2016 Presidential Race Foreign Policy

You Need 7200 lbs of Skittles for Trump Jr.’s Syrian Refugee Analogy

By Kevin Batts

Donald Trump Jr., the presidential candidate’s son, is running a tight race for worst Donald Trump surrogate. He proved once again why he might go down as the worst surrogate after presenting this insanely moronic tweet, equating Syrian refugees with a bowl of Skittles. The analogy seemed innocent enough, especially for the rubes who follow Trump’s every word. In the tweet, he shared an image that said: “If I had a bowl of Skittles and I told you three would kill you would you take a handful?” It finishes saying “That’s our Syrian refugee problem.” There are several difficulties with this line of reasoning, two ultimately come to mind. The number one problem being that the bowl isn’t nearly broad enough to accommodate an actual picture of the statistic. To accommodate this actual statistic, you would need a bowl large enough to fit 7200 lbs. of skittles. This, of course, would refute the point he intended to make in the first place. That’s if you choose to go along with this line of reasoning in the first place.

A recent CATO study put out by Alex Nowrasteh just last week utterly demolishes this meme and the closed border argument. In the study, Alex puts your chances of eating a fatal Skittle at one in 1.08 million. Alex responding to the tweet in a CATO piece said:

Imagine a bowl full of 3.25 million Skittles that has been accumulated from 1975 to the end of 2015.  We know that 20 of the Skittles in that bowl intended to do harm but only three of those 20 are actually fatal.  That means that one in 1.08 million of them is deadly.  It gets even better though. There are over three hundred million Americans and not everyone can get a Skittle. This means that the chance of any American actually eating the fatal Skittle and perishing is about one in 3.64 billion a year during the 41-year time period.  Do you eat from the bowl without quaking in your boots?  I would.

The other problem with this line of reasoning is it’s the same type of argument statists make for banning any and everything. The argument goes something like this x% of Americans are victimized by y, so we need to ban and or regulate all aspects of y out of existence. I understand in this tweet culture you have limits on what you can convey but reducing a complex issue into a bowl of Skittles is simplistic at best and moronic at worst. I will give him credit though: a Skittles reference is a lot better than what Trump Jr. regularly tweets. Here’s a list of other things we can ban using the Skittles line of reasoning. These things are more likely to kill you than a Syrian refugee.

Firearms 1 in 358

Pools 1 in 1,183

The Fair 1 in 300,000,000

Ladders 1 in 2,300,000

Bath tubs 1 in 685,000

Trains 1 in 500,000

Cycling 1 in 340,845

Planes 1 in 1,000,000

Dog attack 1 in 120,864

Fireworks 1 in 386,766

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