Skeptical = what people should be when a leader promises quick fixes to complex problems, and he/she promises to do it without any negative consequences.
Welcome to the age of intolerance. Fuck. How does one even begin to describe what we all just witnessed today? The level of hubris is just stunning. I was also dead wrong about the number of Americans who believe that this kind of unilateral action is necessary to bring their country back to a Utopian 1950, an era that they seem (by their rhetoric and actions) to idolize.
All I can say is that these people who dream of “America First” and believe they can force it on the rest of the world with American power and authority, need to be prepared for a harsh reality check, because it ain’t 1950 anymore.
The world has grown up since WWII, and while many countries continue to rely on the USA for the bulk of their trade and military protection, it’s partly because the United States cultivated these partnerships during those years when everyone had to rebuild. Americans have since worked hard to keep their dominance and protection an attractive choice, because they benefit from having a strong, defining presence around the world. The risk America faces now is that countries have more options in a modern global economy, options that didn’t exist sixty, or even thirty years ago.
But I digress…an argument that America is no longer a superpower and a debate about the dangers of protectionist politics, are well beyond the scope of this rant.
Back to the travesty of the day, about which I can say that the only positive in the past twenty-four hours, was seeing the equal or greater number of people who are fighting for human rights against this backwards slide. They earned an important victory today when a judge overturned the ban, albeit temporarily, and I can only hope that they will continue to triumph in the months and years ahead.
Now, do I believe that we should let anyone waltz into North America? Of course not, there are people who would do us harm. Vetting is necessary, and I have confidence that the current system works. But, some believe the application process for refugees should more stringent. Fine. I disagree, but I also understand the value of compromise—small steps are better than none. However, refusing re-entry to already vetted law-abiding people who have earned green cards, visas, homes, jobs, families, and productive lives, simply because they have the misfortune of dual citizenship with one of the countries Trump doesn’t like, is totally unacceptable. Period.
How can so many people in a country that holds itself up as the shining example of freedom and liberty, not see how disturbing today’s images were of US residents being handcuffed and detained like criminals?
I’ve read countless comments on social media that laughed and sneered at the detainees, some going so far as to label them all murderers and rapists. I don’t care what your ideologies are, these are human beings who were confused and scared that they were being prohibited indefinitely, through the use of force, from going home. Can you imagine how that must feel?
Think about that for a minute. Look at your partner, your children, your comfy home…soak it all in. Now, try to imagine how it would feel to go on vacation or a business trip, as you have many times before, only this time you’re suddenly not allowed to return to your house, school, job, or family? Imagine suddenly having no due process, no clear explanation of why this is happening, no process of appeal, no empathy from authorities, and nowhere to go. Imagine the shock of finding nothing but contempt from the country you call home, the same country that had welcomed and supported you for months or years before this day, a country now separated from you by determined officers demanding you leave or get arrested?
Disgust doesn’t begin to describe how I feel, because my God, these people have DONE NOTHING WRONG. Instead, they have built happy lives and raise their families in the USA. They’ve bought homes, gone to school, and paid their taxes. How can anyone not see that what happened today is a frightening parallel to how the Nazi’s began their persecution of the Jews in the 1930s? Have we learned NOTHING from history?
To anyone who supports what happened today, I say this: The world is evolving exponentially, and as history repeatedly shows, progress is immune to ideological roadblocks thrown in its path. Being a leader means blazing new trails into unfamiliar and uncomfortable territory, not hiding behind the walls of your safe zone. If you’re making leadership decisions based on fear of change, then you’re doing it wrong.