Have we gotten used to the unprecedented and un-presidential antics of President Bluster? Have we grown accustomed to his outrages de jour: his nasty comments about friends and foes alike? His slurring of geopolitical allies, even as he gives a pass to America’s adversaries? Or how about his penchant for telling three whoppers before his first Happy Meal of the day? It’s hard to keep track the antics of this modern Peck’s Bad Boy.
Dear President Trump, when Mary got pregnant, she was an unwed teenager. Upon finding out that the woman to whom he was betrothed was pregnant, Joseph was appalled and ashamed and made a plan to send her away. After divine counseling, he reversed his decision and married her as planned. Upon giving birth, the young couple found out that the government instituted a law mandating the execution of every child born in the same timeframe as their son. To what will be a great consternation to Attorney General Sessions, they broke the law, choosing instead to smuggle their newborn son out of Bethlehem, thus joining the ranks of the poor and oppressed seeking asylum in a new country.
So many in the U.S. are decrying the Trump administration’s separation of immigrants from their children along our southern border, claiming, “This is not who we are.” It certainly isn’t all of who we are, but there are two such glaring examples of how it was exactly who we were – or who our government was – that we can’t ignore them if we hope to look honestly at our past and become the nation so many think we already are.
The news has been full these past few weeks of disturbing stories from the nation’s borders. The Trump administration has separated immigrant children from their parents precisely to discourage others from trying to enter the country.
What has struck me, as a professor of English literature, are the startling parallels between the Trump administration’s policy on immigrant families and the “New” Poor Laws of England in the 1830s, whose cruelty was illuminated by Charles Dickens in novels and other writings.
To all Republican elected officials: As members of the party whose leader occupies the White House, you have influence that members of the opposition party do not. I am urging you to speak out against President Donald Trump’s policy of separating children from parents who are entering the country illegally.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford strongly condemns the U.S. presidential administration’s policy of separating children from their migrant families at our nation’s southern border. This inhumane policy – enacted via an April 6, 2018, memorandum for federal prosecutors along the southwest border signed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions – calls for zero tolerance for all immigration offenses referred for prosecution. It allows no exceptions for migrant families traveling with children. As a result of this policy change, by the federal government’s own estimates, 1,995 children were separated from 1,940 adults between April 19 and May 31 of this year.
Moments after President Donald Trump shook North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s hand for the first time, Trump pronounced: “We will have a terrific relationship.” Trump’s snap judgment fulfilled his prediction before the June 12 summit that he would be able to evaluate Kim’s intentions “within the first minute” of meeting him. High-level politicians often think that they are experts at reading and influencing other leaders. They quickly come to believe that they are the world’s leading authority on any counterpart they meet in person. For example, President George W. Bush was so enamored with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki that senior advisers launched a concerted campaign to curb his enthusiasm.
Every society has a Ruling Class. In the United States, it is the super wealthy and those with Ivy League educations – especially those with degrees from Harvard or Yale. The leaders of our bureaucracies, major newspapers, opinion journals, think tanks, courts, corporations, universities, media conglomerates and political class come from one of these two groups – or ambitious individuals who have ingratiated themselves with these groups. This was not necessarily a bad thing, as long as our Ruling Class was competent.
On this Memorial Day, imagine this. It’s late in the year 2007. A company of Connecticut Army National Guard troops are stationed somewhere in Iraq, let’s say a small village called Daskara Nahr. This village, once a hotbed of Islamic extremist activity, has been pacified and is now considered a model converted territory run by a trusted village chieftain allegedly known to be cooperative and friendly with the coalition troops assigned to stand guard duty and supervise the “Democratization program.”
Liberals are not in the habit of expressing gratitude for the five conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court, especially since one of them, Justice Neil Gorsuch, presides where some liberals believe President Obama’s nominee should rightly be. But liberals should be grateful, at least this week, in the wake of a ruling that struck down a federal anti-gambling law because the decision strengthens blue-state resistance to President Donald Trump. Moreover, it might deepen appreciation for something liberals historically dislike: federalism and the doctrine of state’s rights.
Now since the Supreme Court in a 6-3 decision has struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, which banned sports betting nationwide except for Nevada, states across the nation are scrambling to grab onto this judicial breakthrough by seeking to legalize sports gambling. However, we cannot be too hasty in this endeavor before proper legal statutes are established to regulate the proper way to ‘play the game.’ Aside from Nevada’s policy implementation, Connecticut lawmakers would have to quickly tend to a series of simple but tedious legal disputes.
The $1.3 trillion omnibus spending package recently approved by President Donald Trump and Congress includes much-needed infrastructure funding that could help Connecticut rebuild its crumbling railways. But it is now up to the Appropriations Committees in both the Senate and the House to take the next step by prioritizing more federal funding for critical repairs and upgrades along Connecticut’s stretch of the Northeast Corridor rail system.