By Keith Nobles
Let us try to figure out where we went off the rails here:
Obviously, we went off the rails very slowly over many decades. It has become obvious, and ever more obvious to ever more people each day, that being off the rails will eventually result in a train-wreck and many people sense that train-wreck cannot be far away. We cannot continue on this trajectory indefinitely. We have a Federal government shut-down over border security. First caveat: the ‘shutdown’ is not really a shutdown but merely the Federal government declining to perform some duties that will cause inconvenience to people. Let us be honest: this is all Kabuki Theater but Kabuki Theater with an enormous political wager placed on the outcome.
Lindsey Graham has stated that the success or failure of the Trump Presidency rides on winning this battle. That the Graham statement is both true and batshit crazy is perhaps the defining statement of our ever-increasing collective insanity. The truth is that border security and immigration is not that difficult an issue. Congress could figure this out in an afternoon if they were of a mind to. However, congress is not of a mind to figure out this relatively simple issue because immigration, legal and illegal, is a wedge issue for both Democrats and Republicans. Immigration, legal and illegal, has been presented by both sides as a highly emotional issue and that is demonstrated on social media each and everyday. The political parties use this emotion to generate donations and energy and votes.
That is what is happening here.
Republicans and Democrats have assigned absolute moral values to their respective positions on immigration and border security – hence any deviance from the party position results in something akin to the Salem Witch Trials. For example, Senator Cory Gardner suggested a couple of days ago that perhaps it would be wiser to re-open the government and then address immigration and border security as a separate issue. The response of many Colorado Republicans to the Gardner suggestion would be no different than if Gardner has recommended drowning puppies for sport. The Colorado Republican response to Gardner is essentially, “He is a witch, burn him!”
For all the Republicans who decry that Democrats are driven by emotion and not rational thought, at the end of the day many Republicans are no different in that respect. Not one iota different.
GOP membership alone is not sufficient to exempt you from the zeitgeist.
On the Democrat side, what Trump wants is identical to what Obama, Pelosi, Schumer, and Hillary all claimed they wanted as recently as three years ago. Are we to believe that Obama, Pelosi, Schumer, and Hillary were all advocates of Nazism three years ago? They claim what Trump wants today is akin to Nazism – so why was it not Nazism when they wanted the same thing? Why do they not want that anymore?
We all know the Leftist tripe for such nonsense will revolve around terms such as ‘it is different when Trump wants it’ and ‘I have grown’ and such. The reality is – they now oppose what they were previously in favor of because Trump agrees with their previous position. As I mentioned above, this is a wedge issue, consequently what ever the other guy wants you must oppose in order to maintain the position as a wedge issue. If the other guy agrees with you then you must spin 180 degrees on your position – otherwise the political value of a wedge will be lost.
The intellectual and moral hypocrisy of the Democrats on this issue is bottomless. If you support Pelosi and Schumer you are being played in the pursuit of political power. Period.
I will give Trump credit for bringing forth the hypocrisy of the Democrats and, what is more, what Trump is proposing is rational. I am not a particular fan of the wall but Trump arguing for the two sides to reach a negotiated agreement on immigration reform and border security is the most rational proposal out there at the moment. That the Democrats recognize that they cannot engage in rational behavior without alienating their base is frightening if you think about it.
Now, Trump being Trump, he cannot be satisfied with simply obtaining the moral high ground – he must keep talking until he compromises his position and that is exactly what he did when he suggested that he could build the wall with an emergency decree and without congressional approval.
That so many Republicans have lined up behind this suggestion raises the question of exactly when did empowering a President to unilaterally raise taxes and seize private property without congressional approval become a de facto plank in the GOP platform?
I will restate the truth is that border security and immigration is not that difficult an issue. Congress could figure this out in an afternoon if they were of a mind to. They are not of a mind to do that. Politics is a lagging indicator for culture. The cultural value to politics is in asserting moral superiority over your neighbor. It has nothing to do with governing – it has to do with dehumanizing your neighbor in order to justify exercising never-ending power over your neighbors life.
Understand how off the rails that is and the train-wreck it is leading to. Immigration and border security is a basic function of government and that Pelosi and Schumer refuse to even negotiate on the issue because it will compromise the moral superiority that they have infused into their base as a primary value to justify voting for them is irresponsible to say the least. Couching basic government functions in terms of acquiring absolute moral superiority in the naked pursuit of power is a path that many nations have been down – all ending in poverty, misery and death.
Choose wisely because if you choose poorly the logical outcome is that you will no longer have a choice to exercise.