What Happens to People?

What happens with people when they discuss politics in this age of Trump? I don’t understand it. This feels different from the past – and keep in mind I grew up in the “tumultuous 60s”. We just learned that not only did the Trump Administration has no clear idea of how many immigrant children they took from their parent(s) at the border or where to find many of them, there are thousands more stolen children than previously admitted. The Courts have intervened and forced an accounting. The immediate result was the admission that they don’t now how many children were taken because they had no system in place to track the children in the first place. There’s so much that’s wrong with those two facts… What kind of society must be ordered by a Court to find children forcibly taken from their parent(s) to find them, and what kind of human beings institute this policy without even having a way to track and safeguard the children?  It is evil, pure and simple.

Not that this would be the first government to implement an evil policy, or even the first US government to promote evil. Neither is it a new development for the media to support evil policy. For example, read contemporary accounts in the newspapers of the day on the “Trail of Tears”  for eerily similar arguments: they are illegally moving around the Country, they need to be “Americanized” and absorbed into the white culture… the parents are responsible for the suffering of their children if only they had obeyed the law and kept to their own “reservation” where they would be safe… etc. Then listen to Fox Cable’s Ingraham call cages overloaded with children and infants forcibly taken from their parent (or relative) and terrified as “summer camps”.

What is most surprising and distressing to me is the defense of this evil policy by ordinary people I know who would otherwise never be taken for someone approving of abusing children. I would have never dreamed it was necessary to say that forcibly taking a child from their parent, and then exposing some of them to physical and sexual abuse and other trauma was wrong. Some of these children may never be found, let alone reunited with their family. These are otherwise decent people arguing that it was “the parents’ fault for breaking the law”, although they would never advocate a child of a shoplifter should be punished for their parent’s crime. They argue that these are not good parents if they drag their toddler on the dangerous trip, but admit that they would do the same if they were convinced the child would be forced into a gang or murdered, or move to find a job and help their child escape hunger and poverty. Ultimately the moral bankruptcy of the policy is indefensible and so we hear the usual Trumpian refrain “But what about Obama…”

I know our reputation for attention deficit on these types of issues, especially in the Trump age of a scandal a week, but some issues are worth our attention and action. This is one of those issues that should unite all decent Americans because a society that allows children and infants to be abused as a matter of policy is at risk. I am reluctant to use the over-used analogy to Nazi Germany, but it fits with disturbing similarities: a national problem manufactured to look like an economic and cultural threat, a certain group is scapegoated and otherwise decent people consenting and then approving of their leader’s evil.

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