I spent some years in retail and in the process served on several industry Boards including at the nation level. At one point I was President of the Board in my section of New York State. In that capacity I ended up interacting with and advising a lot of my peers/competitors. One problem we all faced in varying degrees was shoplifting; how to handle it was always a challenge. The dumbest idea I heard was to make shoplifters pay for the product and then let them go. That policy gave the shoplifter a free pass. If you got away, you got away scot free. If you got caught you simply paid the shelf price like a law abiding customer. For the thief it was a probable reward at no risk proposition. If you were not inherently honest you literally had nothing to lose by stealing. President Trump (who is not inherently honest) is asking is asking to be treated this same way and so far it is working with enough people for him to stay in office. Let’s explore.
It is Wednesday afternoon as I write this and the political buzz is that Trump just signed an executive order ending separating children from their refugee parents at the border. (Remember just a few days ago he told reporters that he couldn’t solve the problem via executive order.) Just how effective this will be remains to be seen. Of particular concern is the over 2,000 children already in custody sans parent(s). It appears no mechanism was set up to link the parents to the children via paper or electronic trail so just how were they ever to be reunited? Keep in mind that Trump claimed his business savvy – which would have to include management skills – as a reason America should have elected him. My regular readers know that I have a very similar education to Trump’s including a degree in management. A large part of good management is anticipating obvious repercussions to your actions and appropriately allocating assets to handle them. Trump, it appears by design, did a lousy job of allocating assets and in the process created a criminal situation out of a refugee situation.
Trump created the refugee crisis at the border by first effectively closing legal entries to America to refuges and then arresting those that crossed at other than the designated (effectively closed) portions of the border. The refugees are caught in a situation similar to being in a burning house and not being able to exit via a door. The natural reaction is exit via a window. Now by crawling out the “window” they are a criminal (in most cases a misdemeanor) and are processed as such. Often the “criminals” resort to crossing into America after multiple rejections of entry to claim asylum at the legal portals. This is not law enforcement, it is something beyond entrapment.
Now Trump, after creating the problem and a ton of bad press, wants us to all think he is a good guy because he fixed it (to at least some degree). This is like the apprehended shoplifter who pays for the merchandise he stole. If he a good guy? I think not and neither is Trump. It all goes back to the Chuck Schumer line, “They only do the right thing after they are caught doing the wrong thing.”
Just which straw broke the camel’s back is impossible to say but I like three. The photograph of the toddler crying while her mother is frisked is my top choice. I know you can’t judge a book by its cover by she certainly doesn’t look like an MS-13 member to me. The best line by a good guy goes to Representative John Lewis who called the camps “Child internment camps.” I have to allow the civil right icon some poetic license but he certainly communicated a point! The Trump administration played word smith by calling the camps for babies and toddlers “Tender age” facilities. In that vein I’d like to call Trump’s administration odious; what I really mean is that it and its leader stinks.
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