Out of the Blue: Trump using our government to fill his pockets (opinion)
Out of the Blue
One of the most bullyish rallying cries from Trump’s campaign revolved around keeping radical Islam away from America.
Author William McCants from the Brookings Institution was asked why this term was considered tricky and often downright offensive to many people: “Islam is a many and varied thing, but when you attach an adjective to it like ‘radical’, it’s difficult for many non-Muslims to distinguish between the noun and the adjective. And so it seems, in the minds of many Muslims, that you’re telling non-believers that Islam, the entire religion, is a radical thing.”
Well, now we’re getting a glimpse into how Trump is dealing with this issue, and it’s a mess. His staunch supporters are happy that the “Ghosts Can’t Do It” co-star — and 1990 Worst Supporting Actor winner — is making good on his stump-speech promises, but blank applause for DJT’s executive order shutting US borders to refugees and others from seven largely Muslim countries is slippery at best.
As someone against DJT’s decree, I think it’s not only misguided, but revealing as to Trump’s conflicts of interest and his base’s reluctance to question him on it.
The logic in closing down borders to Muslim-majority countries appears on its surface as an attempt to curb terrorism, to “make America safe again.”
As McCants wrote, it’s dangerous to reduce the issue down to a USA vs. Islam simplicity, but I’d wager there are people out there who would think that if the “radical Islamic” terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks acted with ties to the countries they came from, then sanctions against those nations should be considered.
Again, this isn’t my personal view on it, but if the sentiment is to prohibit travel to and/or from the USA for countries who gave the world the 9/11 attackers, I can at least acknowledge the reason behind that.
But here’s the problem. DJT’s 1/27 executive order suspended immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the USA for people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. OK, I feel safer. Phew. Thanks for keeping the American people’s interests in mind, Donald.
Now, I forget — which of these countries were the 9/11 perpetrators from? Iraq? Yemen, maybe?
Actually, the nineteen 9/11 attackers were from Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. And why weren’t these countries among the seven cited in DJT’s executive order? Simple: It wouldn’t have served his financial interests, which is all he cares about.
Trump has extensive business interests in at least Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt, and he knows that if he were to make travel complicated in those regions, his brand name would sag.
I’ve complained about this before, but these actions are stridently against the code of the emoluments clause of the constitution, and should send this guy to court and out the front doors of the White House in shame. But I’ll leave that alone for now.
OK — what about other terrorists? Maybe Trump’s order will at least more resolutely vet travellers from nations that have attacked the US in the name of “radical Islam” in recent times.
Where were those San Bernardino shooters from — Sudan? Nope, one was American, the other Pakistani. How about the Boston Marathon bombers? They grew up in Kyrgyzstan. What about the guy who killed five at a Chattanooga Recruiting Center in 2015? He was born in Kuwait.
It’s no wonder people of Muslim faith and their allies are appalled at DJT’s executive order. He keeps trying to remind us with his cell phone that his is not a ‘”an on Muslims,” but doing even a marginal amount of research into what he expects to accomplish with his new immigration policy makes it seem very clearly like a first-wave discrimination against a very specific swatch of people.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m naive about what the situation is like within the countries on DJT’s hit list, but there’s a staggering disconnect in the way he’s tying those potential dangers to American law.
He’s sheltering the countries he has business in and demonizing others that he can’t make any money from. He’s using our government to fill his pockets.
Presidents in the past have certainly shoehorned their celebrity into profit, but none of them did things like this — in their first week on the job.
Like many of you, I still stand beside “The New Colossus” and our country’s long-standing embrace of an immigrant spirit:
Give me your tired, your poor
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
Mike Restaino is a writer and filmmaker based out of Incline Village. He is also a Vice Chair of the North Tahoe Democrats. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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