This is a longer-than-usual post. Only read if you have time to think (not emote) it through. Much time has gone into synthesizing my thoughts on the topic (hence the dearth of posts lately)
I’ll give Donald Trump this: he knows how to get people talking. Unfortunately, most of what I’ve been reading online (while not having much time to blog) has been pure emotional reaction and not careful consideration.
If we, as a people, are to set good, solid policy that will “secure the blessings of liberty, to ourselves and our posterity,” we must rise above gut reactions and soberly assess the regrettable environment in which we find ourselves. I’ve already stated on this blog that I find Trump personally distasteful. He is not what I envision when I imagine ‘presidential,’ with one important exception: he does not fear the backlash from saying what he thinks. If only more of our alleged ‘leaders’ (who, in truth, are mere followers of what certain chattering classes have deemed ‘acceptable’) would do the same. Our political ‘elite’ has yet to get the fact that this one element alone accounts for most of Trump’s popularity.
But I’m not writing today to blog about Trump the man. I’m writing about some of the things he’s said, and it’s high time Americans learn to separate the two. Failing to do so has already turned this election cycle into one long fallacy of ad hominem appeals. That’s not how you arrive at informed judgments.
So here we go: The Donald has proposed that we ban immigration by Muslims and/or from Muslim countries until we can get a handle on the jihadist problem. Naturally, half or more of the electorate immediately shrieked “Hitler!” (has there ever been a more rapid example of Godwin’s Law?) and started quoting Martin Niemöller. This is what’s known as ‘false equivalency.’ Preventing a foreign group of people from immigrating TO your country is undeniably NOT the same thing as rounding up a group of people already IN your country and sending them to gas chambers. So get off the fainting couches, folks.
“But… but… that’s discrimination!” the shrinking violets protest. So is ANY limitation on immigration, since that means some people are allowed to come and others are not. Let’s get to the heart of the issue, then: is there an automatic, inviolable right for anyone in the world to be able to move to the United States? If you say yes, then you might as well leave your house unlocked every day and open so anyone whose economic condition is not as good as yours can move right in. Otherwise, I call hypocrisy. Claiming a nation has no right to secure its borders and bar entry has economic and social consequences every bit as much as claiming families have no right to secure their home and property. The consequences of the former take longer to manifest, but 50 years after the Immigration Act of 1965 it should be apparent to anyone with a clear head that these consequences are already occurring.
“But… but… you can’t discriminate against Islam, because it’s a religion of peace!” Like hell it is (and I mean that in the most literal sense). There are individual Muslims who may be peaceful (I’ve met–even befriended–a number), but Islamic civilization and society is one a long, sad history of repression, regression and violence against outsiders. Historically, there is no denying that when Islam is allowed to take root in a new land, it provides a growth medium in which extremism and jihad flourishes until that land is under submission to the same misery as the rest of the Dar-al-Islam. Therein lies the problem: individual Muslims may not pose a threat, but Islam itself does. We don’t have to like that fact any more than we like the other imperfections of this world. We DO have to confront it, though. As a system Islam does not seek to coexist; as soon as it is in a position to do so (say, through mass migration of its adherents…), it seeks to dominate. Our nation’s early leaders were far more clearheaded about the incompatibility of this militant cult with Western Civilization:
Between these two religions, thus contrasted in their characters, a war of twelve hundred years has already raged. That war is yet flagrant; nor can it cease but by the extinction of that imposture, which has been permitted by Providence to prolong the degeneracy of man. While the merciless and dissolute dogmas of the false prophet shall furnish motives to human action, there can never be peace upon earth, and good will towards men. The hand of Ishmael will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him. It is, indeed, amongst the mysterious dealings of God, that this delusion should have been suffered for so many ages, and during so many generations of human kind, to prevail over the doctrines of the meek and peaceful and benevolent Jesus. (John Quincy Adams, 1830)
“But… but… it’s unconstitutional to single out a specific group and refuse them entry!” Thus does ignorance blather on yet again. First of all, the Constitution and its protections apply to citizens of the United States, NOT to the entire world (unless people are suggesting we are responsible for all of humanity at all times and places. Ready to take on that burden?). In our historically generous spirit, prompted by the influence of Christ on our society’s development, we do seek to treat even foreigners according to the general principles of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” That’s all well and good. But what happens when allowing the “pursuit of happiness” by foreigners directly threatens the “life and liberty” of those already in America? Our government cannot and should not be neutral in such instances: its first duty is to its own people and their descendants (the machinations of traitorous globalists notwithstanding). We used to understand this, which is why we didn’t allow unrestricted immigration from Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan at the same time we were at war with their societies, and why (Democrat) President Jimmy Carter barred travel to the U.S. by Iranians after their new (Islamic fundamentalist) regime became fond of the phrase “death to America.”
“But… but… Trump’s also proposed rounding up Muslims in the U.S., like we did the Japanese.” He’s done no such thing. Trump is but the blowhard center of a raging national conversation that, frankly, is long overdue. Those around him sometimes seek to add or subtract their own agendas. For instance, it was a reporter, not Trump, who suggested a Muslim-American database. You can legitimately choose to criticize Trump for not dismissing the notion, and for some serious ambiguity in his follow-on communication, but it was not his talking point to start with. As for his comment that we need to look at mosques very, very carefully, events in France should suffice to show the man has a solid point.
To sum up, there are a large number of Americans who believe we should continue to allow the immigration of large numbers of people whose social system has historically been highly problematic, and that once in the U.S. we have to treat them with kid gloves and not keep an eye on their community. This is simply a national suicide wish painted over with a veneer of humanitarianism.
But I ask you this: which is more humane… to stop the continued mass immigration in the first place, or to allow it to reach a point where Americans may one day beg not just for databases but for the wholesale roundup and violent removal of that community (as was done with the Japanese)? The former option causes inconvenience and hurt feelings; the latter is a road we don’t want to go down as a nation. So why continue a status quo that leads that direction? As for the Syrian refugees, the excuse everyone wants to use to prop the door open for everyone, would it not be equally humane to carve out a safe place for them to live in their own homeland? How many of those touting their plight so earnestly would be willing to join the military and be the boots on the ground in the Middle East to protect them? …That’s what I thought. Since we know ISIS and others intend to take advantage of our open doors, exactly how many dead Americans is this utopianist posturing worth to you?
You see, ultimately a lot my take on this is influenced by my time in the military (at least I admit and try to control for my biases). I spent an inordinate amount of time away from my family after 9/11 under the idea that we would fight Islamic extremism “over there” so we wouldn’t have to fight it “over here.” How’d that work out for us? If America submits to the “we are the world” utopian impulse that allows our nation to be overrun with immigrants not just from the Middle East, but from many places whose culture and norms are incompatible with our historic form of society, it owes an apology to every servicemember who died trying to keep the nation both independent and secure.
You want to “thank me for my service?” CLOSE THE FREAKING BORDER. And if you want to ensure nobody calls it discriminatory, here’s a suggestion: STOP LETTING ANYBODY IN. (Maybe there’d be more jobs for Americans, then.) Be serious about confronting the problems, or stop complaining when a jihadist shoots up a neighborhood, or mass immigration continues to cause American workers’ wages to plummet.
We’ve got enough problems here already. We don’t need to import more. My biggest concern about Trump is that he’s a harbinger. You don’t have to like the messenger (I don’t), but the message cannot be ignored, unpleasant as facing reality is. Most importantly, if our ‘leaders’ don’t figure this out soon, the next standard bearer for these concerns may be the actual devil that people currently want to cast Trump as. If our ‘leaders’ want to reduce the growing nationalist sentiment, then it’s high time they take care of the nation. The longer we put our heads in the sand about the world we now live in, the worse it will be in the very near future.
Civil and profitable discussion is welcome in the comments.