Just some more thoughts on the immigration issue:
Both the political right and political left go to excess in and mislead by way of language when discussing immigration, as they do on all topics. That is one reason why I prefer to think of myself as in the middle, neither right nor left — although I imagine most of us middle-of-the-roaders tend to veer one way or the other.
But let me get to the point. This photo caption jumped out at me:
Cliven Bundy, hero to the radical right, now says he doesn’t support Trump’s wall, nor the gassing of women and children – Guardian Photo
Never mind who Cliven Bundy is (well, I mean he is the guy who thinks he should be able to use federal land to graze his cattle for free and not follow any rules or regulations as most stock raisers do.). But who wrote …”gassing of women and children…”?
This was supposedly from a piece out of the Guardian news outlet. It was in The Daily Kos, an ultra-liberal blog (hey I read right-wing stuff too).
The reference of course is to the use of tear gas by American authorities at the Mexican border to fight back a rush of people trying to illegally enter the U.S.
But the implied comparison has to be the sending of women and children (and men of course too) into gas chambers as part of the mass execution of millions by the German Nazis in World War II we know as the Holocaust. There of course can be no linking of the two. These people were not forced by soldiers to suffer the gas. And tear gas is not generally deadly — just terribly uncomfortable. I know I was subjected to it at least two times in army training. Far better to make people uncomfortable than to shoot and wound or kill them I’d say.
So this is irresponsible hyperbole on the left.
On the right we have the president and others linking all illegal border crossers to terrorists, rapists, killers, thieves or just plain layabouts.
And back on the left you have the misleading use of words when they insist as designating those who illegally enter the country as simply “immigrants”. Well, yes, if they did immigrate then they are “immigrants” but that conveniently leaves out the fact that they did so against the law. The English language is rich enough that it has more precise ways of saying things to convey an accurate meaning or picture. These “immigrants” or “migrants” (and we used to call U.S. citizens who follow the crops migrants) are entering or trying to enter the U.S. without going through the proper channels. You can make an argument that they ought to be allowed to enter but if you refuse to admit what they are doing or attempting to do is illegal you are using language to create deception by omission if nothing else.
It does not seem to be getting much press but I have read that the Trump administration and the newly-installed Mexican administration headed by President Manuel Obrador are talking together about a plan, including economic aid, to deal with the surge of migrants (they are migrants) from distressed countries in Latin America going through Mexico and headed for the U.S. border (some as we have seen already reached it) threatening to cross over one way or the other. I think both administrations do not want to admit too much about cooperation due to their own political bases. And I am not 100 percent they are talking.
Some of these desperate people are deciding to turn back and go home (if they can).
I have to question the judgment of people who would take their children in their arms and try to rush the border. They were endangering them. But some are obviously desperate because of the violence and poverty in their home countries, and I must thank my lucky stars that I am not them.
Several decades ago (in one of my other lifetimes) I was working as a journalist on an agricultural story. Some people from the tiny African kingdom of Lesotho were on a visit here in California to look at our modern methods of irrigation. One of the men commented to me in an offhand fashion that the U.S. Peace Corps was greatly appreciated in his country.
From the way he said it I gathered that he meant they were helpful in both the technical and diplomatic sense. They helped to create good feelings between people.
From my admittedly limited knowledge of Peace Corps accomplishments I believe that they have indeed done a lot of good around the world. I know that the Peace Corps has also at times run into security problems and there have been some problems with Peace Corps personnel, but that is the case among any group of people.
For my money I’d rather support an expansion of the Peace Corps than troop numbers or military aid to hot spots around the world.