Friday, March 17, 2017

The Crazy Thing About Trump: He's Not 100% Crazy

President Trump says Alan Dershowitz says the Supreme Court will uphold his non Muslim Muslim ban and he's right about that. 
Of course, this comes after Mr. Trump reads "the statute" (as if there is only one relevant law) to the audience of grinning nitwits he gathered in Nashville.) 

But the thing which bothered me about both rulings, from the Ninth Circuit and now from Maryland, is the judges in both cases did not confine their opinions to the actual order, but they considered the order in the context of the man, of the things he said during his campaign, which seemed a little bizarre to me. Mr. Dershowitz says it bothered him, too. If the court starts looking beyond what the actual order says, to the motivations of the man who wrote it, where does that end?

A man can say he hates Negroes, and then he can issue an order which says that anyone living in Watts, or South West Washington, D.C., can be stopped and searched for concealed weapons because we've had trouble with violent crime in those areas and one would think if the order is applied equally to every citizen, black and white in those areas, the order would be legal.

The first Trump order said people from 6 countries would be denied visas to enter the United States but exceptions would be made for Christians. Well, that is an order to bar people because they come from a country where radical Islamic fundamentalists have issued threats to the United States and thus anyone in those countries may be a threat.  You can say it's not because they are Muslim, but because they live in those countries where the threat is high, where it may be difficult to distinguish enemy from friend.

But when you exempt Christians from that, you are saying, well they are above suspicion but Muslims are suspicious,  and so we are assuming Muslims are the enemy and Christians our friends.
The President has argued he doesn't suspect every Muslim--as is evident by the fact he did not exclude all Muslims from every country, just Muslims from countries which are failed states. When you look at these six failed states: Somalia, Sudan, Syria are all chaos, and Yemen is pretty close, although it may have made the list because Saudi Arabia is warring with Yemen and America will always genuflect before Saudi Arabia and Iran, well, you know they are cheating on the Nuclear deal, so we don't like them.

The President may still have the right to do that under the power to exclude foreigners  to protect the country, but applying a religious test may violate the First Amendment, but it may not. Congress may make no law to establish a religion, (First Amendment) but that doesn't say the President may make no rule. )And Muslims living in Sudan or Somolia may not be entitled to that Constitutional protection.

Apparently, Japanese living in California did not have protection from being incarcerated because they were members of a disfavored class during World War II.

There is the problem of whether it would be effective to ban Muslims getting on airplanes from Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Iran, and Syria when you do not forbid Muslims from Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, who may be just as likely to be angry and intend to harm American citizens in the homeland.
When you look at 9/11 and the Boston bombings those guys hailed from Saudia Arabia and Chechneya, Kyrgyzstan,  so why not exclude Muslims from those places? You will always be dealing with exceptional cases.  And you are only banning people with passports from these countries, what about people from Somalia who have become U.S. Citizens but their children are now radicalized? 

What Trump's men are arguing is there is no way to actually evaluate anyone who is living in a failed state. These countries cannot vouch for these people. They just happen to be Muslim. It's not that Muslims are to be feared. It's that Somalis are to be feared. Or not that the whole lot of them is assumed to be guilty, but we have no way of distinguishing the bad ones from the good ones.

When you look at Sudan and Syria and all these boiling cauldrons, you might reasonably say--there is such tumult there, how can you ever really know what will come out of these environments? 

When you look at the "lost boys" of Sudan, the boy soldiers who have come out of those horror shows in Africa and now live in the USA and then commit violent crimes, one might look at what they came from and ask, "Is it not surprising that every last one of them does not murder, given what they experienced?"  Of course, these lost boys from Rawanda, and other African nations were not excluded. Why not?

I do not have the answers to these questions.
Certainly, President Trump does not have the answers.
But he is not clueless.
If we could actually talk about these problems without exploding into shouting matches about racism, we might actually achieve some agreement.
The problem is, Trump approached this in just the opposite fashion Obama did.
Obama was all about defusing, approaching things in an analytical way.
When you choose the emotional path, there is more heat than light.

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