From my latest for the Globe and Mail:
He had no intention of making an actual foreign policy speech. Instead, he made a domestic policy speech aimed at recasting innocent U.S. citizens as dangerous foreign infiltrators. There is no true foreign policy in his universe – only the singular threat of radical Islam, a concept without a country, easy to manipulate in order to smear perceived adversaries.
According to Mr. Trump’s speech, the great enemy of the U.S. is “immigrants or the children of immigrants,” whom he claims are “the common thread linking the major Islamic terrorist attacks that have recently occurred on our soil.”
This is a remarkable claim for a candidate who is both the son, husband and ex-husband of immigrants. It is an inflammatory claim in a country in which 13.3 per cent of citizens are immigrants, and which has long prided itself on a being refuge for foreigners. It is an irresponsible claim in a country where the majority of mass murders are carried out not by Muslims, but by white nationalists or random angry men – two key components of the Trump constituency. And it is a suspicious claim to make as he and his backers fall under scrutiny for their connection to an authoritarian government, Russia, which shares the xenophobic, anti-Muslim outlook.
In the U.S., one is far more likely to be killed in a shooting by a lone white male than in a terrorist attack by an organized Muslim group. Even recent attacks by Muslim Americans – the Orlando shooter or the Boston marathon bombers, for example – were very loosely connected, if at all, to terrorist cells. Between September 11, 2001 and 2013, 33 Americans were killed in terror attacks by Muslims, while 180,000 Americans were murdered during that same period. In 2012, 66 were killed in mass shootings alone: twice the number killed by Muslim terrorists since 9/11.
You can read the whole thing here. I also recommend giving a reread to some of my recent articles in the Globe and Mail, Foreign Policy, and Quartz. Weeks ago I predicted a number of developments in the Trump campaign to which the rest of the world seems to be just catching on. These predictions have implications far beyond November, and concern public safety. I’ve been right on most every Trump development since January, so please take heed.