There has been no let up in stories involving President Trump and the various reactions to what he is doing. Just prior to yesterday evening, I was heavily involved in my work among the homeless and before I could attend to catching up on the news I went to a party held at my church, which had nothing to do with politics and Trump but rather friends getting together and having a good time. One friend who I have in the past sometimes strongly disagreed with, who is black and an ex-Muslim (relevant to what follows), did let slip he rather liked what Trump was doing and couldn’t understand why many had branded him as a racist etc. When I got home and caught up on my Facebook feed, it was quite obvious that many of my friends were up in arms against what Trump was doing, notably to do with building a wall and banning Muslims.
This is to do with two of Trump’s latest Executive Orders, which are coming in thick and fast, undoing much of what President Obama had set in place while he was in office. But first my opening statement: While I have gone on record as being supportive of a Trump presidency, compared with the alternatives on offer, I am as I have often said not an uncritical onlooker and will criticize when it is warranted and hold back criticizing when, as if often the case, I don’t know all the facts. When it comes to foreigners coming into my country and befriending Muslims, without wanting to boast, I have done more than most to support these people, over many years, as my record bears out. But I do believe the US has a problem with illegal immigration, including a criminal element, and have had to endure attack by radical Muslims, and this has not been dealt with by the previous administration, and has created a problem.
Building a wall between the USA and Mexico, was a campaign promise and, arguably, Trump is merely delivering on his promise. The cost seems huge and one wonders if there is a better way. It goes against the grain that he is talking about building walls when many think it is bridges that are needed. His public relations, with the Mexican president for example, leave much to be desired. But if illegal immigration, including by a criminal element who seem to operate with importunity, is significant, it needs to be stopped, and building a wall is one way to do it. After all, looking back historically, walls are not unusual for sovereign nations and it is beholden on those who rule to protect the people and keep undesirable elements out. If I could suggest to Mr. Trump, it might have helped if he could have held no pre-condition talks with the Mexican president, and engaged in wider consolation BEFORE making his announcement. Knowing how stressful being without status in a country is, I would be inclined to grant amnesty to those who do keep the law, who have been living in the USA, after a period of time, e.g. ten years.
As for keeping out Muslims, from what I can make out Trump has modified his stance and while he is putting a temporary ban on travel from a number of Muslim dominated countries, those where radical Islam elements are known to operate and are in an ascendency, this does not just apply to Muslims. If a threat does exist, and I believe it does, it does seem to make sense until more robust protocols are in place more likely to weed out problematic elements. But like many a move of this nature, it does appear to be like a sledgehammer to crack a nut, and the distress it causes the innocent (something I have had personal experience off with my own family) is significant and ought to have been foreseen and avoided. Despite having many Muslim friends, I believe Trump is right to call out Islamic radicalism as a threat (something his predecessor failed to do) but he has not been altogether wise (or compassionate) in the way he has tackled the issue, and just as with the Wall issue I will watch developments with interest.
The headline of this week’s Time magazine is “The resistance rises – how a march becomes a movement”. Time is referring to the woman’s marches in many USA cities and across the world. There is no doubt there is a growing resistant movement as well as a less well publicized counter resistance. I am disappointed although not surprised that Friday’s march for life received so little coverage and this in the light of another Trump executive order, which I fully support, to defund Planned Parenthood. Also not reported on much is that the woman’s marchers included those supporting abortion and those who wanted to bring in Sharia law in the USA. We live in interesting times and worrying ones too, not least because we have many of the makings of a Civil War. As I told my friend referred to above, we must focus on spreading the Word, being good people serving our communities and to watch and pray.