The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Simple Sentences

Even the most casual observer of Donald Trump understands that the man thinks and speaks in simple sentences. Subject—Predicate—Object. His tweets and often his spoken words have few descriptive phrases and almost no elucidation. That allows his supporters, along with a generally hostile media, Trump's many opponents on both the Left and the Right, and the public at large to interpret his comments and ultimately his policies in a variety of different ways. That's okay in some instances, but when policy positions are announced, it's very important to provide details, exceptions, and explanations.

In his first week in office, Trump failed to do this, and the result can be chaos—recoverable, but unnecessary nonetheless. Case in point—his moratorium on immigration and travel from Middle Eastern countries that are hot bed of radical Islam and therefore, Islamic terror. His approach was analogous to his simple sentence mindset—few descriptive phrases and almost no elucidation.

The media, of course, reports Trump's move as a "Muslim Ban," even though (1) it's a 90 day moratorium, not a permanent ban and (2) it's a ban on all citizens of the countries, regardless of religion, not just a ban on Muslims. The media tells us that green-card holders are banned, even though that issue was resolved—in favor of green card holders—over the weekend. Part of that reporting is overarching hostility to the new president, but part is the new administration's failure to provide details, exceptions, and explanations. That's a serious failure and need to be corrected immediately. The reality is, however, that despite all of the uproar, just over 100 people out of 325,000 visitors were stopped at U.S. airports over the weekend.

The other key point that the administration has failed to make is that immigration to the United States or any other country, for that matter, is not a "right," it is a privilege granted at the discretion of the country. The trained hamsters of the main stream media provide the public with the impression that everyone has a "right" to immigrate to the United States— and that restrictions are against the law—a canard. The media purposely omits reporting on the sometimes catastrophic impact of unrestricted Middle Eastern immigration on many European countries.

On the drive home from work today, I was listening to NPR. The soft-spoken moderator was speaking with an Pakistani doctor—a green card holder who had been in the U.S. for a number of years. Much to the moderator's dismay, the doctor pointed out that immigration delays, visa denials, and other difficulties are part of every immigrant's life and the life of their families. He went on the cite the case of his own mother, who, during the Obama years, was refused a Visa to visit her new grandchild. "It's not really fair," he shrugged verbally, "but it's part of an immigrant's life." He expressed concern about what Trump did, but was neither hysterical or hyper-critical, admitting that the borders must be protected.

Trump's moratorium was executed poorly. He did not lay the political groundwork, achieve consensus from government agencies, and make a proper case. When compared to, say, the debacle in the roll-out of Obamacare, it's actually no big thing. Hopefully, Trump and his administration will learn from it.

The Wall Street Journal comments:
The larger problem with the order is its breadth. Contrary to much bad media coverage, the order is not a “Muslim ban.” But by suspending all entries from seven Muslim-majority nations, it lets the jihadists portray the order as applying to all Muslims even though it does not. The smarter play would have been simply to order more diligent screening without a blanket ban.

The order does say the government should “prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion” in that country.

That could apply to Christians, whom the Obama Administration neglected in its refugee admissions despite their persecution in much of the Middle East. But it could also apply to minority Sunni Muslims in Iraq who have fought with the U.S. Yet that wasn’t explained, and in an interview with a Christian broadcast network Mr. Trump stressed a preference for Christian refugees.

The order also fails to make explicit exceptions for Iraqis, Afghans and others who have fought side by side with Americans. These include translators and others who helped save American lives and whose own lives may now be at risk for assisting GIs. The U.S. will fight wars in foreign lands in the future, and we will need local allies who will be watching how we treat Iraqis, Kurds and other battle comrades now.
An honest critique that makes good points.