Suppose that instead of temporarily banning Muslim immigration as Trump proposes – which offends our sense of religious tolerance – we ban violent anti-Americanism, but we do it statistically instead of individually. That way we can discriminate in the service of national self-defense and not feel so icky about it.
Allow me to explain.
Suppose we say that any group that has both voluntary membership and more than X% of members who seek to destroy the United States (according to polls) is automatically barred from entry. In this formulation it doesn’t matter if you are a Muslim or a member of CostCo. If you are a member of a group with too many haters, you’re out.
We would probably want to further categorize people by country of origin and a few other factors to really drill down to the risk level. But if CostCo members in Ireland have more than X% of members that want to bring down the United States, we ban them all, temporarily, until the situation improves. Simple as that. No religious discrimination at all. Same standard applies to CostCo members as to religions.
Obviously we still need to screen individuals too.
Regular readers know that I like to float half-baked ideas in this blog to see if you can fix them. I’m not sure this one is fixable, but let’s give it a shot.
Can we discriminate based on statistics about voluntary groups while NOT discriminating solely on religious grounds? It feels possible, albeit messy.