Sentient Americans of all political persuasions knew that Donald Trump was unfit to occupy the Oval Office. We knew he was unstable. But even those of us who were terrified by his election have been astonished by the speed with which he is harming critical American interests and plunging the country–and world– into chaos.
Trump’s most recent Executive Order, banning refugees, is as astonishing as it is inhumane. As the Huffington Post reported,
Trump approved the refugee ban amid the biggest refugee crisis in history and on Holocaust Remembrance Day, which honors the millions of people killed during World War II, many of whom tried to flee to the U.S. but were turned away.
It’s not the blanket ban on Muslims that Trump advocated for during his campaign, and it does not single out any country by name other than Syria for its refugees.
But Trump did say earlier in the day that he would prioritize helping Syrian Christians. He also mentioned “radical Islamic terrorists” while signing it. And in the text, it carves out an exception for admitting refugees who are religious minorities even while nearly all others will be barred for 120 days.
The order–which exempts countries where Trump does business or has hotels (business uber alles, evidently)–has caused chaos at airports around the world. It has kept students from returning to their universities, scientists from professional meetings. It applies even to longtime holders of green cards–people who have lived and worked legally in the U.S. for years.
It affects tens of thousands of people: not just refugees already “extremely” vetted and on their way to the U.S., but foreign nationals, immigrants and tourists from the designated countries and Americans whose families will now be unable to visit. It also affects thousands of Iraqis who risked their lives helping this country during the Iraq War.
Like all of Trump’s actions in the days since assuming office, it was hasty, ill-considered, and based on “alternate facts.” As USA today noted,
While Trump has claimed that most Syrian refugees coming to the U.S are single, military-age men, the State Department said those numbers didn’t add up. As of Nov. 2015, 77% of Syrian refugees who entered the U.S. were women and children. Only 23% were adult men, and only 2% were “single men unattached to families.”
As Senator Chris Murphy pointed out, not only does this profoundly unAmerican order not make us safer, “Trump has now handed ISIS a path to rebirth. They can and will use his announcement today as confirmation that America is at war with Muslims, especially those Muslims living in desperate circumstances.”
Even Dick Cheney says this order “goes against everything we stand for and believe in.”
It has been a little over a week since this delusional and dangerously ignorant man has been President. In that time, he has poisoned relations with Mexico, a neighbor and important trading partner; continued his inexplicable, fawning relationship with Vladimir Putin; and pulled the U.S. out of the TPP, rather than addressing fixable problems that had been identified with it– an action that will allow China to become a dominant influence in the economies of not just Southeast Asia, but also East Africa and even parts of Europe. He’s announced his support for the use of torture. He has declared war on the media. He has ignored and trashed the Constitution. His insistence that “millions” of illegal votes were cast is both ridiculous and an affront to America’s democratic institutions.
And that’s just week one.
How long will the Republicans in Congress continue to enable this dangerous madman? How many of Trump’s corrupt and ill-equipped Cabinet nominees will they obediently confirm? How long will their self-serving partisanship trump patriotism?
If there is a silver lining in any of this, it is in the horrified reaction of everyday Americans–the millions who marched, the multiple Resistance groups that have sprung up in the wake of the election, the throngs of protestors that spontaneously descended last night on the nation’s airports: the millions of Americans who know that we are better than this.
We the People cannot allow this to continue.