Opinion: GOP rhetoric entering dangerous territory

The Republican presidential candidates in general, and Donald Trump in particular, remind me of an old adage: Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.

Often attributed to Euripides, perhaps wrongly, this is an oft-quoted insight to human behavior.  It points to increasingly belligerent and bizarre behavior as loss of control.

Irrationality and unpredictability were feared by the ancient Greeks, because they foresaw inevitable negative consequences.

Attacking people’s looks is in bad taste.  Suggesting the power to have Mexico pay for a wall on our border is just bluster.  But promising to round up and deport some 11 million undocumented men, women, and children the day after getting elected, goes way beyond political posturing.

Now the suggestion is that all American Muslims should be made to carry a special ID card indicating their religion.

Donald Trump has ceased merely being politically incorrect.  He has now entered a dark place, where irrationality and unpredictability can cause real harm.

Unfortunately, he is being followed by Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates who now suggest a religious test in order to be able to come to America.

What our founders would say can only be imagined, since they strove to separate American government from religion, given all of the religious strife in Europe, and specifically outlawed religious tests.

We can only hope that the American electorate remains sensible and rational, dismissing dark and outrageous suggestions that have no place in any civilized country, and certainly not in America.

 

Mr. Greco is a Scottsdale resident.

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