all, he can only see it through the lens of power. While us little people might not see much moral difference between a Bull Connor and a church bomber (and might properly feel the former is more dangerous for any number of reasons), people at the top and their courtiers think that Legitimate Authority sanctifies any sin.

    2. No US politician can. The lack of clear definition is extremely important. If you don’t define it, you can condemn not-very-radical-sounding people like Assad at the same time you endorse very-radical-murderous Saudi Arabia. Defining a clear line would only lead to people realizing that some of our “enemies” are not “radical” and a lot of our “allies” are.

  14. “We are not at war with Islam; we’re at war with radical Islam.”

    So…would you way that we’re at war with radical Islamic terrorism, as Cruz says?

  15. The jihadists emerging in Europe are largely European nationals. They are children and even grandchildren of immigrants, who grew up in neighborhoods that were isolated from broader European society, with little opportunity for assimilation and, because of Europe’s massive welfare state, little incentive for assimilation.

    Not to beat horses that are dead, but it’s interesting how a case against welfare is being made here– to combat internal radicalization and terror in immigrant communities.

    The problem we have to confront, though, is that many countries and cities in the west have “immigrant communities” that have existed within and right along with those same welfare states. What makes the Islamic communities special?

    1. Also, I’m not convinced that Europe’s massive welfare state is all that more massive than America’s massive welfare state.

      1. I think that the European welfare state is less byzantine. Ie, it’s easier to get into it. Here there are many layers and different agencies producing “welfare” each one having specific qualifications to be eligible. Social security has become the pan-American welfare system in recent years.

  16. Kasich is right, after all, Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese and many, many other nationalities have been recently conducting terrorists bombing campaigns slaughtering just as many innocent civilians as the Muslims. It would be foolish not to include all the various international terrorist organizations currently slaughtering innocent Westerners.

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