Invasions, Lies and Politics

I am sad. I am not angry at the world, or some Americans, but simply disappointed.

That’s not how I normally am, and I try very hard to get over it. The world is not shaped according to my wishes, and America has been and will be America regardless of how I feel. Regardless of what I say or do. All I can do is write. I’ve done it before and I’m doing it now. This is my outlet. My weapon. My sanity.

On some TV stations we were told that America was under attack — an invasion was taking place on our southern border, thousands and thousands of bad people coming to take us by storm, extremists (Muslims, perhaps), rapists, and criminals. American women and children should be afraid. The army was sent to the rescue.

On other stations I heard this was a caravan of about three thousand people advancing on foot, running from war, violence and abject poverty. It would take them weeks and months to get here. They walk together for added protection from gangsters and human traffickers, and to make it easier for the NGOs to help them. I’ve seen pictures: refugees — many women and children. I heard that by law, the army couldn’t do anything. Sending the soldiers was a propaganda coup, an expensive exercise in futility.

The mid-term elections came and went, and suddenly there is silence. What happened to the caravan? Little is said about it, like, who cares?

The point some were trying to make was that the democrats are soft on immigration, and stand for open borders. This is absolutely not true, of course, but it scores political points. What makes me sad is that some find it acceptable to descend to such low levels and force us all to pay the price for it, individually and as a nation.

How low can we go for the sake of political expediency? What is there to gain by stoking the most detestable traits in our society: xenophobia, racism, and fear? What lie crosses a red line? Where is the limit? How smart does one have to be to understand the invisible link between such rhetoric and the most recent mass shootings?

I have always felt proud that America is a melting pot; that we represent a beacon of hope for the world, and a refuge for those who need and deserve it. I am glad to live in a place that is attractive to people from other countries. This is a measure of our success, and of who we are. We should cherish this.

Yes, I know that we have a large number of undocumented immigrants. It has been like this forever, and there is nothing to make me think that we have reached the tipping point. But if we did, and if we needed to correct this, there is a right way and a wrong way of doing it. Demonizing the immigrants and dehumanizing America is the wrong way. Personally, I don’t know anybody who had to suffer on account of an immigrant, illegal or otherwise. I’ve heard politicians who point at crimes committed by illegals, yet they know as well as everybody else that their examples are anomalies and statistically irrelevant.

And this brings me back to political lying. It is sad and demoralizing. It insults our intelligence. It betrays our most cherished ideals and diminishes us to ourselves and to the world. And while propaganda, disinformation and pure lies have always been tools of the politicians eager to grab and maintain power, the level this has reached today in our society is beyond the pale and a danger to our civil society.

Please, stop it!

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Under the pen name Tudor Alexander I have written and published five novels and one collection of short stories. Please visit www.tudoralexander.com.