My first post of 2017 on this blog … and it’s a sour one.
As an Australian (which therefore must make me automatically qualified to not know a thing about US politics, apparently), this trend today is disheartening news. It’s not disheartening necessarily from a cultural view which most people are getting at on Twitter today – it’s more that we live in a world where our most powerful leaders will willingly reject people and make no consideration for what they COULD provide to a country and our society for the better.
And while the bans seem temporary, its effects are long-lasting. As I read on one person’s Twitter, it’s the end of the “land of the free”.
…which by the way, you guys ended when you elected him in the first place but sure – go ahead.
The most interesting factor that comes as an aside to all of this is that “priority will be given to religious minorities facing persecution” (BBC). And yet – yet – Trump’s example is for Christians in Syria, appropriately worded because the ban would have included seven mostly Muslim nations. Coincidence? I think not.
Put it this way- if this policy was to set a precedent on worldwide refugee dealings, would that make the US deal with Nauru and Manus seem less legitimate? Trump got off the phone with Turnbull (Sydney Morning Herald) and kept the resettlement deal that Obama had made. But many of them are from lands like Syria, Turkey and even closer to home in Indonesia. And is his pragmatism on foreign policy in fact just going to irritate the religious leaders who he singled out for support?
He swore his inauguration promises (legally and policy wise) on the Bible, you know. And now, there is a refugee resettlement SUPPORT letter with more than 2000 religious leaders’ names on it. In it, it writes “This nation has an urgent moral responsibility to receive refugees and asylum seekers who are in dire need of safety.”* Did Trump read this letter? Probably not.
Did Kellyanne Conway, Sean Spicer or even UN Ambassador Nikki Haley even take notice of this letter? Well, they haven’t said anything about it.
Know that this is not a blog post of support or denial of the Muslim Ban or of President Trump in general. However, I will say this. A lot of voters in regional America who thought that a billionaire would help alleviate their pain and protect their jobs are getting duped now. And we the world are left to pick up the scraps – no matter what you say about Trump’s ‘personal’ achievements (cue Dow 20,000 comment here.)
This is going to be a long news cycle year. And I’ll just bet you’ll be back once you’ve read this, to hear more of it from me.
To read the letter in full, click here: http://www.interfaithimmigration.org/2000religiousleaderletter/