WHO ARE WE?
Recently Donald Trump suggested that, until we get a grip on the terror thing, we put a hold on letting non-citizen Muslims into the country. And the place went wild! Seldom has there been such a cacophony of condemnation. The press, the media, the Oval Office, the Democrats, and even our erstwhile establishment Republican politicians (Paul Ryan to name just one) took Trump to task for what was apparently perceived to be the verbal gaff of the century. And the almost universal condemnation of Trump’s could be distilled to a single catch phrase: “This is not who we are.” Really?
Touching briefly upon the legal considerations, we are not obliged to let anyone who is not a citizen into this country. Non-citizen Muslims are not protected by our Constitution and may be turned away from our borders with impunity—for any reason, for no reason, or because of their religion. The Constitution is one of the things that makes us a special nation—but if we took the position that everyone in the world is entitled to its protection, then it wouldn’t be so special would it? I have heard some talk about treaties that purport to obligate us to take in refuges on a non-discriminatory basis. While I have not endeavored to locate or peruse such treaties, suffice it to say that any treaty which purports to prevent the federal government from ensuring the safety of US citizens, should be immediately abrogated.
So let’s take a serious look at just who we are.
Under the tax, spend, cronyism, and waste policies of the current administration, we have more than doubled our national debt. Obama has loaded more debt onto this nation than all of our prior presidents combined. We are a spendthrift nation, bordering on financial collapse or chaos, which has burdened its children and grandchildren with debt for generations to come and for which they will receive little or no benefit. Is this who we are?
We have allowed millions of illegal aliens into the country either because the Democrats want their votes and the Republicans want cheap labor, or both. These scofflaws are running up our cost of education, law enforcement, and health care, and thanks to the wonder of sanctuary cities, are permitted to roam the country committing crimes, including murder of US citizens, without consequence and without fear of deportation. These conditions are, at best, chaotic and, at worst, cultural suicide. Is this who we are?
In response to the prospect of terror in the skies, we have apparently waived our Fourth Amendments rights with respect to search and seizure—permitting armed federal employees to run us through various screening and electromagnetic devices, to require us to empty our pockets and take off our shoes, and to wand or pat us down in personal or overly-intimate ways. Is this who we are?
Ostensibly in the interest of our own safety, we have allowed the federal government and the NRA to collect all sorts of information about us, including our phone calls and email, without a warrant or probable cause of any kind. Apparently it is assumed that we will gladly relinquish our right to privacy merely upon the unproven assertion that the accumulation of the meta-data (or just plain data) will make it easier for the government to track down random terrorists. Our elected representatives say this intrusion is for our own good, and, like lemmings, we sacrifice our rights willingly. Is this who we are?
We have witnessed a recent Secretary of State boldly lie to the American public for purely political reasons, to be undeniably caught in that lie without any ostensible consequence, to be deemed untrustworthy by a significant majority of voters in the country, and we permit her to run for President with a very real prospect of winning. The terms “gullible” and “apathetic” come to mind. Is this who we are?
We allow self-indulgent, bigoted folk to interrupt our lives and gatherings with chants of “Black Lives Matter,” and then further indulge them when they assert that white lives don’t matter, Asian lives don’t matter, Hispanic lives don’t matter—just black lives. Are we so cowardly that we cannot counter and dismiss such a lame assertion? Is this who we are?
We have allowed our institutions of higher learning to become hotbeds of liberal intolerance. The very institutions where ideas of any stripe should be welcomed, we allow free speech to be suppressed. Those of a conservative bent must remain silent or run the risk of being marked down solely on account of their political views, personal philosophy, or religious beliefs. College students, apparently suffering from delicate sensibilities syndrome, demand to be safe from any perceived slight or negative comment or differing opinion—no matter how subjective. Is this how we teach our youngsters to stand up for themselves and prepare them for the real world? Is this who we are?
We have a President who castigates our police forces on a national basis at every opportunity, but declines to comment or critique bands of roving and rioting thugs who set fire to cars and buildings, loot and steal with impunity but without prosecution, and generally destroy public and private property. Is this who we want to be? Is this who we are?
We have a President who, apparently unmindful of the Wild West, the Civil War, the Mafia, race riots, and prohibition, declares that we are a country without a history of violence, who works diligently to diminish our Second Amendment right to bear arms and defend ourselves, while doing absolutely nothing to curb the increasing number of nut cases who wander our streets and inhabit our neighborhoods, nothing to get them the psychiatric help that they need, or, all else failing, not locking them away so that they can’t hurt themselves or others. How “Twentieth Century” to suggest that crazy people need to be locked up—perhaps even more so than marijuana smokers. Is this what we want? Is this who we are?
Unfortunately, the answers to the mostly rhetorical questions posed above is “yes.” This is what we have allowed ourselves to become and, therefore, who we are.
But there is some consolation in knowing that the one thing we “are definitely not”, is anything that a successful businessman like Donald Trump suggests or implies that we “are.”