Thursday, August 30, 2018

Easier targets first?

Every day’s news reports reinforces the view that there doesn’t seem to anything too extreme or too unthinkable for the current regime to do. The current occupant of the White House has made his racism and nativism crystal clear, and his regime is working to operationalise that. So the regime’s moves to make people “uncitizens” is not at all surprising—but it may be just the start.

Today The Washington Post reported today that the regime is denying passports, or revoking them from, citizens born along the Texas border with Mexico. The underlying issue isn’t new: Allegedly, in the 1990s some midwives in South Texas faked the birth records of children who were actually born in Mexico to state they were born in Texas. Because of that, successive governments have treated anyone born in that region with suspicion.

There are huge problems with this, not the least the presumption of guilt, but extends on to creating possibly unattainable requirements for additional proof that someone really was born in the USA. Additionally, revoking passports means the person is no longer considered a citizen, potentially making them vulnerable to ICE raids and deportations—despite living their entire lives in the USA, paying taxes, voting, and even serving in the US military.

These are people who even some otherwise reasonable citizens might think are fair game, thinking that if their births were registered in the USA falsely, they have no defence. The problem with that is that if those otherwise reasonable citizens can excuse harsh treatment of the people in Texas, who would be safe from the regime’s excesses? Will it only be Hispanics singled out? Or Mexicans in particular? Or the children of any immigrant family?

There really can be a “slippery slope”, in this case, accepting oppression of one group of people makes it easier to accept the oppression of other groups, until all hope of control and restoring the rule of law is lost.

Among the easiest targets after immigrants are expat American citizens returning home. In fact, it’s now one of my very real fears about returning to the US for a visit. After the current regime finishes going after easy targets, they’ll expand it, and that means returning expats could easily be on the list of folks to harass. After all, there aren’t all that many (easy number of people to contain), but they all have friends and/or family in the USA who will hear of their ordeal. And that would be the point.

The regime’s first goal in all this is to harass and oppress immigrants, either by making up alleged offences so they can be deported, or to make them fearful enough to leave the USA. By expanding harassment, they would also stoke fear among native-born Americans so that they don’t offer any opposition to the current regime.

All the regime has to do is put some returning expat Americans into ICE concentration camps for a few months while the victim proves they were born in America, as they ultimately would. The result would be that ordinary people would decide it’s best to remain silent and offer no opposition to the regime. Silencing opposition if the first and most important step in eliminating it.

Here’s the thing: Even in the darkest days of Bush the Second, I would’ve laughed at any suggestion like this as mere paranoia. Under this regime, however, we’ve learned absolutely anything is possible, and nothing is off the table or goes too far.

Will this happen? I don’t know of course, but if it does, it’d be after they’ve gone after all the easy targets. But if this regime is deposed, first in the elections in November, then by taking back the presidency in 2020, all of this can be avoided and we can all return to the certainty that there are some things that go too far for any government.

In the meantime, there doesn’t seem to anything too extreme or too unthinkable for the current regime to do. And that is terrifying.

This Post is a revised and expanded version of comments I left on a friend’s Facebook share of the article I linked to. I also saw the article because I subscribe to the Washington Post electronic version to help support journalism because, as they put it, “Democracy Dies in Darkness”.


rogerogreen said...

People gotta stop saying they're doing X to distract us from Y.
They're doing it all, and it all sucks.

Arthur Schenck (AmeriNZ) said...

It does.

Arthur Schenck (AmeriNZ) said...

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." – George Santayana