My husband and I had supper at a local hamburger joint about a week ago.
It is one of those places where they have tvs mounted on the walls, blaring away while you eat. This particular tv was right behind my head, so I had to listen to it.
It was tuned to one of the cable news networks and the story they were not reporting but talking about (cable news does not report news, it talks about it) was the number of child migrants coming over America’s border. The entire conversation boiled down to two points: (1) President Obama caused this. (2) We should all hate President Obama.
The discussion was just hate, hate, hate, directed at President Obama.
That, my friends, will not solve this problem or any other. It is evil. It does enormous damage to our country.
Both sides of the political divide go into endless hate mode as soon as the votes are counted in November. They shamelessly encourage their followers to hate the person who was elected and to attack him or her, no matter what they do or say. I quit watching cable news except for once in a while during a disaster because it (1) doesn’t report any news (2) is blatant propaganda and (3) is so full of hate that it gives me indigestion.
I don’t know enough about the current border problem to either diagnose its causes or to affix blame. I could listen to these so-called news channels 24/7 and I still would not know.
I do have a couple of observations, both of which are going to anger quite a few of Public Catholic’s readers.
First, the Republican Party and their talking heads on “their” cable news shows ramp up the immigration debate in every off-year election. This has been happening consistently since the turn of the century.
The campaign ads here in Oklahoma that came from the Republican Party’s candidates four years ago were flat-out racist. They showed hispanic people in dark night-time scenarios, being arrested, and in other degrading ways with voice overs about how the candidate the ad was backing would stop “illegal immigration.”
Two years after that, when hispanic people all over the country held their noses and voted for the presidential candidate who was against their personal religious and moral beliefs, they were accused of abandoning their faith. My reaction then was simple: What did you expect? They had to vote this way. To do anything else would be to deny their own humanity.
So, when I saw that the cable news was following their regular pattern of reporting the immigration thing in an off-election year and hating on President Obama, my first question, was How political is this story?
I have looked at statistics, and there has been a surge — a big surge — in numbers of minors coming across the border in the past few months. Based on that, (and I haven’t looked deeply at these statistics, so it’s a kind of preliminary opinion) I am guessing that the “crisis” they are reporting actually exists.
Notice how carefully I word that. The reason I tiptoe around it so carefully is that (1) It’s an off-election year, (2) They do this every off-election year (3) The “reporting” I’ve heard seems to be focused on hatred of the President and little else.
There is a debate going on right now as to how much money Congress should appropriate to this “crisis.” The problem is that our elected officials want to use the question as a political football to gain power for themselves in November. So they are, once again, holding America hostage.
I’m withholding judgement about what is causing this situation and how we should handle it in the long term. I will say that I am reasonably confident that the reporting on the crisis will end once the votes are counted in November. Then, we’ll go on to the next hate-reporting thingy.
I will also say without equivocation that I do not believe that the Republicans in the House of Representatives want to fix the “crisis.” They are talking about how the President has asked for “too much” money to deal with it.
But I am absolutely certain that their true objections are not fiduciary. If one of their corporatist handlers wanted this amount of money for themselves, it would pass without a single question. I am not saying that $$ for judges and intensified border patrol is the long-term answer. I don’t think it is. What I am saying, is that the objections to this request and the refusal to act are politically motivated.
The Rs want this “crisis” to continue because of the November elections. The good of this country does not matter.
Many of Public Catholic’s readers are going to romp all over me for saying that. But it’s the plain truth. If we want to deal effectively with the onslaught of illegal immigration, we need to end the practice of using it for a vote-getter every two years and deal with it intelligently.
On the other hand, this sudden surge of children coming over the border must be organized, and not by President Obama. These children are being used, but I don’t know by whom. No one seems to be asking questions about who is organizing this migration of children south of the border. In fact, what we are getting by way of explanation is sound bites that don’t make sense because they aren’t connected to anything.
If I can get Public Catholic’s readers to look at these two parties dispassionately, I will have accomplished a lot. We’re going to have to stop letting them jerk us around like this, both for our personal mental health and for the health of this nation.
We serve Christ. We need to eschew hate-filled invective and use the fine minds that God gave us to think.
I’m going to put a few videos below to help us all — including me — think this through. Don’t knee jerk. Defy the talking heads. Think for yourself.