On 27 January, 2016, came the “Executive Order: Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry to the United States” or, colloquially, the one that started “it” all. In one sense, the public outcry stemming from the order was much ado about nothing. Now, before the effervescent heroes of the broadly-dented left take their gleaming axes back from the grinder and turn them on me, kindly allow me to explain further. In another sense, the outcry was somewhat justified.
In the actual order itself, only one nation was mentioned by name, that state being Syria. Reducing the number of migrants allowed into America as relief from the staggering humanitarian crises in the (clearly) failed state from 110,000 annually to 55,000. While not exactly specified, given the paragraph that it follows the POTUS was referring to Syrian refugees. That, right there, the fact that I had to connect the dots for myself and then for our readers, summarizes the chief problem that emerged from this order. Again, take this assurance, I will explain all of this in full.
As I stated previously, there’s one nation (aside from our own) mentioned specifically in this order, and it’s Syria. The others are implied and later revealed via list from the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security as inferred by the order. That, again, is a problem because if the POTUS is going to take such a step, one that he and everyone this side of the grave knows is going to gain worldwide attention, he/she needs to specify who (exactly who) is being banned from entry and for what reason, for how long and how and when the situation may be remedied. Some of that information is there but you gotta really piece this together yourself or, as is your case, my dear reader, you may opt to permit one of the half-dozen or so halfway conscionable journalists alive today to reel the details in for your perusal. And here we are.
No mention, in spite of what you may have heard elsewhere, is made of religion. Not Islam, not Buddhism, not Christianity, not money nor Roger Goodell and the NFL. And you know Goodell thinks he’s some sort of divine variant or another. While the leftist media and their equally-frenzied pawns at UC-Berkeley and the Ivy beleaguered fellows and ladies are wrong in their implication that the POTUS banned Muslims, they are right in the sense that by banning individuals from places like Syria and Iran, for instance, one is banning (primarily) Muslims. This is no different, in a sense, than saying that a ban on Western and Central Europe (to include, say, England, France, Germany and Italy) is a ban on Christians. While one could also argue that this is a ban on the Jed Clampett variant of humanity, it would be more appropriate to surmise that than to infer that any significant number of Christians would be affected coming from Germany. That’s far too low a metric to be of any real concern. But I digress (every day).
The point in this sense is well-taken that, yes, Muslims constitute the majority of those banned due to their being a majority of the populations in the affected nations. Yet Whitney, we have a serious problem with all the gnashing of teeth (all four not rotted out by that crack-rock) and the rending of garments (wardrobe dysfunction) over charges that this order by the POTUS is “racist”: Islam is not a race. It is not an ethnicity. To be Muslim is to belong, if you will, to a religion, to adhere to a certain faith, et al. But banning Muslims (if that were the intent of the order, in fact) is no more racist than banning all Christians would be because, again, neither constitutes a race. Notice a trend in my abnormally-extended commentary here? That’s because the first several Executive Orders issued by President Trump required little due to their simple, nearly self-explanatory nature as well as the media not going off the grid in their frenzied application of their more disingenuous talents. In the case of this order, both elements of the prior framework changed mid-game: this Executive Order can be labeled ambiguous for reasons I’ve stressed (namely having to decipher what is actually intended; not a good look at all) and, for their part, both the mainstream media and all stripes and walks of left-leaning groups of action1 took what was clearly several open fields of daylight (given the lack of clarity) and took it miles down the road. In short, the regulars on President Trump’s “Enemies List” smelled blood in the linguistic water and exploited the confusion and Eureka! Henceforth was found this Philosopher’s Stone, their Great Work called “Chaos” was loosed and directly convinced tens of millions (I’m being low-key here) that the very fabric of the Federal system, even the Republic itself, was on the verge of collapse.
In addressing the emergence of special circumstances for the potential need for circumventing the effects of the order, the POTUS further directed that “The Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may jointly determine to admit individuals to the United States as refugees on a case-by-case basis, in their discretion, but only so long as they determine that the admission of such individuals as refugees is in the national interest.” That phrase, however, about the “national interest” came off as sufficiently vague to warrant considerable angst by my media colleagues on the left-handed path/side of the isle. Of note, conversely, is the respective lack of angst (and preference for use) in uttering the equally-ambiguous “greater good.” Sounds like marketing to me…
…at any rate, there’s one other section that came to be of primary concern to the primordial urges running riot on the Left and that was the rather bizarre yearning to make this order appear to benefit Christians to a degree equal to the harm it was allegedly meant to inflict upon Muslims. How so? Well, the POTUS informs the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State of the discretion he is deliberately positioning them to wield in order to “make changes, to the extent permitted by law, to 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 the individual’s country of nationality. Where necessary and appropriate, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall recommend legislation to the President that would assist with such prioritization.” What’s interesting about this portion of the order and the grossly-inflated screams of panic here is that, yet again, the POTUS makes no distinction amongst religions here. Yet again, however, the inference by the Left is technically accurate in that the religious minorities of those nations affected by these (temporary) “bans” are extensively Christian, notably.
Regardless, I’d like to make a note of my own here (and then we’re move on to a final point and then a conclusion) and that is that the mainstream media is doing all the concluding for everybody here to include filling in the blanks for “bans” relating to nations that are known breeding grounds for terrorists (I’ve heard zero arguments made that Iran, for example, poses no threat to America) by saying it’s a ban specifically of Muslims and, in this portion, going even farther to say that it’s Christians being persecuted. The truth here is that, yes, while Christians are among the minorities in the affected nations they’re not the only religious minority in those nations affected. Fortunately for all of the vociferous hatemongers of right-wing derivation salivating at the chance to send ballistic projectiles into the skull of anyone dark enough to be Muslim, the mainstream media has kindly connected the dots for them (which the POTUS failed to) to let them know, by their own, surgically-precise admission, that Christian minorities are being persecuted by Muslim majorities. Again, see this point and see it well: the POTUS wanted to lend further time for vetting immigrants from nations that have been mills for the production of terrorists. Those are facts, not rumors. What did the MSM (mainstream media) do? They told everyone it was an Executive Order directly designed to punish Muslims who are (let’s recap) a religion, not a race. So that’s a major swing and a miss that still resonated strongly. Then, the MSM also spread another contorted talking point, being so sweet as to connect another brutal dot for the extremists on all sides, but especially for the benefit of Neo Nazis: “Hey, kids! In those poor, banned, majority-Muslim countries, do you know who the President of the United States (POTUS) is saying we can make exceptions for because the mean-but-banned Muslims are persecuting them? CHRISTIANS! And that too is racist, it’s profiling, and it’s wrong!”
Print it, slap a label on it and it’d better read “The Dot Connection” because damn it, if the MSM doesn’t have a third swing-and-a-whiff (not of grapeshot, as it were) en route then…wait, yes, here it comes: the MSM has painted this as permanent (it wasn’t, as all nations other than Syria were given specific timeframes for reporting and conference betwixt, specifically, the Secretary of State and Secretary of Homeland Security to include recommendation of specific remedial legislation) and mean-spirited in banning Muslims (again, it was a ban on nationalities, not religions) and benefitting only Christians (Christians aren’t the only religious minorities in the countries affected) and, last but not least, downright hateful. Oh, well then let’s review the text of this central tenet of the Executive Order at hand (aside from the protection of the American people). since apparently the MSM cared only for creating labels and insinuating half-truths or presenting their own “alternative facts.” Yes, the same alternative facts they so relentlessly deride our inarguably-imaginative POTUS & Co. for.
“The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law. In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including “honor” killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.”
Notice anything missing here? Yet again, those so desperately opposed to the POTUS they’ll say anything (if it means hurting his aims and insulting those who support him) have come out and filled in the alleged “gaps” here and said that President Trump is talking about Muslims.
Again, the intent of the order is clearly to bring a strong hand of vetting here to prevent the influence of concepts not endorsed by the mainstream of Islamic orthodoxy (Sharia Law, for instance) but still wreaking havoc. For the benefit of Mr. Kite (and other Leftist pals of Sir Paul McCartney & Co.), I provide you with the following, terrifying article from Vice (a left-leaning publication) depicting accused homosexuals being tossed off a building and an alleged adulteress being stoned to death.
Now, the uproarious circle calling me a fascist and a [expletive deleted] ass-kisser of the POTUS is complete, even replete with that which is heard at the last: “But that article is about ISIL! ISIS! Whatever you call them, but them! Obviously the most extreme ones and yes, they’re throwing condemned homosexuals off of buildings among other barbaric acts but they’re the extreme ones!”
Recall how I related earlier that the order places an indefinite (but not permanent) ban on only Syrian immigration and merely institutes timeframes for all other inferred (and later specified) nations? Yes? Good! Because that’s exactly the element being put under the scythe from the immigration rolls here: the extreme element that have no regard for the LGBTQ or Pan-Sexual communities beyond watching them die for no greater crime than the lifestyle our laws permit them to take for granted as Americans; the extreme element that is stoning a woman accused of adultery while a man stands by proudly holding the ISIS flag, the end frame showing her battered body in the fetal position amid a pile of rocks as one final rock is hurled against her corpse for good measure; the extreme element that, according to this CNN article (not exactly a conservative news outlet), has children preferring death to their future.
While the US Marine Corps has dispatched artillery to aid in what one hopes is a possible, expedient military solution to the humanitarian crisis in Syria, that is an entirely different matter altogether. Americans might say they want to go to war in Syria (just as even the New York Times supported war early on in the George W. Bush presidency but this war-weary land would quickly regret that decision and blame the POTUS (no matter what their name is).
That’s not what this Executive Order is about, and therefore that’s not what this article will end talking about. The POTUS issued an order, since struck down in court and since followed up with another order (which we’ll get to in due time as we go down the list in this series) that may or may not suffer a similar fate.
The bottom line here? This Executive Order is more complicated than anyone wanted it to be. Part of the blame for that goes to the Administration, and not just the POTUS. Those around him he entrusted to help craft this order (he admits he’s no politician, and everyone is quick to recall that, love him or hate him) allowed the ambiguity and then followed it up with an equally-awkward announcement (since when did we prefer the term “rollout”? Only in DC…) created the environment of confusion which everyone and their brother who hates this administration gleefully churned into pure, magickal chaos. Yet the complication goes beyond the ineffectual manner in which the order was issued and implemented (or not) in that the issue itself is complex. As Americans we’re playing the game we hate the most, that of the “zero-sum” variety. Everyone’s not going to win in a scenario where a country suffering from the most severe humanitarian crisis the modern globe has ever witnessed (Syria) at the hands of a group “barbaric” doesn’t begin to describe (ISIL, ISIS, et al) and their own government (Assad and his thugs) who is being aided by the head of state of the former arch-enemy of America (Vladimir Putin of Russia) whose very name has enveloped and bookended every day in the current news cycle it would seem with its stench and potential tainted touch on our politics.
How do you do American sensitivities justice whilst admitted the hungry and fear-stricken, huddled masses from abroad per our custom and simultaneously maintain the rule of law during a broadening sense of crisis that (the more you listen to the world around you) starts feeling like a series of existential crises gnawing at the very fabric of our humanity with its undignified, ruthless maw of savagery?
The only way to win is not to play. For better or for worse, that’s what the administration tried to do here, albeit in an ultimately ineffective manner. Perhaps in discussing the latest “Travel Ban” Executive Order we’ll finally gather some sense of our collective bearings and find some middle ground between our long-running tradition as a beacon of hope to the aforementioned helpless victims of foreign tyranny and in preserving our own safety and vitality as a people in accordance with the rule of law and ensuring our way of life and our standard of living, not merely in economic terms, but as Americans, living in the American Republic, our Federal system…
…perhaps we will find that middle ground somewhere down the road. While I must apologize, in closing, for the lengths which it took me, somewhat listlessly by the end, to come to my conclusion. After reviewing the multimedia evidence of the horrors being inflicted upon innocent human life, I fear the more necessary apology is in leveling with anyone still paying attention a far harder truth: that seeming nirvana of middle ground, that lofty respite from the list of horribles contained within that zero-sum nightmare that “someday” we hope to find?
That day is not today.