Time To Extinguish Liberty’s Torch?

The European response – especially that of the Germans – to mass migration from the Middle East and Southwest Asia stands in stark contrast to the immigration policies of the US. What makes this all the more remarkable is that Germany had relatively little to do with events that led to the crisis. On the other hand, the refugee crisis is almost certainly a direct result of US misadventures in the Middle East – most notably the Bush-led invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet the US has steadfastly refused to help those who were dislocated as a result of our meddling. Likewise, many of our so-called allies in the region have refused to help.

This is not the first time we have turned our backs on those fleeing violence and poverty caused by our actions.

Just last summer, we saw thousands of women and children flood our southern border seeking refuge from the violence and poverty in Honduras and El Salvador – violence for which we bear much of the responsibility. And how did we greet the dispossessed? We herded them into makeshift prisons. Conservatives confronted their buses screaming obscenities and making it abundantly clear that they were not welcome here. If they had no families or relatives in the US, we sent them home to certain poverty and almost certain death.

This is how America welcomes immigrants today.

Where we once welcomed the tired, the poor, the streaming masses yearning to breathe free, we now turn them away. We vilify them and blame them for all of our nation’s ills. We treat them as something less than human. We call them names, order them to speak American, then hire them for all the jobs we consider too distasteful to do ourselves. We underpay them and cheat them. And we applaud people like Sheriff Joe Arpaio for arresting them.

This is America today. A political atmosphere driven by the “We’ve got ours. You can’t have yours” crowd; by the Trumps, the Palins, the McCains and the Cheneys. An America dominated by the loudest, most angry and most heavily armed; where a feeble and compliant press reports only the most sensational statements made by a group of boorish loud-mouths who have little compassion for the poor and disadvantaged. They may claim to be religious, but their only religion is money. And they refuse to share it.

Instead of seeing those who have suffered only because they were born in the wrong place and time, these arrogant buffoons see only “takers” – people they believe only come here to suckle off of the government teats.

Based on all of this, maybe it’s time to send Lady Liberty packing. Maybe we should send her back to Europe where she came from; a place where she will likely feel more at home.

Be Afraid Of The Children. Be Very Afraid!

A study by Darren Schreiber of the University of Exeter found that the brains of Democrats and Republicans are wired differently. The key characteristic that distinguished Republican brains is in the way they process risk, reward and fear. They are more likely to exhibit fear of any perceived threat…even of change.

You can see this in the way Teapublicans approach politics by creating scapegoats. Now that we’re approaching the mid-term congressional elections, Teapublican candidates have created yet another straw dog in order to fire up their base. In 2006, it was gay marriage, which was going to “destroy America” and make all other marriages irrelevant. In 2008, it was fear of Black Panthers, Muslims and sharia law. In 2010, it was “Obamacare death panels” and illegal immigrants who were “taking our jobs” and “living off welfare.” In 2012, it was the fear of voter fraud, welfare recipients, food stamps, Obamacare and Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi.

This year, we’re supposed to fear a bunch of Central American refugee children who are attempting to escape the poverty and violence of their native countries. Ooooooo!

Yes, Teapublican candidates have turned these desperate waifs into frightening boogeymen for the election season. “They are disease-ridden invaders who will overwhelm our schools and infect our own children with hepatitis, tuberculosis, and dozens of other diseases,” they say. Some suggest that the children could be bringing ebola virus into the US. Some compare them to an invasion of Muslim extremists determined to destroy America. And, even more frightening, some Teapublicans claim that Obama has orchestrated this “invasion” in order to ensure that there will be more Democratic voters in the future.

With each election, leading up to the primaries, Teapublicans are fearful that a political opponent will outflank them to their right. As a result, they push more extreme views and generate more fear to fend off their opponents. Then, leading up to the general election, they run negative attack ads financed by billionaires to portray Democrats as tax and spend liberals who are weak on foreign policy and soft on immigration. They tell voters that Democrats are going to waste their money on “entitlements” for “welfare queens;” that Democrats will use your taxes to pay for abortions of white kids; that Democrats are socialists, communists, fascists and worse; that Democrats are going to take away your guns. So be afraid…very afraid.

Of course, all of this is amplified by Fox Noise Channel and the 92 percent of talk radio devoted to conservative fear and hate. The only question is will it work this time? There are far more Democrats and independents than Teapublicans. They can’t win on their own. So you can put an end to their fear-mongering. All you have to do is vote.