The appalling proposal that is Donald Trump's ban on Muslims from entering the United States has already drawn criticism from across the ideological spectrum. One of the fiercest opponents of the flatly racist idea is Bernie Sanders, who sent out a series of tweets slamming the casino magnate and Republican presidential frontrunner. Notably, Sanders grouped Trump together with "demagogues throughout our history," and accused him of encouraging Americans to "hate all Muslims."
Those are fighting words, and with good reason. Trump's call to hang a "No Muslims Allowed" sign on the US border is an awful idea on a number of fronts — not the least of which being that it wouldn't do much, if anything, to stop terrorism in America. But Sanders focused instead on the much more fundamental (and troubling) problem with Trump's idea: It's flagrantly anti-American and prejudiced. Trump is appealing to the absolute worst impulses in people, and he’s betraying America's long-held ideals in the process.
As many people have noted, Sanders is much more animated by issues of economic inequality than, well, anything else. But it doesn’t take a degree in history or counterterrorism to see why Trump’s proposal is abjectly terrible. Sanders, like other Democrats and Republicans, is calling this for what it is: A demagogic, disturbing appeal to bigotry.