This article is intended primarily for my international readership. A big however! If we are going to correct the situation it is up to me and my fellow Americans.
Please don’t judge America or the vast majority of the American people by our current President and his closest cronies! We are good, welcoming, warm hearted people. We are almost exclusively a country of immigrants or the decedents of immigrants. In my case three of my four grandparents were born in Poland. By global standards I have a great life. By American standards I have an average life. That tells you how good life in America is relative to most of the world. Many Americans or their not far removed ancestors came here escaping something. Almost all came in pursuit of a better life for themselves and their descendants. I’m glad my ancestors came!
I am part of the American dream. I received a good public education including an affordable management degree from what was then one of the top 25 management schools in the world. I own my own home which has all the conveniences Americans take for granted and much of the world either works hard (I’m not talking about at a job), for or just dreams of.
Donald Trump has come up with a plethora of crazy policies during his few days in office. Many of them are in part or in their entirety illegal and/or unconstitutional. Our legal system is such that it will take some time for all those “chickens to come home to roost”. Friday he issued an executive order basically banning immigration from seven majority Muslim countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen). As has become his practice he signed the executive order with great fanfare but did not release the text of it to the press for hours. Hmmm, I’ll let you draw your own conclusion about that. It is easy to guess what mine is. Interestingly none of the 9/11 hijackers came from any of the seven countries on the list. Equally interestingly, Trump doesn’t do business in any of them but he does do business in many countries in the region with a history of terrorist activity including 9/11.
A significant root cause of the conflict in the Middle East traces back to the centuries old Sunni-Shiite rivalry. This is totally disregarded in Trump’s edict. My guess as to why is because xenophobia rules in his administration and anyone or anything different is feared. The United States has been militarily active in some if not all seven of those countries in recent years. A foreign military cannot have success without some friendly denizens. Those denizens are often in grave danger when the foreign military reduces its presence or pulls out. For decades America has opened its doors to those who helped our military; not under Trump.
This weekend thousands of Americans took to the streets and airports to protest the policy. Many lawyers are working pro bono to help those immigrants caught in a trap not of their making. The American people want to fight terrorism but not at the price of closing our doors to all especially those fleeing civil or proxy war in their homeland.
Trump is also weakening America from within. For the most part his Cabinet picks look more like the cast of a satirical play about government than a group that can lead one! Many of them do not believe in the primary mission of the department they are nominated to head up.
He has even gone so far as to weaken the National Security Council (NSC). In the aftermath of World War II and the dawning of the nuclear age (1947) the NSC was formed. The idea was to gather a small but comprehensive group of advisors to give the President advise in time of crisis (particularly and primarily a crisis with military implications). Friday Trump placed his Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor Steve Bannon on the NSC while removing the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence. They became by invitation only “members”. So a guy who ran a far right wing news site and whose military experience was seven years as a junior naval office is essential while the top general or admiral and the person with the best intelligence information in the country can be called in occasionally. That is crazy to me! It is also dangerous!
Then again perhaps it is all just part of the organized criminal enterprise we call the Trump administration or part of being the Siberian Candidate beholden to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Worse yet, perhaps it is both.
One of the problems with a democracy is sometimes the people make a mistake. There is little doubt that a mistake was made in the election of Donald Trump as President. It will take some time but the democratic process will make an adjustment. While the American President may not understand; the American people do.
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