Like much of the discussion of Trump’s travel ban, Jonathan Mark’s column entirely misses the point (“Travel Ban Is About Anti-Semitism, For Some,” Feb. 10). The ban has nothing to do with national security — if it did, it would not have kept out of the U.S. people who it is in the national interest to bring in, such as those who have worked with the U.S. military or contribute to scientific or academic endeavors.
Rather, the ban is about a demagogue’s attempt to increase his own power by playing on people’s fears to justify exceeding his authority just a little. If he succeeds, he will soon find reason to further exceed his authority just a bit more, and then a bit more, until he has accumulated dictatorial powers.
There is no more effective excuse for exceeding authority than an alleged threat to national security. This is what every dictator who has destroyed a democracy has done. Trump is following the playbook to the letter.