Refugee divide denudes clever progressives

Why is the clever class dead focused on the symptom with finger on lips as to the cause of the refugee wave?

Steve Apfel,

OpEds Anti-Trump graffiti in Oakland, California after election
Anti-Trump graffiti in Oakland, California after election

The eggshell cracked when the contest for the White House went to the wrong candidate. The clever progressives derided ‘low information voters’ or, more derogatively, a social underclass, for electing him. Brutes put the brute in power. The papers that progressives read led or echoed their skulking defeat. Women who voted for Donald Trump, said the Guardian, suffer from “internalized misogyny.” The Forward paper for Jewish progressives looked down on Trump fans: “You can compare them to Rust Belt voters,” it sneered. “They are hardworking people, not college educated.” The Editor of New Yorker described the new Ambassador to Israel in terms of, “Trump’s daily bankruptcy.” The Editor’s snooty nose took offence at a bankruptcy lawyer raised on old working class values.

Is the clever elite for real? In all likelihood it would snub that question for underplaying bigger pretensions than cleverness. Progressives look in the mirror and love what they see: courageous, compassionate, deeply humane people who take on the forces of Trumpian darkness. In a well rounded human a good heart complements a good head. They’re a cut above the rest, clever people, and not modest about it. 

Progressives look in the mirror and love what they see: courageous, compassionate, deeply humane people who take on the forces of Trumpian darkness.
Then President Trump made the executive order not to issue visas when countries sponsor terror, or are failed states without functioning governments, or allow terror groups to flourish. Cracks and fault lines began to run through the elite. We began to hear dumb comparisons and ankle shallow historical warnings. College freshmen – anyway those back in the days before political correctness put a thinking head on ice – could tear the clever arguments to shreds. Out of the progressive papers and the CNN’s and BBC’s, poured a load of manure.

A 1941 cartoon by Dr Seuss pretty well sums it up.

The cartoon is a biting comment on Franklin D Roosevelt’s policy of denying a safe haven to European Jewry being ghettoized and entrained to death camps. ...“But those were foreign children, and it really didn’t matter.” So reads a mother a bedtime story to her kids. Printed on her high necked dress is the slogan, “America first.” The lesson: at the time of dire need America slammed its door tight shut.

Whether or not media moguls had this cartoon in mind, they took the message and ran with it. The New York Times spoke for all in writing that “Anne Frank today is a Syrian girl.” It was the ubiquitous one-on-one comparison with the Holocaust era. It was the dumbed-down, sentimental, naive or malicious cocktail against Donald Trump’s halt on visas for some Muslim countries. The big Satan had gone and slammed America’s door shut at a time of dire need.

Making such equivalence innocently involves more than shallow thinking; it involves babyish thought. On the other hand making it consciously involves a type of Holocaust denial. About this babyish comparison – the crises of yesteryear and today bear no resemblance.

For one thing, the restrictions that kept out the Jewish refugees on board the St. Louis back in 1939 were, observe Walter Russell Mead & Nicholas M. Gallagher written into law in 1924 when the Reed-Johnson Act almost totally cut off immigration to the United States, refugee or otherwise.” They go on to describe the “almost total ban imposed on immigrants ...that would endure for two generations. Not even the Holocaust could pry the doors open more than a crack; large-scale immigration was not allowed to resume until 1965.”

Another clear difference between then and now is that the slamming of the door was not to keep out possible mass murderers with jihad on the brain. It was a reaction to the Great Depression. Mass unemployment and fears of foreign paupers did it for Jews seeking a haven from Hitler’s tyranny.  

On the matter of Jihad, Trump is not turning back another Jewish exodus. Was there Jewish terror in those days? Were the ghettoes a hotbed for suicide killers bent on mayhem in Europe? Were groups in Nazi Germany trying to infiltrate by secreting themselves within refugee hoards? No, no and no again. Today, allowing Syrians into America is a matter of life and death – for Americans. Immigration systems cannot tell who’s good and who’s bad. The French couldn’t tell; nor the Germans. So death came upon them. There is no way to pick out wolves from sheep. Such was not the problem with the Jewish wave of desperados. Ghetto Jews may have been paupers, but potential killers they were not.

It was a different world map then. Days of yore did not have a State of Israel to offer Europe’s Jewry a safe haven. Today’s map on the other hand contains a plethora of Muslim states that could, if they play ball, take in every Syrian refugee at a blink. ..If they play ball. Why do they not? Where is the pressure from the clever compassionate people to make quite stable Muslim states play ball?  

Perhaps most cry babyish of all, the clever ones won’t, or can’t, close a circle staring them in the face. If the refugee Syrians are today’s Holocaust Jews, where is today’s Nazi regime behind it all? Invoking the Holocaust to score political points can be a double edged sword. You have to have two players. And it is here that progressives come unstuck. To hide their quandary the bad player gets airbrushed out. Clever no more, progressives pretend baby brains. The way they act you can have refugees fleeing for their lives without a big baddie behind it all. Where in the name of hell is today’s equivalent of the Third Reich? CNN has no idea. Even the New York Times seems shod of ideas.  

Cornered, progressives find themselves between a rock and a hard place. They could point a finger at Iran as the ultimate impetus behind the region’s dissolution and the refugee problem. The megalomaniac mullahs of Tehran may be today’s Third Reich. Or the Syrian warlord Assad, at a pinch. Or even Putin’s Russia is blameworthy. Why is the clever class dead focused on the symptom with finger on lips as to the cause of the refugee wave? 

The answer to that involves a sub-question: who facilitated Tehran? Who not only let the tyrants of Tehran off the sanctions hook, but gave them billions with a wink and a nod? The answer is the nub for the silence of the clever lambs. Their idol Barak Obama did that. Mad about his parting legacy, Obama was the mischief deal maker who facilitated the baddie behind the refugee problem that Trump inherited.

Hence the clever elite turn a blind eye to the circle that begs to be closed...that sits up to beg. Better to play the part of courageous, compassionate, deeply humane actors standing up to Trumpian evil.