After the panic, we should ponder what we're losing.
December 6, 2016.
At a speech at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, President Obama had this to say about America:
So let my final words to you as your Commander-in-Chief be a reminder of what it is that you're fighting for, what it is that we are fighting for. The United States of America is not a country that imposes religious tests as a price for freedom. We're a country that was founded so that people could practice their faiths as they choose. The United States of America is not a place where some citizens have to withstand greater scrutiny, or carry a special ID card, or prove that they’re not an enemy from within. We’re a country that has bled and struggled and sacrificed against that kind of discrimination and arbitrary rule, here in our own country and around the world.And yet it seems as though there are plans (maybe, maybe not) to implement a national registry of all Muslims (maybe not all of them - maybe just all of them from those terror countries). The details and extent of the registry are not known. However:
We’re a nation that believes freedom can never be taken for granted and that each of us has a responsibility to sustain it. The universal right to speak your mind and to protest against authority, to live in a society that’s open and free, that can criticize a President without retribution -- (applause) -- a country where you're judged by the content of your character rather than what you look like, or how you worship, or what your last name is, or where your family came from -- that's what separates us from tyrants and terrorists.
We are a nation that stands for the rule of law, and strengthen the laws of war. When the Nazis were defeated, we put them on trial. Some couldn’t understand that; it had never happened before. But as one of the American lawyers who was at Nuremberg says, “I was trying to prove that the rule of law should govern human behavior.” And by doing so, we broadened the scope and reach of justice around the world. We held ourselves out as a beacon and an example for others.
We are a nation that won World Wars without grabbing the resources of those we defeated. We helped them rebuild. We didn't hold on to territory, other than the cemeteries where we buried our dead. Our Greatest Generation fought and bled and died to build an international order of laws and institutions that could preserve the peace, and extend prosperity, and promote cooperation among nations. And for all of its imperfections, we depend on that international order to protect our own freedom.
In other words, we are a nation that at our best has been defined by hope, and not fear.
The idea for both versions is basically that radical Islam poses such a threat that Muslims — irrespective of their potential ties to extremism — should be on some kind of registry so they can be tracked.Not America. Not a great one, at least.
Trump has not stated clearly exactly what he favors, and he has even disputed reports that he supported the broader version of the Muslim database. His campaign released a statement late Thursday stating, "President-elect Trump has never advocated for any registry or system that tracks individuals based on their religion, and to imply otherwise is completely false."
But he has also pointedly declined to rule it out and has at times talked about implementing just such a system.
And then there's Trump's post-Iraq plans. In a conversation with NBC's Matt Lauer, Trump said about what he would have done in Iraq:
The — and I think you know — because you’ve been watching me I think for a long time — I’ve always said, shouldn’t be there, but if we’re going to get out, take the oil. If we would have taken the oil, you wouldn’t have ISIS, because ISIS formed with the power and the wealth of that oil.That would have been bigly illegal. It's a war crime to plunder.
LAUER: How were we going to take the oil? How were we going to do that?
TRUMP: Just we would leave a certain group behind and you would take various sections where they have the oil. They have — people don’t know this about Iraq, but they have among the largest oil reserves in the world, in the entire world.
And we’re the only ones, we go in, we spend $3 trillion, we lose thousands and thousands of lives, and then, Matt, what happens is, we get nothing. You know, it used to be to the victor belong the spoils. Now, there was no victor there, believe me. There was no victor. But I always said: Take the oil.
And then there's Trump on the right to protest. He tweeted:
Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag - if they do, there must be consequences - perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!Too bad that's been illegal for almost three decades. From Texas v. Johnson:
Though symbols often are what we ourselves make of them, the flag is constant in expressing beliefs Americans share, beliefs in law and peace and that freedom which sustains the human spirit. The case here today forces recognition of the costs to which those beliefs commit us. It is poignant but fundamental that the flag protects those who hold it in contempt.How much about America does Trump get wrong? Rule of Law? That's for pussies - and not the pretty pussies you get to grab from all the pretty women around you (but only if you're rich and famous enough, like Donald Trump).
This is the vulgar ignorant man millions of our fellow Americans chose.
Time to ponder, again, something else we're losing.