As a smart guy political genius who has seen EVERY episode of The West Wing (except season 3, my ex-wife borrowed my DVDs of that season and CONVENIENTLY "lost" them), I know a thing or two about politics - and as such, I was pretty blown away by the so-called "Muslim ban" enacted by President Trump via executive order. The EO effectively banned refugees, green card holders, and other non-permanent US citizens originating from 7 Middle Eastern countries from traveling to the United States, and has caused a good deal of outrage.
The sad thing is - there ARE ways Trump could have done what he set out to do, but in a much smarter way. Here are 5 wayyyy easier and better and politically-savvier ways he could have pulled it off:
1. Ban JUST the terrorists
Here's the problem with Trump's broad ban on Middle Eastern travelers from the specific countries affected by the ban: a lot of NON-terrorists would be banned from entering the United States - people who are legal residents here, or simply refugees desperately trying to flee a horrific situation and keep themselves and their loved ones safe and alive.
So - why not ban JUST the terrorists?
If you ban ONLY the terrorists, then all of the innocent, normal people can still get into the country and there would be no reason for protests. If you're a terrorists, you're not allowed in - seems pretty simple, honestly.
2. Ban everyone EXCEPT the terrorists....then fly every plane straight to jail!
Alternatively, you could do the opposite - ban everyone who ISN'T a terrorist from traveling to the United States....but then redirect all of the planes to land IN JAIL! Boom! Then all the terrorists in the world would be stuck in jail, and the world would have NO MORE TERRORISM. Wow, this is actually an even better option!
Oh, and uh, all of the non-terrorists who were banned would be unbanned after a week or something when we were sure we had every terrorist in jail, so nothing to worry about there.
3. Invite all the terrorists to a big birthday party...that's actually a trap!
The only problem with that last plan is that maybe not every terrorist would want to take a plane ride during the time period of the ban - but what if we were more proactive in luring the terrorists in by inviting every terrorist to a big fun birthday party, but then we spring a trap on them and capture them all in a big net?
That way, we don't have to ban anyone AND we're more likely to get all the terrorists a lot faster. And then we can take the big net with all of the terrorists in it and put it in one big jail cell.
4. Ask people to sign a pledge that says "I promise I will not do terrorism stuff and to be extremely polite and nice" before they enter the US - if they refuse to sign the Nice Person Pledge (as it will be known), they get banned.
Listen - the problem with terrorism is that it's an idea - new terrorists can spring up every day! We would need to have DAILY fake trap terrorist birthday parties to stay safe. So maybe the best move would be to make people sign Nice Person contracts before boarding airplanes - saying that they promise not to do any terrorism or crime and to be a nice good person who is very polite and never rude. That way, if they DO end up becoming a terrorist, they'll get SUED. Boom! No more terrorists (because the terrorists would refuse to sign the contracts, probably).
5. Just ban ALL US citizens instead!
The vast majority of terrorist attacks on American soil are perpetrated by US citizens or permanent legal residents, not refugees or green card holders, and largely all from countries NOT affected by the immigration ban - so the safest way to keep America safe might be to, uh, ban US citizens from entering the country?
It seems a little unfair to be banned from traveling based on my nationality or where I was born, but logically that would make the most sense if our goal is to prevent terrorist attacks.