An Amazingly Honest Discussion of Trump’s Statement on MSNBC

Donald_August_19_(cropped)Whatever else people might think about Donald Trump, he has an undeniable talent for forcing the political and media establishment to discuss issues that most would prefer to avoid.

Since his pronouncement earlier this week that we should temporarily suspend Muslim immigration to the United States, that’s all pretty much everyone has been talking about. It was once again a topic of discussion on Friday’s Morning Joe on MSNBC. What ensued was not what anyone would have expected. In fact, the discussion among hosts Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, and three regular news analysts would have been astonishing even if it had been carried out on Fox instead of MSNBC.

All five agreed that the failure of the “rigorous” screening process to detect numerous obvious red flags, both before and after San Bernardino jihadist Tafsheen Malik entered the United States, raises some very serious concerns. All five also stated their opposition to Trump’s solution. (For the record, FAIR also opposes a blanket ban on admission of people based solely on their religion.) Then Scarborough posed a simple and obvious question to his colleagues: Okay, then what would you do instead?

What ensued is exactly what is happening among people all across America who are wrestling with the same question, albeit not on national TV. For next eight minutes or so, all five engaged in a fierce battle, not with Trump, but with themselves – between their intellects and their emotions. As they hemmed and hawed their way through the discussion, all five of the participants admitted honestly that while they are uncomfortable with what Trump said, they don’t have any better ideas themselves.

“We’re going to have to do things that make us uncomfortable,” Scarborough concluded. Sadly, he is correct because the alternative is worse.

Watch the entire MSNBC discussion here.

avatar About Ira Mehlman

Ira joined FAIR in 1986 with experience as a journalist, professor of journalism, special assistant to Gov. Richard Lamm (Colorado), and press secretary of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His columns have appeared in National Review, LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and more. He is an experienced TV and radio commentator.


  1. avatar Jo says:

    When 51% of the American Muslim population thinks Sharia Law has a place in America, Islam has no place in the United States. Incompatible with the Constitution and should be banned. Wait until Muslim population increases and they begin winning seats in Congress. Will they vote for Sharia Law? You bet!

  2. avatar William says:

    These Visas that our government passes out like it is giving away candy generate income. The green card racket in Vermont is like a “Marshall Plan” for its citizens because of the jobs provided by the Green Card processing center located there. A few years back I watched Senator Leahy and Senator Franken on C-SPAN spew lies about the need to increase the issuance of green cards. I’m sure at the root of all these Visa categories are sites that process the applications and provide a “little pork” for locales in which the center is located.

    • avatar Leland says:

      The last thing we need is more workers. Many people want full time hours and can’t get them. The companies want to keep them at “part time” because they don’t have to pay benefits then. So the companies push for more green cards. It’s all the same, no matter the company. Zuckerberg and Gates are telling the lie that we need more H1B visas because there’s a “shortage” of American tech workers. But according to the Census Bureau, the majority of American STEM workers are not employed in a STEM field. They may have low unemployment rates, most college grads do, but that doesn’t mean they work in their field. Zuckerberg is the same crook who swindled his college buddies out of their share of the company.

      • avatar No Change says:

        That is to true…give examples……..all jobs if not most that require and H1B visa are full time jobs….

        • avatar Leland says:

          Yeah I know. Full time jobs that should go to American STEM workers, not foreigners.

          • Or Outsourced to Japan and Europe Automotive Industries

            For higher engineering salary rates than American engineers too. I imagine even S.Korea’s engineers make about the same as American engineers now too, based on the high MSRP unit prices there.

  3. avatar Concerned Citizen says:

    Thank you, Ira Mehlman, for the interesting link. The panel is clearly struggling in what is a difficult but healthy give and take. What a contrast between their thoughtful deliberation and the PC feeding frenzy that smears and destroys someone like Trump who presents an idea in a democracy. I’m proud to be an American when Trump can float this unorthodox idea and not get arrested for a thought crime, as they might do in the UK.

    As I mentioned here before, I also don’t favor a 100% ban on all Muslim immigration, but I also think in the context of global jihad, religion is a valid data point for a robust vetting system, among many other variables. I hope our national security experts can come up with a far more sophisticated and effective process.