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What’s in Your Head?

It looks like we can relax now.

After all, the Trump Administration is no longer splitting up families at the border and… what’s that? Thousands of kids are still missing, and there is mass confusion about how to reunite devastated families? Oh, and the United States is now officially banning visitors to our country based on nothing more than their religion, and the Supreme Court is soon to be even more reactionary than ever? 

Yeah, this week was not a net win.

Before America descends completely into a jingoistic theocracy, it’s worth addressing the people who made all this happen.

No, I’m not talking about a septuagenarian racist with delusions of grandeur and an army of sycophants. I’m talking about the Americans who supported him, and continue to support this overt madness.

You see, when kids started being ripped away from their parents at the border, more than two-thirds of Americans disapproved of the policy. But well over half of Republicans thought it was just fine. This indicates one of three things:

1. Many Republicans are so selfish and indifferent to others that they’re fine with suffering as long as it doesn’t affect them. 

2. Many Republicans are so filled with hatred for Latinos that they actively delight in the agony of Hispanics.

3. Many Republicans are so weak-willed that they will follow their almighty leader on whatever crazed path he takes next, and if Trump said every American had to wear a purple hat on Thursdays or be locked in jail, they would shout, “Yes, whatever you say, Mr. President.”

Or maybe it’s a combination of all those things.

To be clear, you can be conservative on the issue of illegal immigration without being a total asshole. But you cannot support locking up innocent kids — for no discernable reason, no less — without revealing to the world that you are a seriously flawed human being. You simply can’t.

And now that the policy has been reversed, the conservatives who shrieked that this cruel tactic was absolutely necessary to save our nation are now saying, “Eh, no big deal one way or another.”

Of course, the total absence of a clear goal, plan for success, vision for the future, and exit strategy was all in keeping with the GOP’s long-running tradition of just winging it. 

Hey, it worked in Iraq!

So again, why did conservatives line up to zealously defend a heartless policy that did nothing to achieve its goal, and as far as I can tell, actually cost more time, money, and effort to undertake, and that nobody — really, nobody outside this White House of fanatics — was advocating for? Was it so difficult to say, “I’m for tougher border control, but this is mean-spirited and pointless,” or to admit that the GOP was wrong on this one? 

Apparently, it was, because although no reputable conservative advocating for locking up kids way back in 2015, it has now become a GOP baseline.

In today’s world, with obedience to the mad king the top Republican value, we had conservatives focusing on the ubiquity of chain-link fences, in a truly dazzling display of obsessing on meaningless details in hopes of allowing yourself to sleep better at night. By the way, there’s air in those facilities, and there’s air in churches, so that makes it ok, and why do liberals hate air so much?

We had Fox News insist that these aren’t our kids, and presumably, they are not worthy of basic compassion.

We had rich white people make grotesque comparisons to summer camps.

We had cabinet officials who are apparently robots incapable of anything other than fealty to a muddled, contradictory agenda based on lashing out at the defenseless.

We had a guy make the phrase “womp womp” a catchphrase for sociopathic indifference.

It doesn't matter that religious leaders from across the theological and political spectrum condemned it, or that major business leaders condemned it, or that a few principled conservatives spoke out against it.

No, we had Trump supporters who got angry and demanded that we all “quit trying to make us feel teary-eyed for the children." 

Well, we all should apologize most profusely. We briefly thought Trump’s base might not be composed of ogres who lack basic empathy. As such, we should never again try to make them feel the slightest bit of compassion for anyone ever again.

Perhaps my favorite justification of the administration’s policy came from those Americans who think of themselves as kind-hearted decent people who would never — and I mean never — endorse cruelty to kids and Nazi-like tactics. They often said Americans had no choice but to support the president.

Well, here’ a brief history of that type of mindset: 

1850: “I feel bad for the slaves, but it’s the law.” 

1940: “I feel bad for the Jews, but it’s the law.” 

1960: “I feel bad for the blacks, but it’s the law.” 

2018: “I feel bad for the kids, but it’s the law.”


Yes, that all makes it ok.


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