We have stumbled to the edge of a deep, dark ravine.
Walk forward to abandon the principles of this great nation. Step away for something else.
I remember when George W. Bush was making his first cabinet picks, I thought, wow, it’s like he’s picking the perfect crew for a war. We saw how that went.
Now, for the Trump administration, we’ve got just the most fabulous A-team for shaving the edge off civil rights, hunting Muslims here and elsewhere and rounding up immigrants.
Silver lining: They seem to like Israel.
I’ll be honest. I was hoping Donald Trump was a largely apolitical character who ran only because he thought it would be way, way awesome to be president. I hoped that he had fooled the alt-right into friending him. But I should have trusted in Maya Angelou’s famous quote: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
As of this writing, we’re looking at advisors like Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who tweeted that “fear of Muslims is RATIONAL.” Flynn is being tapped for national security adviser, we’re told.
Put yourself in Muslims’ shoes. How would you like to see the activities of a subset of Jews lead to a tweet that suggests fearing all of us is rational?
Did you know that in 2015, 190 people were killed in crashes involving drunk driving in Wisconsin? I want to see Flynn tweet that fear of people who drink beer is RATIONAL.
Then there’s talk bubbling up from Trumpworld about a possible registry of Muslim immigrants. And Sen. Jeff Sessions, who was once rejected for a federal judgeship because of racially insensitive statements, is to be in charge of enforcing civil rights as attorney general. If we go too far in our treatment of Muslims, people of color, or immigrants, his role will be to help hold us back.
Might it be that we essentially invited illegal immigrants into our country by offering them jobs? We have created an underclass of millions. Many of them are working to support their American children and will only increasingly be afraid to report crimes or go to the hospital. Contacts with officialdom could mean deportation.
Speaking of things for the birds (besides all of the above), when I was just a young fellow, I loved nothing more than reading comic books. I can’t tell you how odd it is that many of the stories that I thought were my own have since been made into blockbuster movies.
One comic, which I would race to purchase each month, peddling madly on my orange bike for the candy store around the block, was the “Uncanny X-Men.” The riveting storyline had me repeatedly checking the candy shop for the latest, as American mutants were forced by an imaginary, futuristic government to wear a letter. It was so odd, so thought-provoking, so cool. They had to wear an “M.”
That’s “M” for mutant, not Muslim. Let’s not confuse dark, authoritarian science fiction stories with reality, OK?
Rob Golub is editor of the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle.