ISIS Achieved One Key Goal During The GOP Debate, And The Candidates Should Have Known Better
"Radical Islamic terrorism" was the buzzword of the GOP debate Tuesday night, disturbingly making ISIS one of the clear winners of the evening. "Terrorism" is defined as "the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes" by Dictionary.com. ISIS has got violence down, be it the devastating attacks in Paris, the downing of the Russian Metrojet plane in Egypt, or putting to death the gay residents of the territory they control. They don't need to worry about intimidating America, though. The Republican candidates more than had that under control.
Before last night, ISIS' reach in the United States — despite the refugee crisis and the panicked response to the San Bernardino shooters — seemed to have its limit. But after the candidates' posturing at the debate, you'd think ISIS was the only threat that has ever and will ever face the United States. In their attempts to out-terrorize the viewers, the candidates suggested that we need to shut down the Internet, bomb children, and become Facebook friends with Big Brother.
They took up ISIS' propaganda sword and brought the battle to our TV screens in an attempt to get us afraid enough to vote for the likes of Trump, Cruz, or Carson.
America Is At War
America is at war. Our enemy is not violent extremism. It is not some unnamed malevolent force. It is radical Islamic terrorist. We have a president who is unwilling to utter its name. The men and women on this stage, every one of us, is better prepared to keep this nation safe than is Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.
We're at war with radical Islamic terrorism, is how Ted Cruz started off the night. Never mind that right-wing domestic terrorism has killed far more Americans since 9/11. Cruz, in his intro, set the stage for fear and terror to get top billing. Evidently, the war on terror isn't scary enough in 2015. The war on radical Islamic terror must have sounded scarier to Cruz's campaign advisers.
Even More Chaos In Syria
There are still people — the majority on the stage, they want to topple Assad. And then there will be chaos, and I think ISIS will then be in charge of Syria.
Rand Paul was the most level-headed on the stage, arguing that we should not give up our civil liberties, lest the terrorists win. Too bad that he used his worse case scenario to make his point about intervention in Syria.
No More Internet
Well, look, this is so easy to answer. ISIS is recruiting through the Internet. ISIS is using the Internet better than we are using the Internet, and it was our idea. What I wanted to do is I wanted to get our brilliant people from Silicon Valley and other places and figure out a way that ISIS cannot do what they're doing.
In addition to drumming up fears of ISIS cell phone covers, Donald Trump talked about shutting down parts of the Internet. However technologically impossible that may be, imagine your daily life without one of the most useful tools ever invented. Scary!
A Bigger Military — Or Else
Regarding national security, we need to restore the defense cuts of Barack Obama to rebuild our military, to destroy ISIS before it destroys us.
The second most level headed Tuesday night after Paul, Jeb Bush tried to criticize some of Trump's crazier proposals, but he threw in a deadly exaggeration too.
Encryption As The Enemy
We have to solve the encryption problem. It is not easy. A president of the United States, again, has to bring people together, have a position. We need to be able to penetrate these people when they are involved in these plots and these plans. And we have to give the local authorities the ability to penetrate to disrupt. That's what we need to do. Encryption is a major problem, and Congress has got to deal with this and so does the president to keep us safe.
You'd think your iMessages were responsible for everything if you listened to John Kasich. Be very afraid of your iPhone.
Bomb The Children
Well, interestingly enough, you should see the eyes of some of those children when I say to them we're going to have to open your head up and take out this tumor. ... You know, later on, you know, they really realize what's going on. And by the same token, you have to be able to look at the big picture and understand that it's actually merciful if you go ahead and finish the job, rather than death by 1,000 pricks.
Just to clarify, Ben Carson is saying he's okay with bombing children to defeat ISIS. Conservative radio host and moderator Hugh Hewitt even clarified, "So you are OK with the deaths of thousands of innocent children and civilians?" Carson's response: "You got it. You got it."
In expressing these views, Republicans showed that American political discourse stoops to new lows. Bombing children is OK? That's terrifying on a whole new level. With scary ideas like these coming from candidates for the country's top job, we don't need ISIS tweets or viral videos. Just tune into the debates.