Next newspaper column:
Behold the newly-made greatness of Trump’s America: Ben Ferencz, last surviving prosecutor of Nazis during the Nuremburg trials, calls Trump’s policy of separating refugee children from their families “a crime against humanity.” He should know.
And that was before we heard of hundreds of children crowded into foul-smelling detention facilities designed for far fewer, without soap, toothbrushes, showers, or beds. His remarks were also before a DOJ lawyer testified to Congress that kids really don’t need those things. Another 3,500 are being held in for-profit “facilities.”
Behold the greatness of Trumpists’ America: “They’re children of criminals,” some have said. “They deserve what they’re getting.” In fact, they’re children of desperate refugees, of whom Jesus is reputed to have spoken favorably.
Rather than considering the outrage itself, rightists attack those who’ve called those places concentration camps. Which is consistent with their general rejection of facts. If climate change, why not dictionaries?
Outrage. Attorneys had to force Border Patrol agents to hospitalize children dying before their eyes. Unresponsive. “Eyes rolled back in her head.” Absent adequate help, older children are caring for neglected younger ones. At least seven have died, so far, in American custody, in our name. To be silent, to rationalize, is to expose one’s enjoyment of Trump’s cruelty.
Notwithstanding statements last weekend from our “president” and vice-president, this is not okay. Nor is it a continuation of Obama’s policies, or the fault of Democrats, as those men lied, respectively, to Chuck Todd and Jake Tapper; the latter of whom tried, unsuccessfully, to get Godly Mike Pence to stop changing the subject and admit the inhumanity.
With few exceptions, people arriving at our southern border are refugees, not criminals. Seeking asylum, they’ve escaped from intolerable conditions. Trump’s policy of effectively kidnapping their children, placing them in filthy, neglected, intentionally horrible, “message-sending” conditions, ought to be denounced by even the most avidly pro-Trump (and pro-life?) Americans. Surely, were it their children, they could imagine the pain. Surely, they retain a modicum of un-Trumpian empathy.
But it’s not denounced. Defended, denied, excused, is what it is. What’s that word, again? Oh, right: deplorable. Or, like a recent letter-writer claiming Democrats want illegal immigration to get voters, Foxified. You have to lap up lots of lies to believe such absurdity.
Failure to address our immigration problems has been bipartisan. If answers are hard to come by, though, making things worse ought to be off the table. Yet that’s exactly what Trump, in his short-sighted, ill-considered, please-the-worst-among-us manner, is doing.
These people are fleeing their countries out of fear, or hunger, or hope for their children. An obvious, cost-effective, long-term approach would be to help improve the conditions from which they’ve fled. In reducing aid to the Central American countries refugees are abandoning, Trump does the opposite. “Punishing” these poor countries for not stemming the tide. It doesn’t get more bass-ackwards than that.
Moreover, as previously noted, Trump is actively making a root cause – climate change – worse. This he’s doing purposefully, apparently motivated by sticking it to liberals and universally more-admired President Barack Obama. Drought, famine, and floods: all results of climate change, compel those people to leave. Some, who ran for their lives, were sent back home, where they were killed. Just now, U.S. asylum officers are requesting a court injunction against Trump’s simplistic “remain in Mexico” policy, saying it endangers asylum-seekers’ lives. But it pleases his base.
We Americans are facing imminent, critical decisions about no-longer-ignorable issues, solutions to which will be difficult and costly. Not just immigration: climate change, deficits, health care, education, infrastructure, energy. But first we must decide whether to reaffirm or renounce what we once were: generous, welcoming, innovative, willing to sacrifice when the times required it. Which, if any, of those values remain? Are we willing to spend money in service of them? Are there better investments than weaponry to protect the futures of our children? Are we ready to make them?
Can we even discuss these things as long as we have a “president” who tells his supporters that over half of Americans want to destroy them; whose party seems fine with it? Preserving their power takes precedence, evidently, over future sustainability. Unwilling even to debate Democrats’ solutions, Trumpists reject them reflexively, obediently branding them as socialism, as told to.
It’s a downward spiral with nothing but bad outcomes ahead. Only they can stop it.[Image source]