The competition among Republican presidential candidates to see who can be the more venal xenophobe reached a new level with Ted Cruz calling for police to begin patrolling Muslim neighborhoods across the United States "before they become radicalized."

That's apparently an attempt to one-up fellow bigot Donald Trump, who wants to ban all Muslims from entering the United States, talks about monitoring or shutting down all mosques in this country and is an unabashed advocate of using torture.

Is Cruz trying to show he can be more fascistic than Trump, who wants to round up 12 million undocumented immigrants and shipping them out of the country?

What's next?  Will The Donald want to put all Muslims in their own neighborhoods and surround them with a Trump-built wall?

There's precedent.  After all, he's the man whose ex-wife said he keeps a volume of Hitler's speeches at his bedside.

Maybe Donald and Ted will demand all Muslims wear crescent-shaped badges on their clothes so they can be spotted easily.

What's really terrifying is that one of these guys could be the next president of the United States.

If that happens, the first ones to build a wall on their southern border may be the Canadians.

President Obama called Cruz's proposal "inhumane," "un-American" and "contrary to our values."

The Anti-Defamation League condemned Cruz's  remarks as "irrational." "Demonizing" Muslims is  "misguided and counterproductive" and can "serve only to foment discrimination and hate crimes against innocent, devoted Americans," the groups said in a statement.

ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt called Cruz's approach is "contrary to the principles of individual rights, equality, justice, and religious freedom on which this nation was founded.”

ADL also noted that two of Cruz's top national security advisors — Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin and Frank J. Gaffney, Jr – "have a history of anti-Muslim bigotry and have promoted outrageous conspiracy theories involving Muslims.”

Naturally, Cruz blamed the situation on Barack Obama for being "too politically correct" and refusing to use the term "radical Islamic terrorism" 

And if there's another terror attack in Europe, look for the two GOP candidates to call for rounding up all Muslims and putting them in camps.