Conservatives Fiddle While America Burns

protest
IAmMuslimToo Protest in Times Square. Source: Reuters

A fiercely conservative editor at The Detroit News, had an interesting column in Sunday’s February 19 edition about the effect Trump’s travel ban is having on the local Muslim community. He pointed out that while the executive action has greatly increased the stress level of Muslim-Americans, it has also had the surprising effect of greatly increasing support for the community from outside. Besides Detroit, cities across the country are witnessing large numbers of non-muslims protesting the ban.

At first glance the column seemed to be about a silver lining amidst despair – you know, feel good stuff. Instead, it turned into nothing more than another excuse to lick old wounds from the beating conservatives took – at their own hands it should be noted – during the previous administration.

The writer deftly turned a reprehensible action taken by the current “so-called” President – which turned out to have at least one positive effect – and used it as a false equivalent to note the expansion of the terror watch list during the Obama years.

Here’s the problem:

Obama is no longer President!

All that matters now is what happens next. Columns like the one cited here are nothing more than attempts to divert attention away from larger issues – a tactic that favored by conservatives in Congress, along with their band of merry apologists.

I realize that many Republicans were deeply traumatized by having to endure a President who didn’t fit the WASP standard – just as many of us now are with one who doesn’t fit the mental/emotional/decency standard. It’s amusing when the right tells liberals to “get over it”, and accept the fact that Trump’s the man now, when they themselves can’t get over and let go of their own painful memories.

The Detroit News column seemed to be taking the high road toward a deeper discussion about the ban, perhaps using it as an opportunity to discuss the unforeseen effects of government policies, whether one agrees with them or not. But it didn’t. Instead it lapsed back into partisan politics. (Of course having such a discussion means ignoring the elephant in the room that is Donald Trump’s mental impairment and the resulting dysfunction of his administration.)

But aside from the larger issues, it would’ve be interesting to know the writer’s opinion about the way this ban has resulted in renewed support for immigrants. Does he see it as a sign of hope, or as a threat? What’s being overlooked by people on either side? How do we uphold the democratic principles of personal freedom, life and liberty, while also securing borders? What does national security even mean? How does it relate to personal security? What if the greatest threat to both national and personal security is from within? We can close all the borders, chain the doors and lock down all the windows, but does that really solve the problem?

This is just me tossing out some of the things I’d like to see discussed apart from political ideology. But I guess that begs the question if it’s even possible.

Anyway, we could use more people willing to take on the real issues confronting democracy at present, and less misdirected chasing after phantoms from the past.

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