I have been aghast at the execrable debate about whether it is appropriate for this republic to offer refuge to individuals young, small and of sundry stripes driven out of the perpetual war zone which once was Syria. To see elected officials display wanton cowardice and heaping the accusation of same on their constituents in order to justify yet one more targeted attempt to humble the jumped-up president they resent with every fiber of their beings is woeful indeed. And to offer these criticisms at a time when our leader is overseas, a time not too many years ago when national unity was the norm is even less patriotic. When that president then has the temerity to call them out on their fear-mongering, he of course is deemed to be behaving in a manner beneath his station. It's a classic no-win for Mr. Obama, damned for lassitude when he demurs criticizing his rivals and with callow brazenness when he speaks to them directly.
But to the issue at hand, I was at first puzzled why anyone objected to refugees (often mislabeled "migrants" to avoid the political deficiencies in the argument) in a land which is mostly built to house them. We are all of us descended from those who came to the new world seeking refuge and have historically embraced those who likewise seek such solace, at least idealistically. But these swarthy types are a bit too much for a white conservative populace who already feel outnumbered in a country they imagine should be mostly white and mostly Christian in perpetuity, a notion frustrated by the demanding march of demographics. The idea that America would blatantly turn away families is embarrassing for this particular citizen, that we would even for a moment entertain such notions as admitting only those of certain religious beliefs is staggering. That this tripe gets bandied about and not called the rank racism and callow jingoism it is also bewilders me.
Too many on the stump and in the media too have allowed Americans to feel justified in luxuriating in their baseless fears. To demonstrate reasoned caution is one thing, but to fear the remotest possibility of an exotic attack is a waste of time and emotion. Like tidal waves, tornadoes, and hurricanes, the threat of terrorism is now a part of the world, a part we can pay proper attention to, prepare reasoned responses to, but over which we have exceedingly limited control as individuals. As much as the news media, in their constant desire to drive up ratings wanted to equate the Paris attacks to 9-11 status it clearly has not been the case as the story already fades in the face of other events. It might be a 9-11 event for France, but the status of France is not the United States and so the impact worldwide is muted. The attacks are horrific crimes committed by beastly people bent on savage murder who must be discovered and punished, but there's no need for all people everywhere to cave in to fear, nor to sacrifice their rights in yet another stampede for the illusion of perfect safety. When folks get hysterical they often get slapped in the face, not told their hysteria is a proper reaction to circumstances. America needs a slap in the face.
America is a refuge from a savage world filled with desperate innocent people. We should welcome refugees with open arms, not foul language and intimidation, especially at Thanksgiving. We have nothing to fear but fear itself -- a wise man who himself was president once said that.