In the wake of Orlando, the topic of profiling has come up again via Donald Trump and others. Given the horrific extent of the massacre, this is highly understandable, even though profiling has always struck me as an ironic subject for an obvious reasons: everybody already profiles!
Well, maybe not everybody. Some of those we call leaders (presidents, vice presidents, secretaries of state, etc.) — perpetually cosseted by the Secret Service — have the luxury of pontificating in true morally narcissistic fashion about the supposed evils of this activity and demanding their minions follow suit. The rest of us live in the real world. We profile.
Among those who have admitted to profiling are Mr. Rainbow Coalition Jesse Jackson and Fox News’ resident liberal Juan Willams (this cost Williams dearly with NPR, speaking of moral narcissists). Are these men racists? I think not — although in Jackson’s case, he does his best to exploit racism.
Are you a racist or an Islamophobe or whatever if you feel uneasy when a Middle Eastern-looking man, carrying a backpack or perhaps an instrument case, sits down beside you on a plane? I think not again. It’s just the way things are. You have to deal with them. If you’re like me, you try to fight your apprehension, try to hold back your judgment — most of the time it’s nothing — but you stay keyed up anyway until you’re relieved to hear the guy next to you is a Portuguese violinist on his way to a recital.
Few of us like to profile, but we have been forced into it, in part by an administration so resistant to reality, so full of its own moral rectitude, it has infected — and to a great degree neutered — the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. Dead bodies in San Bernardino and Orlando have been the result. Undoubtedly, there are more to come.
So I had to agree when Donald Trump said on Face the Nation Sunday: “I hate the concept of profiling, but we have to start using common sense.”
Although this is considered by our media, even Fox News, a “controversial” statement, I don’t think it is. In actuality, an adult should be able to profile without being bigoted — meaning you can vet Muslims more thoroughly for terrorism than you would that little old lady from Pasadena at the same time you can know that not all Muslims are terrorists. That’s what adults are supposed to do — hold conflicting or complex ideas in their heads so they can make mature, unbiased decisions. I’m sure that’s what most of us do, although our government doesn’t trust us to do it.
Instead, Obama treats us like children, warning us forever about our Islamophobia that does not exist. (I assume that if I know there have been considerably more hate crimes against Jews in the U.S. recently than against Muslims, the president must know that too. He evidently doesn’t care.)
Trump thinks we can learn from Israel, which does a sophisticated form of profiling before you can get on a flight to Tel Aviv. I’ve been through it several times. They profile everybody really, even nice Jewish boys like me who supposedly love Israel. But I’m not so sure we can learn that much from them. The very sophistication involved, a highly psychological approach, necessitates an educated employee pool not available to a country the size of ours. Israeli border personnel are closer to MI6 than they are to the TSA. But Trump’s right — we have to do something.
Meanwhile, whether we profile or not, the total number of global deaths due to Islamic fundamentalism continues to grow at an extraordinary pace with no end in sight, indeed with no one even suggesting how we would end it. That religion is in the midst of a nervous breakdown in its collision with modernity that affects all of us and has already destroyed several countries, but we are supposed to ignore it because it is not politically correct to tell the truth. Groups like CAIR — actually an Islamist front — always try to change the subject to Islamophobia, when the real problem is that so few Muslims, moderate or otherwise, are willing to stand up against the fundamentalists in any effective way.
Islam — or radical Islam, if you prefer — has altered our lives beyond recognition. We have been lining up for what seems like forever for security at airports and to have our belongings checked at museums, concerts, the theater, public buildings, etc., etc. Soon enough — and quite reasonably — all night clubs will have scanners. Our shopping malls — perhaps our most vulnerable target — will have to have protection. None of this would be happening, of course, without Islam. The security is not there to deter Buddhists or Zoroastrians.
Before we have another Orlando, our politically correct/morally narcissistic leadership must be made to face this reality. Time for our government to allow rational profiling throughout our institutions and at our borders, to make life at least somewhat safer for our citizens. We should also be demanding long-run answers to the problem, some strategy. Other than Trump, our politicians have nothing to say — and he isn’t saying enough.
(Needless to say, I discount gun control, which will have as much effect on radical Islam as a pea shooter.)
Roger L. Simon is a prize-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media. His new book – I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already – is just published by Encounter Books. You can read an excerpt here. You can see a brief interview about the book with the Wall Street Journal’s Opinion Journal here. You can order the book here.